Generation Z has been making the headlines for everything from its different approach to skinny jeans to work-place expectations and company values. But if one thing stands out, it is an overriding concern with issues of social justice and the environment – issues author Ben Mears tackles through his post-apocalyptic detective mystery series, Banyard and Mingle.
In this third instalment, The Shadow of Grayrton Mire, as well as building on issues of racism and the effects of a wealth-polarised society, Ben explores questions around arms controls and the complex compromises made to maintain peace. With Generation Z’s passion for transformation in many areas of society, and anxiety that it may never come, helping it think through the issues and nuances of human behaviour are essential to developing the empathy and hope needed to engage others in enacting real change. As Ben comments, ‘With my own daughters in mind, I have written books which look at inequality and social injustice in an age-appropriate way, seeking to develop greater empathy, imagination and understanding of the world around us.’
The recent international success of Netflix’s adaption of the Shadow and Bone books, and its British series The Irregulars, shows Generation Z’s hunger for strong story-telling, dystopian settings, and a healthy dose of mystery and the supernatural, remains – all of which Ben Mears’ Banyard and Mingle series supplies in abundance, and with a deeper purpose.
This newest novel focuses on the mystery of shadowy deaths that have long made Grayrton Mire a place of gruesome legend. When a vulnerable boy is charged with the latest killing, young private detectives Banyard and Mingle brave the treacherous marshes to defend him. Confronted by suspicious locals and rumours of a terrifying beast, they stumble into a deadly conspiracy. With the clock ticking and ruthless authorities determined to protect their secrets, they will need associates Penney and Lizzy to risk their lives if they are to uncover the truth. Can they save the boy and discover who – or what – lies behind the sinister legend? And will they survive a final night on the mire?
The Shadow of Grayrton Mire by Ben Mears (ISBN: 9781912726356) is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 21st May 2021 from bookshops and online retailers. Fiction, paperback, 272pp, £9.99.