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Midnight Comes At Noon Daniel Easterman Bibliography

"Jonathan Aycliffe" is the pseudonym, for ghostly novels and short stories, of Denis MacEoin, who writes academic works under his own name, but who is best known for his international thrillers, many set in the Middle East, written under his "Daniel Easterman" pseudonym. Recently I discovered that there was a (new to me) Jonathan Aycliffe novel published a few years ago after a long gap.  This inspired me to sort out his publications, some of which originally appeared in hardcover, others in paperback (listed below as tp = trade paperback or mm = mass market sized).  Some first appeared in England; some in Canada; some in the U.S.  The Aycliffe novels are basically commercial supernatural fiction, but they are very well-done and engaging, though some are better than others.  The best Aycliffe one is (arguably) Whispers in the Dark.

Denis MacEoin was born as Denis Martin McKeown on 26 January 1949, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the son of David McKeown (1922-1995); he apparently altered the spelling of his surname as a young adult.  He studied at the Belfast Royal Academical Institution, then at Trinity College, Dublin, where he specialized in medieval literature (MA in English Literature, 1971), the University of Edinburgh (MA in Persian and Arabic, 1975), and at King's College Cambridge (PhD in Persian studies, 1979). He married in 1975; his wife, Beth MacEoin, has three degrees, in English, Art History, and homeopathic medicine; she has written many books on homeopathy and natural health. Denis was a lecturer at the University of Fez, Morocco, 1979-80, and lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Newcastle, 1981-86, after which he became a freelance writer, though he has more recently been involved professionally with editing the Middle East Quarterly, beginning in 2009, and afterwards becoming (around 2013) a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

In 1980 MacEoin made a formal break with the Baha'i religion he had converted to at the age of seventeen. In 1994 he wrote:  "I'm very sceptical about religions and occult beliefs, astrology, reincarnation, New Age ideas and so on, but as anyone who has read my novels will know, I am deeply conscious of the importance of the irrational as a factor in human life. Even scientists often adopt an irrational position in defence of pure science just as secularists adopt an irrational stance about secularism."  On the topic of ghosts  he is a non-believer, but is "spooked" by old houses and graveyards:  "Much of this is undoubtedly childhood fears carried into adulthood, although I think ghosts represent much more than that: they represent memories, regrets, remorse, inability to come to terms with the past, the presence of our own past in our present, or the simple sense of continuity with people now dead. I am perpetually puzzled by one curious thing. There are three ghost-story writers closely attached  to King's College: M.R. James, A.N.L Munby and myself. All three of use were, in some measure, bibliographers and antiquarians, and all three of us have published serious studies in that area. But however much I ponder on this, I can never quite work out what significance, if any, to attribute to it."

Of his thrillers, he noted in a 1993 interview that "If you read the Eastermans you will see there is an element of playing with the supernatural—a person seemingly coming back from the dead, characters having visions and so on—even though there is an ultimately rational explanation. But always, because they are thrillers, you have to bring them back to reality." In the same interview he said: "The thrillers require all sorts of research to underpin the reality. In order to keep the reader believing them you can't let them go that bit too far. Indeed I've had letters from people who believe them in their entirety. This particularly applied to Brotherhood of the Tomb. An awful lot of people thought I really knew about the secret brotherhood in that book. But if you create something as fanciful as that you've got to try to get your facts right and hope that your reader will go along with you for the duration of the story. You cannot in that context allow yourself the luxury of having genuine supernatural events, But supernatural fiction allows you to break beyond the bounds of plausibility and get away from having to depend on the illusion of reality."

In a biographical note about MacEoin at the Middle East Forum it presents the following impressions of MacEoin:

Denis has a range of interests. He runs a blog entitled 'A Liberal Defence of Israel' and is involved with pro-Israel activity in the UK. He is a huge fan of Portuguese fado music and is currently trying to organize a concert to include Portuguese musicians and British poets reading translations of the poetry used in the songs. He loves French cinema, American films like Metropolitan and Lost in Translation, Persian classical music (Muhammad Reza Shajarian above all), Arabic and Persian calligraphy, and a wide range of British and American novelists. He also loves the best US TV shows, from NYPD and The West Wing to ER and Mad Men, as well as a steady diet of British classical dramas from Austen to Mitford. He is a former President of the UK Natural Medicines Society, and continues to take an interest in the debate over alternative and complementary medicine.

As "Jonathan Aycliffe" he has published nine novels and two short stories, the bibliographical details of which are given below, along with notice of some interviews (with links to the online ones).  As "Daniel Easterman" he has published sixteen novels (one with a different title in the US and UK), and one nonfiction book.  As "Denis MacEoin" he has published seven books and one booklet, some based on his theses; another book was published online (google for Music, Chess and other Sins: Segregation, Integration, and Muslim Schools in Britain, 2009). Most of the bibliographies (online or offline) have conflicting dates for the first publication of Aycliffe's/Easterman's/MacEoin's books. I spent a considerable amount of time sorting them out, and hope that I have the facts (formats, months and years for Aycliffe; just years for the other bylines) and chronology correct. Here are the bibliographies, Aycliffe first, followed by Easterman and then MacEoin.

Books by “Jonathan Aycliffe”

Naomi’s Room

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1991 [hc 0-246-13892-0,
                        tp 0-246-13926-9]

            New York: HarperPaperbacks, [April] 1992 [mm]

            London: Grafton, [November] 1992 [mm]

            London: Corsair, [October] 2013 [tp]

Whispers in the Dark

            London: HarperCollins [November] 1992 [hc 0-246-13893-9,

                        tp 0-246-13927-7]

            New York: HarperPaperbacks, [May] 1993  [mm]

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1993 [mm]

            London: Constable, [October] 2014 [tp]

The Vanishment

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1993  [hc 0-00-224160-9,

                       tp 0-00-224157-9]

            New York: HarperPaperbacks, [June] 1994  [mm]

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1994 [mm]

            London: Constable, [October] 2014 [tp]

The Matrix

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1994  [hc]

            New York: HarperPaperbacks, [April] 1995 [mm]

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1995 [tp]

            London: Corsair, [October] 2013 [tp]

The Lost

            New York: HarperPrism, [June] 1996 [hc]

            London: HarperCollins, [November] 1996 [hc 0-00-225239-2,

                        tp 0-00-649615-6]

            New York: HarperPrism, [August] 1998 [mm]

            London: Constable, [October] 2015 [tp]

The Talisman

            Ashcroft, British Columbia: Ash-Tree Press, [November] 1999

                        [600 copies]

            London: Severn House, [February] 2001 [hc]  

            London: Constable, [October] 2015 [tp]

A Shadow on the Wall

            London: Severn House, [February] 2000  [hc]

            New York: Night Shade Books, [February] 2015 [hc]

            London: Constable, [October] 2015 [tp]

            New York: Night Shade Books, [August] 2016 [tp]

A Garden Lost in Time

            London: Allison & Busby, [January] 2004  [hc]

            Eugene, OR: Bruin Books, [October] 2013  [tp]

The Silence of Ghosts

            London: Corsair, [October] 2013 [tp]

            New York: Night Shade Books, [February] 2015 [hc]

            New York: Night Shade Books, [April] 2016 [tp]

Short Stories:

“The Reiver’s Lament”

            In Blue Motel (1994), ed. Peter Crowther

“The Scent of Oranges”

            In Midnight Never Comes (1997), ed. by Barbara and 

                       Christopher Roden


“Jonathan Aycliffe Prefers the Shadows”

            In Wordsmiths of Wonder (1993), by Stan Nicholls

Interview with Paul MacAvoy

            Prism, 2003

“Exclusive Interview with Jonathan Aycliffe” by Lucy Moore

            FemaleFirst, posted 30 November 2013


Books by “Daniel Easterman”

The Last Assassin (1985)

The Seventh Sanctuary (1987)

The Ninth Buddha (1988)

Brotherhood of the Tomb (1989)

Night of the Seventh Darkness (1991)

Name of the Beast (1992)

New Jerusalems: Reflections on Islam, Fundamentalism and the 

            Rushdie Affair (1993) by DanielEasterman   [nonfiction]

The Judas Testament (1994)

Night of the Apocalypse (US May 1995), retitled Day of Wrath (UK 

            October 1995)

The Final Judgement (1996)

K (1997), sometimes listed as K Is for Killing

Incarnation (1998)

The Jaguar Mask  (2000)

Midnight Comes at Noon (2001)

Maroc (2002)

The Sword  (2007)

Spear of Destiny (2009)

Books by “Denis MacEoin”

A Revised Survey of the Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History 

           (PhD. thesis, King'sCollege Cambridge, 1977)

Islam in the Modern World (1983), ed. Denis MacEoin and Ahmed 


A People Apart: The Bahaʼi Community of Iran in the Twentieth 

            Century (1989)[booklet, 35 pp.]

The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History (1992) 

The Hijacking of British Islam: How Extremist Literature Is 

            Subverting Mosques in the UK (2007) 

Sharia Law or "One Law for All?" (2009)

The Messiah of Shiraz: Studies in Early and Middle Babism (2009) 

            [revision of a 1979 thesis]

Rituals in Babism and Baha'ism (2014)

In 1984, Daniel Easterman (Denis MacEoin) embarked on what was for many years his principal career, writing international thrillers. Under the Easterman name, he has published fifteen novels, many of them best-sellers. Among the best known are: The Seventh Sanctuary, The Ninth Buddha, Midnight Comes at Noon, Maroc, 'K', The Judas Testament, The Sword, and The Spear of Destiny. As Easterman, he has been translated into about fifteen languages, including French, German, Spanish, and Italian. The most recent, The Sword, was published in 2007 and The Spear of Destiny appeared in spring 2009. Under a second pen-name, Jonathan Aycliffe, he has written a further eight novels, all ghost stories in the classic English tradition. Naomi’s Room has been optioned for film in Hollywood, and The Vanishment and The Matrix have recently been optioned by two British film companies.

He has worked as a writing tutor as the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University, where he has also taught a short course in creative writing (‘Writing in Genre’). He was for over a year the editor of a US-based journal, The Middle East Quarterly. He recently completed a new novel, set in Ethiopia, and has plans for several others. He has also written a crime novel set in Ireland and a story of historical/present-day fiction, which await publication.

In 1992, HarperCollins published a volume of his journalism under the title New Jerusalems: Islam, Religious Fundamentalism, and the Rushdie Affair.

Academically, he first graduated with an M.A. in English from Trinity College, Dublin, followed by a second degree in Persian, Arabic, and Islamic Studies from Edinburgh and a PhD in Persian/Islamic Studies from Cambridge (King’s College). From 1979-80, he taught at Mohammed V University in Fez, Morocco, before taking up a post as lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle. In 1986, he was made Honorary Fellow in the Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies at Durham University. He has published extensively on Islamic topics, contributing to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam in the Modern World, the Encyclopaedia Iranica, the Penguin Handbook of Living Religions, journals, festschrifts, and books, and has himself written a number of books, including The Sources for Babi History and Doctrine, Rituals in Babism and Baha’ism, and the forthcoming The Messiah of Shiraz: Studies in Early and Middle Babism; he has also co-edited Islam in the Modern World.

He has recently worked extensively on radical Islam in the UK for the think tank Policy Exchange, has written a full-scale report on Islamic hate literature found in Britain (The Hijacking of British Islam). He has also written two reports for the think tank Civitas, one on Muslim schools in the UK (Music, Chess and other Sins: Segregation, Integration, and Muslim Schools in Britain), and one on the legality of shari'a law in Britain (Shari'a Law or One Law for All).

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