History’s Deadly Crash into Modern-day Sci-fi by Chermaine Er

Author and former detective, Jack Roney, inspired by the tragic Samford train derailing in 1947—also known as the Crash at Camp Mountain— created a thoroughly absorbing fictional novel, complete with science fiction elements of cosmic like wormholes, and more.

Hawkeye is excited to release Jack Roney’s latest book, The Ghost Train and the Scarlet Moon, with his book launch to be held in Brisbane on Saturday 20th August 2022.

Jack was shortlisted for the Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize and his submission received unanimous ‘must sign’ recommendations from a 3-person submissions review panel.

This novel is a departure from his previous crime thriller series—The Angels Wept—that was shortlisted in the 2018 Wattpad Awards (The 2018 Watty Awards).

The Author – Jack Roney

After thirty years in law enforcement, Jack Roney reached a stage in life where he had something to say. His experiences as a police officer compelled him to write as a sort of purge. His Angels Wept series obviously draws on his experiences as a detective. The series is pure fiction, but the reader is in the hands of an authentic and relatable detective.

In a major departure, his forthcoming book—The Ghost Train and the Scarlet Moon—is a beautiful investigative adventure that fuses science fiction into a compelling plotline about grief, isolation, and mateship.

Story of The Ghost Train and the Scarlet Moon

On Labour day in 1982—the 35th anniversary of a horrible train crash and 35 years since a rare blood moon crosses the sky—Toby and two of his friends set out on an adventure, following the path of the ghost train.

A ball of cosmic energy appears at the precise time and location of the crash and engulfs one of his friends who disappears.

Years later, when his other friend goes missing, Toby and a policeman work together as investigative partners to solve the mystery of his friends’ disappearances.

The History of the Crash at Camp Mountain

The Ghost Train and the Scarlett Moon has closely depicted what actually happened on the Labour day holiday, 5th May 1947, when the train set off from Brisbane’s Central Station, derailed and crashed around Camp Mountain, claiming the lives of 16 people and leaving another 38 injured.

Following the investigation, the Driver, the Fireman and the Guard—who lost their lives—were deemed to be at fault. They were found guilty of breach of duty.

The incident occurred after passing Ferny Grove Railway Station. The train had slowly climbed the Samford range hill. As it descended, it picked up speed before the first curve, going over the speed limits. The carriages swayed and luggage from the compartments fell. Halfway round the bend, the leading carriage jumped the rails. It was a disaster with the largest loss of life ever in a rail accident on the Queensland railway network.

Scenes in Roney’s novel include narratives that are true on that fateful day, proven by testimonies of the survivors.

One of those was from survivor Thomas Dunn, whose child grew excited when the train sped up and swung around bends.

Retired librarian, Gretchen Bernet-Ward said, Jack Roney “has taken a true story about a devastating real-life train crash and looked behind the scenes, then he takes it one step further”.

The Ghost Train and the Scarlett Moon is now available for pre-order.

**Readers who pre-order receive a special first edition copy of the book.**

Click here if you’d like to attend the book launch.

Read another great review by Meesha Whittlam here.

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