SOUTH Essex during the Second World War is the starting point of a new epic fantasy adventure book by a Westcliff author.

The Terrible Remembrances of Morgan Strangely, written by journalist and writer Neil Reeve, has many familiar settings and true events which have been given an other-worldly twist to bring this alternative-reality story to life.

The central character, Morgan, is an 11-year-old boy whose mother died when he was four and who suffers at the hands of a drunken and neglectful father.

But all is not as it seems and a chance encounter with a hero Spitfire pilot while searching for his missing dad leaves Morgan witness to a murder.

What he sees opens the doors to an adventure which spans two worlds as Morgan is enlisted to help in the struggle against a creature whose influence is the root of wars both on Earth and in the parallel world of Middlemost.

Neil said: “It’s a wild ride. I wanted to start the book in wartime Southend because I think there is something about the breakdown of order which happens during war which makes the strange events in this book all the more believable.

“I’m proud to have been born here and as a local journalist of 30 thirty years’ experience, I know a lot of the history of the town, especially during that wartime period.

“But I wanted the book to have a fantasy element too; the idea that the terrible conflicts which threatened to destroy entire generations were caused not by humans alone, but a creature which fed off the pain and fear of war.”

Elements of the book which borrow from reality include the wartime Kursaal, HMS Westcliff (the seafront) and HMS Leigh (the Pier), the steel forts of Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and the Eagle Squadron Spitfire pilots of RAF Rochford (now Southend Airport).

“There’s a nice scene right at the end of the book as well,” Neil explained, “which I don’t want to reveal as it will spoil the plot, but let’s just say something like it really did happen when a very important visitor came to the town.”

The book, which took almost a year to complete, was an ambitious project.

Neil explained: “Trying to get Nazi spies, night-time bombing raids, witches, magic, dragons, an army of the undead and even an atomic bomb all into one story was a real challenge and it could have all gone horribly wrong.

“But what I ended up with is a tale which I’m really happy with. I hope I’ve done my home town proud.”

The Terrible Remembrances of Morgan Strangely by Neil Reeve is available on Kindle for free for a limited time if you have Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise it’s £2.99 for the Kindle download or £12 for the paperback.

Neil’s website is, where you can leave him feedback or messages.