Thorn Steafel works as a librarian by day, a fortune teller by night, and at the weekend builds mazes and labyrinths for people to walk in their gardens (but only if they have asked him to, of course).
It doesn't leave a lot of time but he manages to hook up with Jaz regularly to turn her adventures into the Human Xperiments series.
Is Jaz Jordan a real person?
Absolutely. I first met Jaz when I was visiting a wonderfully creepy English castle, the aptly-named Chillingham Castle in Northumbria. It was a wet winter day; the leaves dripped and as you walked around the gardens you couldn't see six feet in the fog. Taking shelter inside, I saw with delight there was a Torture Chamber - filled with genuine instruments of pain! It doesn’t get better than that. Thumbscrews. The rack. Such awful, hideous creations! I was just trying to work out if I could squeeze into the Iron Maiden so I could truly know, as an author, what it felt like to be inside one – when my hand got stuck in the contraption. There was no one else in the barrel vault at the time, so I shouted for help, and a girl with long ginger hair and red spectacles came in and stared at me. She came over and asked why I was screaming like a little girl. By that time my hand was free but, in considerable pain, I insisted on being helped to the cafeteria where, next to the huge roaring fire on a wooden pew, Jaz reluctantly bought me a scone with jam for my blood sugar which had been dangerously lowered by the physical ordeal. She was waiting for her dad, who was very interested in the silverware collection. A collector? I asked. You could say that, Jaz replied. I asked what she was doing here, and she was watching all the ghosts.
Do ghosts really exist?
If Jaz hadn't been interfered with surgically, she wouldn't be the type of person who would give ghosts (or the I've-seen-a-ghost-brigade) a second glance. So it’s ironic that Jaz can see ghosts, given she'd really prefer not to be bothered with them at all. By all accounts they're a tiresome lot. The dead winge; complainers all. They're either mindless recordings of a past event, or very occasionally, a thinking and fully-aware creature looking into this world of ours with a sort of drooling glitter in their eyes. It's the latter kind that Jaz and her father and his nutcase girlfriend Maddie investigate. They offer a sort of pest control of the afterlife. "Flag 'em, tag 'em, bag em," is Jaz's motto.
Something evil is inside the school, Chimney House. It has slept for 150 years, dismissed by the teachers, but the kids hear scratching late at night, behind the walls of the Games Room. During summer vacation a bored girl and a runaway boy break into the empty school and awaken the evil. Trapped in a maze of shuttered corridors, they are forced downwards, to the cellar and its grisly occupant…