Blog Tour for Tarn Richardson’s book The Damned. Book one in The Darkest Hand Trilogy.
Published by Red Door Books.
It’s my stop on the blog tour today and I am delighted to share with you all my review.
Thanks to Anna Burtt at Red Door Books for the spot on the tour.
1914. The outbreak of war. In the French city of Arras, a priest is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition-still powerful, but now working in the shadows-sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit, to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost. Yet as Tacit arrives, armed forces led by Britain and Germany confront each other across No Man’s Land.
As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful and spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British soldier Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields that answers to no human force and wreaks havoc by the light of the moon. Faced with impossible odds and his own demons, Tacit must battle the forces of evil, and a church determined at all costs to achieve its aims, to reach the heart of a dark conspiracy that seeks to engulf the world, plunging it ever deeper into conflict. The first in The Darkest Hand series, The Damned is a gripping work of dark fiction set in an alternative twentieth century, where humanity’s desire for love, compassion and peace face daunting challenges in a world overwhelmed by total war and mysterious dark forces.
This book is a mind blowing mix of alternative/historical fiction, horror fantasy and thriller. Mostly set in the First World War in Fampoux, near Arras in France, the scenes seem wonderfully researched and are therefore authentically described as war goes on so close to the village, with nightly assaults and the blood, mud and fear of war ever present. However, if that wasn’t enough, there is a deadly dark presence in the village that can wipe out a battalion of soldiers much faster and more bloody than any gun fire.
This was a slight change of genre for me and although the story kept me gripped with the pace and thriller/horror elements what I found so striking were the characters. So well written and such complex personalities. Our main character Poldek Tacit is a hugely complex man. Aggressive and brutal at the start we learn of his story as the book progresses. Flipping back in time to his childhood and early adulthood and also to other sub plots within the catholic church, we learn of the deep scares this man carries. But along with the character of Isabella we are slowly shown a more human side to him.
There are many other characters within the story including the totally unlikable Pewter and many members of the church. The whole story surrounding the Inquisitors and the role they play inside the church, of hunting down heretics, gives the story its very dark edge. The book is full of twists and sub stories that all come together at the end finishing off this first book well yet leaving you eager to carry on with this trilogy.
**********ABOUT THE AUTHOR**********
Tarn Richardson is the author of The Darkest Hand trilogy, published by RedDoor Publishing.
Consisting of THE HUNTED (free prequel novella), THE DAMNED, THE FALLEN and THE RISEN, The Darkest Hand trilogy unleashes the flawed but brilliant Inquisitor Poldek Tacit upon a Europe engulfed by the First World War.
Having grown up in Somerset, he now lives in Salisbury with his wife, the portraiture artist Caroline Richardson.