The Darkest Hand trilogy has a remarkably original premise and the individual books are driven by some damn fine characters. Poldek Tacit is an excellent creation. So much back-story and presence… a truly hard-assed priest! The series is an addictive read, with enough blood, battles and violence to satisfy even the most ardent horror fan. Frenetic, gore-soaked, and hugely enjoyable.
David Moody, Author of HATER and AUTUMN
Richardson's use of his alternate history makes more sense out of the insistent killings than any dry narrative could
Kingdom Book Mysteries,
In Poldek Tacit we have a wonderfully snarling, brutish, wounded bear of a man, his humanity still alive within him, despite all he has done, and seen
Russell Mardell, Author of Bleeker Hill
An action packed supernatural thriller that will nourish your blood lust... perfect for a plane ride or lounging on the beach
Matthew Cavanagh, Geek Planet Online
Fast, frenetic and bloody, The Fallen is an imaginative and deftly told tale that'll chill you to the core
Tim Lebbon, Author of The Silence and The Family Man
A fascinating combination of alternate history, church murder mystery, and horror thriller all wrapped up in a nice dark fiction package
Jim Riordan, Jim Reviews
Morally complex and fast paced, this is a gripping work of dark fiction
Ginger Nuts of Horror,
The atmosphere drips with dark fear of the unknown and, eventually, the unknown's bloody leavings. This is definitely not one for the squeamish.
The Bookbag,
The devastating climax to this epic dark trilogy. Riotous, terrifying and urgent
Peter Liney, Author of the Detainee trilogy
Evokes the fantasy of Tolkien and the darkness of King
Cal Moriarty, author of The Killing of Bobbi Lomax and Ten of Swords
There are more battles than those of men. There are subplots and stories throughout this book that have kept me riveted. From start to finish, the research that has obviously been done, shows. The characters that are included have a reason to be there. They have their own history and purpose in the book, the author has not just thrown them in for the thrill of it. The book flits back and forth through the years, to achieve a brilliantly pieced together world and story to create a fantastic alternative reality. This book expertly intertwines the genres of fantasy, horror, thriller,crime and history. It also draws on fact, folklore, conspiracy and myth. The reader is taken on a journey of epic proportions.
Yvonne Bastian,
The Damned is a horror romp made to be extreme, it is completely it’s own story and Poldek Tacit fits this world perfectly. The idiosyncrasies of the style suit the character and therefore the book well. I would be lying if I said that The Damned is not first and foremost a horror story about werewolves and the catholic church. There are numerous scenes that are nothing but well realised, full tilt gore. However, if I concluded my description there I would also be doing the book a great dis-service. Tarn originally wrote a much straighter World War One novel. You can see the detail of the locations and scenes bleed through (for once in the figurative sense and not the claret!) In fact, all of the story arcs come together well and the balance of the whole story grew on me the more I progressed through the book, continuing after I had finished as I thought about it. There is a lot of story packed into the book. The pace is tuned well, but I know I missed some subtleties of the setting and the war as I raced past. I did notice some distinct war details that I did not know about e.g. marching band at the front of the German line. In a trench based scene the description of a sound I didn’t expect added depth.
Post-Consumer Bookclub,
This is a fantastically detailed and atmospheric read. From the description of the trenches and the horrors of war to the insides of churches, the vatican, to bars and alley ways you can smell and taste the surroundings, as well as hear and see them. That backdrop, with a time based interwoven tale introducing us to the history, and the current adventures of the wonderfully named Poldek Tacit brings the character to life. It is not just Tacit, the whole cast are rich and well written. That is further enhanced by the mythical mix and the challenging of politics and religion during a World War. Whilst in the horror genre it crosses many other in an exhilarating and thought provoking adventure. I really enjoyed this and look forward to the continuing adventures of this inquisitor.
A terrific debut novel, bringing religion, redemption, love and humanity together against the backdrop of the real horror of this tale - the sheer lunacy of World War 1. It is a masterstroke counterbalancing the horror at play with mythical Hombre Lobo that drive the story, and the nightmare of The Great War, all too vividly brought to life here in all it's grey's and brown's and mud and blood. Clearly well researched, the sense of time and place is incredibly evocative.
Russell Mardell,
The book itself is well written, perhaps two stories in one from the different viewpoints – which I enjoyed! It all came together seamlessly. Furthermore, the characters are well-rounded, and interesting. I especially feel the most for Tactic, a man with some serious demons who seems to be seeking peace for himself more than anything else. The ending, happy in some ways, left me wanting more. I would recommend The Damned to those who enjoy horror and the supernatural amidst the historical setting, and even those who don't! It is a credit to the genre. I really enjoyed this début novel and I'm glad I didn't have to wait until May (haha! Sorry folks!). It is well worth the wait however I am dying to the read the next in the series! I want to know what happens next!
The historical elements are fascinating, as is the author's twist on the werewolf mythos, but the brooding, conflicted Tacit is the most compelling element. Readers who enjoy extra-broody antiheroes who are good with fists and firearms will find much to love in this unusual mashup
Publisher's Weekly, Book critic