There is a man who strikes from the shadows. Who murders again and again without ever being seen. No one knows who he is or where he comes from. All anyone knows is his nom de mort : Dr DOA. For when somebody definitely and absolutely has to die.

Some say he’s just an urban legend of the hidden world; a useful explanation for all the murders, suspicious deaths, and convenient accidents that are never properly accounted for. And some say he works for this or that subterranean group, killing people who can’t be touched by any of the usual secret agents. That he’s vengeance for hire, or the ultimate serial killer, or a cover for something much worse. People will say anything if they’re scared enough.

I know Dr DOA is real. Because I’m one of his victims.

My name is Eddie Drood, part of that centuries-old family whose business it is to stand between Humanity and all the unnatural forces that threaten it. I worked for years as a Drood field agent, mostly under my cover identity as Shaman Bond, fighting the good fight because someone has to. I really did help save the world on a few occasions, along with my partner, Molly Metcalf, the witch of the wild woods. We did good work, and we were happy together. Until Dr DOA poisoned me, without my even noticing.

And just like that, my life was over. No cure. No hope. Just a dead man walking.

So I decided that in the time left to me I would track down Dr DOA and make him pay. For what he’d done to me, and to so many others. With Molly’s help I searched the darkest corners of the hidden world, talking persuasively and sometimes violently with good people and bad, until finally I found him. Or, rather, he found me. He called me back home, to the family Armoury deep under Drood Hall, and there he was, Dr DOA. Edmund Drood: another version of me, from a different family of Droods on another earth.

We fought, and he ran, using the dimensional engine Alpha Red Alpha to open a doorway back to the earth he came from. I went after him, because I couldn’t let him get away. But it was all a trick. He disappeared back through the Door and slammed it shut. Leaving me trapped with Molly on an Earth we didn’t know, and with no way home.

For anyone else that would have been the end of the story. But I’m just getting started.