When Harry put his hand on her clay-cold brow she recoiled as from a serpent! Not physically, for she was dead, but her mind cringed, shrank down, withdrew into itself like the feathery fronds of some strange sea anemone brushed by a swimmer. The Necroscope felt his blood turn to ice and for a moment stood in horror of himself. The last thing he'd wanted was to frighten her still more. Wrapping her in his thoughts, in the warmth of his deadspeak, he said: It's all right! Don't be afraid! I won't hurt you! No one can ever hurt you again! It was as easy as that. Without even trying, he'd told her that she was dead. But in the next moment he saw that she had already known: KEEP OFF! Her deadspeak was a sobbing shriek of torment in Harry's mind. GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU FILTHY... THING!
Harry Keogh inherited the psychic skills of his mother and grandmother, which in him have evolved to unparalleled heights of parapsychological power. He is a Necroscope: he talks to the dead like other men talk to their friends and neighbours. And indeed the teeming dead are Harry's friends, for he is the one light in their eternal darkness, their only contact with the world they have left behind.
For the common perception of death is incorrect: the minds of the dead do not accompany their bodies into corruption and dust but go on to explore the myriad possibilities of their leanings which were unattainable in life. The writers continue to 'write' great works that can never be published; the architects design fabulous, near-perfect cities which will never be built; the mathematicians explore Pure Number to exponentials whose only boundary is infinity.
As a boy Harry utilized his esoteric 'talent' to help with his studies; since he himself did not appear academically inclined, certain of his deceased specialist friends were able to show him the short cuts around otherwise impossible classroom problems. As a result of which he discovered his own affinity for instinctive or intuitive maths.
Harry Keogh was not the only one who 'talked' to the dead. In the USSR the Soviet E-Branch (ESP-Branch) made use of Boris Dragosani, a necromancer, to tear the secrets of corpses from their violated bodies. But where Harry was beloved of the Great Majority, they feared and loathed Dragosani. The difference was this: where the Necroscope merely conversed with the dead, befriending and consoling them, and asking nothing in return, the Russian necromancer simply reached in and took\ Having been instructed in his obscene talent by a long-buried but still undead vampire, whose seed had been passed on to him, nothing could be hidden from Dragosani: he would find his answers in the blood, the guts, the very marrow of his victims' bones. In all other instances the dead can't feel pain - but that was part of Dragosani's talent, too. For when he worked he made them feel it! They felt his hands, his knives, his tearing nails; they knew and felt everything he did to them! It was never his way simply to question the dead for their secrets, for then they might lie to him. No, his way was to rend them apart and then read the answers in torn skin and muscle, in shredded ligaments and tendons, in brain fluid and the mucus of eye and ear, and in the very texture of the dead tissue itself!
... While avenging the cruel death of his murdered mother, Harry Keogh became aware of the existence of the ESP-agencies of East and West. Recruited to the aid of British ESP-Intelligence in the secret war with Russia's mindspies, he pitted himself against Boris Dragosani. And now his intuitive maths came into play.
With the assistance of August Ferdinand Möbius (1790-1868) Harry gained access to the Möbius Continuum, a fifth dimension running parallel not only to the mundane four but to all other material planes. He could now in effect 'teleport' instantly to anywhere in the world, just as long as he had the mathematical co-ordinates or a dead friend in that location to act as a beacon. In addition, he had discovered his terrible power to call up the dead from their graves!
To rid the world of the vampire Dragosani, Harry used the Möbius Continuum to invade the Chateau Bronnitsy, Russia's secluded E-Branch HQ. There he called up from death an army of mummified Tartars whose bodies had been preserved by the peaty ground. Dragosani was destroyed, and along with him many of the staff and much of the apparatus of the Soviet mindspy agency.
But Harry paid the price too, and his body was also destroyed. Except...
... As the Necroscope knew well enough from personal experience, death is not the end.
Incorporeal, pure mind, he escaped to the Möbius Continuum and later, by involuntary metempsychosis, came to 'inhabit' the brain-dead body of a British esper. By then, however, Harry had also come to realize the role he must play in the eradication of vampire spawn from the world of men. This recognition of his purpose (his destiny?) came about through the discovery of a vampire's scarlet thread among the pure blue life-threads of humanity where they permeate the past and future time-lanes of the Möbius Continuum.
Yulian Bodescu, contaminated with vampirism by Thibor Ferenczy - the same centuries-dead vampire who infected Dragosani - threatened both Harry's life and the life of his baby son. But this time it was Harry Jr who turned the tables and made possible Bodescu's destruction; for he too was born a Necroscope, with talents the same as (or greater than?) those possessed by his father.
Following the Bodescu affair, Harry Jr vanished (apparently from the face of the Earth) and took his poor demented mother with him. Harry Sr, searching far and wide for his wife and infant son, despaired of ever finding them: in the Möbius Continuum their life-threads disappeared mysteriously into some otherworldly place where even he could not follow.
Harry quit British E-Branch and devoted himself to his search, which soon became an obsession. Years passed and the Necroscope turned recluse, living in a rambling, ramshackle house some miles outside Edinburgh.
Then... E-Branch contacted him again. They were badly in need of Harry's help and guessed he'd be reluctant, but there was also a carrot. The Branch had a similar case on its hands: a Secret Service agent had gone missing, not presumed dead. Just like Harry Jr and his mother, so now a young spy had disappeared into thin air. The mindspies had reason to believe he was alive, but still they couldn't find him. Harry checked it out with the Great Majority, who denied that the missing man had joined their ranks. And yet E-Branch swore that he wasn't 'here' on Earth. So ... where was he?
Could it be he was in the same place as the Necroscope's wife and child?
Eventually Harry's inquiries led him to the Perchorsk Projekt, a Russian experiment buried deep in a ravine under the Ural Mountains. In an attempt to create a force-field barrier as a counter to the USA's Star Wars scenario, the Soviets had accidentally blasted a 'wormhole' out of this space-time dimension into a parallel plane of existence. And in so doing they had also discovered the ancient source of all vampiric infestation of Earth! Things were coming through the Perchorsk Gate into our world. Unbelievable things - unbelievable except to the Necroscope and certain members of the British and Soviet E-Branches.