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a full-throttled dark fantasy horror adventure

In 1970s Germany, a mental patient at the end of his life suddenly speaks for the first time in years. A year later in Vietnam, a mission to rescue a group of American POWs becomes a military disaster.

In present day England, a birthday dinner for college lecturer Alex Webber sends his life spiralling out of control as a series of disturbing hallucinations lead him to the office of Dr. Ellen Hayward. And things will never be the same again for either of them. Hunted by an immortal being known only as “The Infinity,” their capture could mean the end of humanity itself…

Part horror story, part thrilling road adventure, part historical drama, Before is a novel like no other. Called “the dark fantasy version of Cloud Atlas,” Kane’s Before is as wide in scope as it is in imagination as it tackles the greatest questions haunting mankind: Who are we? Why are we here? And where are we going?



award-winning bestselling author and editor

The author and editor of more than sixty books, Kane’s work includes Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, Lunar, The Rainbow Man, the Arrowhead trilogy (later released as the Hooded Man omnibus), The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Hellbound Hearts, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and more. His work has been optioned and adapted for the big and small screen, including for US network television. He lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife Marie O’Regan.

Paul Kane



A mind-bending journey through the past, present and future, Before  opens in a psychiatric hospital in 1970s Germany where a patient nearing the end of his life speaks again for the first time in years. Fast-forward to England today where college professor Alex Webber is celebrating his birthday with family and friends, an occasion that unexpectedly sends him into a terrifying downward spiral where he is plagued by a series of disturbing, hallucinatory visions that threaten his own life and, ultimately, becomes a high-stakes gamble for the souls of all humanity.

paul kane

As an award-winning, bestselling British author and editor of over seventy books, Kane’s work includes the recent hit novel Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell,  the Arrowhead  trilogy (later released as the sellout Hooded Man  omnibus), plus The Butterfly Man and Other StoriesHellbound Hearts,  The Mammoth Book of Body Horror  and more.

get yours today

Paul Kane’s Before  is a full-throttled dark fantasy adventure from the Chicago-based independent publisher Grey Matter Press. Before is now available at favorite booksellers worldwide. Or get paperbacks and DRM-free digital copies from the Grey Matter Press Bookstore today.


industry insights, blogging influencers and entertainment media

Reviews of Paul Kane’s Before are coming in from all corners of the world. Read what critics have to say about this epic fantasy thriller.

“Paul Kane can certainly tell a story! Mixes action-adventure, horror and the supernatural skillfully. A fast-paced, enjoyable read that kept me hooked till its thrilling conclusion.”


— Ginger Nuts of Horror

“A thing of beauty! [Kane] crafts an exceptionally detailed world, filled with complex characters, a wicked narrative twists and turns through an emotional rollercoaster.”


— British Fantasy Society

“Compelling! Packed with action and moments of genuine emotion; Kane’s prose is refreshing, ideal for those who like their thrillers peppered with unnerving mysticism.”


— Starburst Magazine

“There’s plenty here to intrigue fans of Neil Gaiman’s [American Gods]. Kane gradually builds up the tension, taking his time before revealing the truth behind the novel’s central mystery.”


— Horrorville Magazine

“Truly compelling reading! Has all the hallmarks of [Paul] Kane, complete with a ton of what to me seem like Clive Barker influences without becoming imitative or derivative. If you enjoy Barker, you will love Kane.”


— Dread Central

“It’s an absorbing and engaging read, ambitious in both lengths and in its ideas. Kane’s latest novel is epic and King/McCammon fans will find a lot to like here. “


— Beavis the Bookhead

praise for paul kane

"Kane’s work pulses with poison mischief."
-- Richard Christian Matheson, scriptwriter for The Incredible Hulk and Nightmares and Dreamscapes; author of Pride and Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks

"Paul Kane has considerable writing talent."
-- Graham Masterton, bestselling author of The Manitou, Descendent, Edgewise and Manitou Blood

"Paul Kane is a name to watch. His work is disturbing and very creepy."
-- Tim Lebbon, New York Times bestselling author of The Cabin in the Woods, Echo City and The Silence

"I’m impressed by the range of Paul Kane’s imagination. It seems there is no risk, no high-stakes gamble, he fears to take…Kane’s foot never gets even close to the brake pedal."
-- Peter Straub, bestselling author of Ghost Story, Mr X, Lost Boy Lost Girl and In the Night Room

"Paul Kane’s lean, stripped-back prose is a tool that’s very much fit for purpose. He knows how to make you want to avoid the shadows and the cracks in the pavement."
-- Mike Carey, bestselling author of the Felix Castor series of novels, The Girl With All the Gifts and Fellside

"Kane finds the everyday horrors buried within us, rips them out and serves them up."
-- Kelley Armstrong, bestselling author of Bitten, Haunted, Broken, Waking the Witch, Spell Bound and Thirteen

"Paul Kane is a first-rate storyteller, never failing to marry his insights into the world and its anguish with the pleasures of phrases eloquently turned."
-- Clive Barker, bestselling author of The Hellbound Heart, Abarat, Mr. B. Gone and The Scarlet Gospels

now available

at booksellers worldwide
Paul Kane’s Before  is available in trade paperback and all common digital formats wherever fine books are sold. Visit any of the following retailers or purchase copies directly from the Grey Matter Press Bookstore.