Devouring Dark – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

Devouring Dark

41128507

Alan Baxter

Grey Matter Press

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“DEVOURING DARK is an urban horror novel about a man plagued since childhood by a malevolent darkness that threatens to consume him. After a lifetime spent wrestling for control over this onslaught, Matt McLeod has learned to wield his mysterious paranormal skill to achieve an odious goal: retribution as a supernatural vigilante.

When one such hit goes bad, McLeod finds himself ensnared in a multi-tentacled criminal enterprise caught between a corrupt cop and a brutal mobster. His only promise of salvation may be a bewitching woman who shares his dark talent but has murderous designs of her own.”

To start, I would like to thank Grey Matter Press for a copy of Devouring Dark to read in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a wonderful mix of horror, the supernatural and some crime drama. Three things I enjoy.

Matt McLeod, he is a great character. He has this crazy ability to literally devour people with darkness, as the title says. The book gets into the action straight away with Matt devouring a paedophile in an alleyway. Unfortunately, in this wondrous age of digital devices, he is caught on camera by a criminal, who decides his abilities should be put to good use for a criminal organisation as an assassin. Of course Matt isn’t exactly sold on this idea.

Amy Cavendish has similar powers to Matt. They both thought they were alone with their abilities. When their paths finally cross they end up in the fight of their lives, finding out just the true extend of their powers.

The characters of both Amy and Matt are solid. They are wonderfully written; they come across so well throughout the book. This is the second work I have read of Alan Baxter, I love his work. He writes brilliant multi-layered characters that you can develop a real relationship with. He has a real talent and I am looking forward to reading more from him.

Devouring Dark is a brilliant noir supernatural horror mash which will have you hooked from the start and all the way through. I loved it.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

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South by Southwest Wales -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

South by Southwest Wales

39979330

️ Book Review

David Owain Hughes

2018 Darkwater Syndicate

“Samson Valentine is the best private eye ever to wear a fedora–or at least he was, before he became a washed-up booze hound. There simply isn’t demand for a whiskey-swilling Welsh gumshoe who insists he’s living in 1940’s Chicago. Everything changes when a massive diamond falls into his lap. 

Before he’s too sure of what’s going on, he’s swept up in the biggest case of his life. The mob will do anything to get its gemstone back, and they prove it when Sam’s friend turns up dead. Now it’s personal, and Sam sets out on a one-man mission to take down the Welsh crime syndicate. Armed with little more than his wits and his fists, the odds don’t look good. Too much time at the bottom of a whiskey bottle has given him trembling hands and an addled brain. If he’s to have any chance of bringing the mob to justice, he’ll first need to come to grips with his worst enemy–himself.”

First of all, many thanks to the author, David Owain Hughes, and the publisher, The Darkwater Syndicate, for a copy of ‘South by Southwest Wales’ to read in exchange for an honest review.

This book really made me smile while reading. From the beginning, the plentiful Chicago gumshoe speak just filled my soul. South by Southwest Wales is a wonderfully written book, a very interesting criminal mystery to solve and a fantastic lead protagonist, Samson Valentine. We have whisky, dames, guns and fedoras. What’s not to like right? Oh, and don’t forget, a huge diamond. I admit that I was a very excited gal when I started reading this, I love things like this. Gangster Noir, I was hooked from the opening.

I love the Noir style, the imagery and the expression used fits perfectly with the scenes created. The Chicago 1940’s lingo used by Valentine throughout too is very fitting. The gumshoe references are aplenty, but not in a way that they become over used. Everything about this book fits. I can see why South by Southwest Wales is David Owain Hughes’ baby.

It’s very easy to develop a relationship with Valentine, he is a troubled man, he has a drinking problem, and has lost two wives to illness. He is a kind man at heart, under that rough lawman exterior, he is a good man, he wants to help people. Reading this character, while he flits between Cardiff and Chicago, the writing is very clean, with very smooth transitions.

There is a great human story behind the case. He is a man dealing with his worst enemy, himself. His drinking has cost him a lot. If he carries on it will cost him more. He needs to deal with this, get control of his life again. Once he deals with his demons, he can then deal with the case at hand. I found myself riveted with his daily struggle. I was willing for him to stop drinking, becoming worried for his safety. It’s crazy how involved you can get with a character in a book, I love that.

This is a very well written book, its very easy to read, well laid out. The pacing is perfect, not too much too soon, but it doesn’t feel stunted either. It’s just right as Goldilocks would say.

The dialogue is consistently engaging throughout and the split between thought, his internal voices, and the spoken word is very clear.

I highly recommend checking out the work of David Owen Hughes (if you haven’t done already). He is a very talented author, and I for one am looking forward to reading some more of his work.

Find it here:

5/5

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

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