The Darkest Hand Trilogy

LES MAUDITS

He was aware of his hands moving before he had time to even consider where they should go, as if guided by another greater power. Wherever they went there followed a weeping and a pleading from voices quite unlike his, the splintering of limbs, the falling of bodies, then a tight intake of breath and then a slow release as death came.

And lights. Everywhere about him were lights, hanging in the air around him, embracing him, nourishing him with their rays.

And then, as quickly as the brawl had begun, it was over. Tacit picked the Father up off the floor and ushered him away from the lifeless bodies strewn about the courtyard.

Adansoni threw his eyes onto the boy and stared, a look speared somewhere between fear, disbelief and wonder at what his young pupil had done. “You are, Poldek,” Adansoni muttered, his eyes wide on the young man. “You are,” he repeated.

“I am what, Father?”

But Adansoni could, or would, say no more.

 

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LES DÉCHUS

1915 : Première Guerre mondiale. Dans les montagnes qui séparent leurs deux pays, les combats sont intenses entre les troupes italiennes et austro-hongroises. Sur le front un jeune soldat italien reçoit une étrange lettre de son frère, un prêtre récemment assassiné dans de mystérieuses circonstances. Celle-ci renferme des secrets explosifs concernant l’Église.

Au même moment, au Vatican, une autre bataille fait rage. Celle du Bien contre le Mal. La rumeur prétend en effet que certains hauts dignitaires sont passés du côté obscur. On évoque des rituels sataniques, des possessions, des exorcismes, de la magie noire. La paranoïa augmente de jour en jour.

Un seul homme semble en mesure de régler la situation : l’Inquisiteur Poldek Tacit. Mais celui-ci est incarcéré à Toulouse. Et il n’a que peu de temps pour agir. Déjà, des créatures que l’on dit revenues d’entre les morts rôdent la nuit autour du Vatican. .

 

 

 

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LES RESSUSCITÉS

1917 : Alors que la guerre et la révolution dévorent le monde, les Temps de la Fin sont arrivés. Avec l’apocalypse imminente, le monde a besoin d’un héros pour repousser cette marée de ténèbres et sauver tous du retour de l’Antéchrist. Mais où est Poldek Tacit, le seul Inquisiteur capable de faire face à de telles épreuves?

D’anciens alliés s’unissent dans une course désespérée pour démasquer et arrêter l’Antéchrist avant qu’il ne puisse assumer la domination sur toutes les terres et nations, tandis que la Main la Plus Sombre étrangle tout espoir restant chez ceux qui souhaitent trouver une fin à la guerre qui a déjà coûté d’innombrables vies.

Le dernier chapitre de la trilogie La Main la Plus Sombre offre une conclusion appropriée, rapide et pleine d’action à cette œuvre épique de fiction sombre, où les secrets longtemps enfouis dans les voûtes du Vatican sont dévoilés et les espoirs de l’humanité de rédemption des forces du mal ne tiennent qu’à un fil précaire.

 

 

 

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THE HUNTED

He’d visited Sarajevo many times before. That entire region, stretching like a twisted spine from Montenegro to Romania and to the shores of the Black Sea, seemed to be clutched by a persistent wickedness, rumours of unspeakable horrors howling in the dark of the wilds. Someone once said that, generations ago, a terrible evil had taken root in the Carpathian mountains and its malevolence had spread far and deep, infecting the lands, places, and people. The Priest ignored such chatter. He knew that devil’s work was found in all places of the world, not just here.

 

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THE DAMNED

He was aware of his hands moving before he had time to even consider where they should go, as if guided by another greater power. Wherever they went there followed a weeping and a pleading from voices quite unlike his, the splintering of limbs, the falling of bodies, then a tight intake of breath and then a slow release as death came.

And lights. Everywhere about him were lights, hanging in the air around him, embracing him, nourishing him with their rays.

And then, as quickly as the brawl had begun, it was over. Tacit picked the Father up off the floor and ushered him away from the lifeless bodies strewn about the courtyard.

Adansoni threw his eyes onto the boy and stared, a look speared somewhere between fear, disbelief and wonder at what his young pupil had done. “You are, Poldek,” Adansoni muttered, his eyes wide on the young man. “You are,” he repeated.

“I am what, Father?”

But Adansoni could, or would, say no more.


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THE FALLEN

There was dust and smoke and wrestling bodies in the trench ahead of him. It appeared it was a tunnel to hell. He dropped into it and turned in time to see a Hungarian charge towards him. Instinct kicked in and he thrust out with his rifle, his eyes tightly shut. The rifle went heavy and the figure hung limp on the end of it. Pablo lowered it and the man slid off, dead, pierced clean through the heart. Pablo looked down into the dead man’s wide staring eyes.

There were tears in his own eyes, and tears in the eyes of the man he had just killed.


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THE RISEN

Darkness seemed to boil in the hollows of the graveyard. From the east, a cool meandering pall of sea stink and rot rolled breathlessly onto the land, drawing from the earth a lingering mist, as if a spell had been spoken to raise spirits from the ground.

A bright moon caught in the branches of the great trees around the graveyard, glittering the ground and the men creeping beneath them with soft circles of silver light. None of them had spoken since their boat had drawn alongside the narrow stone quay of the small deserted island hospital harbour an hour before.

Beyond the boughs of the trees and stunted slabs of gravestones, roughly hewn for purpose rather than out of love or respect for the dead buried beneath them, distant lights from surrounding islands and the Italian mainland could be seen to twinkle white and amber. In the silence of this abandoned lazaretto, long rumoured to be haunted, spirits could still be felt to reach out and grapple the Inquisitors as they passed, the occasional muffled bark of laughter from Venice across the water sounding foreign and mistaken in the hateful dark. In the depths of the graveyard, unseen unblinking eyes watched each of the men with rankling spite.


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THE DAMNED audiobook

He was aware of his hands moving before he had time to even consider where they should go, as if guided by another greater power. Wherever they went there followed a weeping and a pleading from voices quite unlike his, the splintering of limbs, the falling of bodies, then a tight intake of breath and then a slow release as death came.

And lights. Everywhere about him were lights, hanging in the air around him, embracing him, nourishing him with their rays.

And then, as quickly as the brawl had begun, it was over. Tacit picked the Father up off the floor and ushered him away from the lifeless bodies strewn about the courtyard.

Adansoni threw his eyes onto the boy and stared, a look speared somewhere between fear, disbelief and wonder at what his young pupil had done. “You are, Poldek,” Adansoni muttered, his eyes wide on the young man. “You are,” he repeated.

“I am what, Father?”

But Adansoni could, or would, say no more.

 

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THE FALLEN audiobook

There was dust and smoke and wrestling bodies in the trench ahead of him. It appeared it was a tunnel to hell. He dropped into it and turned in time to see a Hungarian charge towards him. Instinct kicked in and he thrust out with his rifle, his eyes tightly shut. The rifle went heavy and the figure hung limp on the end of it. Pablo lowered it and the man slid off, dead, pierced clean through the heart. Pablo looked down into the dead man’s wide staring eyes.

There were tears in his own eyes, and tears in the eyes of the man he had just killed.

 

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What the critics are saying


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Matthew Cavanagh
Geek Planet Online

“An action-packed supernatural thriller that will nourish your blood lust… perfect for a plane ride or lounging on the beach”


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Simon Gosden
Fantastic Literature

“The plotting is sharp, the characterisation and the historical attention to detail is superb.”


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Editor’s Choice
ForeWord Reviews

“Keeps the pages turning… not for the faint of heart, The Fallen continually ups the ante… Richardson is a disciplined, focused writer who balances quick pacing with ghoulish descriptions… packed with vivid descriptions and heart-pumping action, The Fallen is a twisted, thrilling nightmare.”


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Publishers Weekly

“Readers who enjoy extra-broody antiheroes who are good with fists and firearms will find much to love in this unusual mashup.”


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Beth Kanell
Kingdom Books

“Richardson’s use of his alternate history makes more sense out of the insistent killings than any dry narrative could… I’m looking forward to next year’s finale.” 



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Kirkus Reviews

“Allegorical and erudite, this imaginative first volume establishes a world, a monolithic villain, and a catapult for Tacit and Isabella, Sandrine and Frost to confront the evil lurking in the volumes to come.”