Part thriller, part graphic romance, Dark Dig pairs adventure with a supernatural twist and the possibility of soulmates as Carol and Marcus, working with the FBI and Interpol, must race to rescue their team while unraveling the secrets of the mysterious Temple of Eros. Dark Dig is in the thrall of Eros—the God, the cult, the temple, and the concept—with regular graphic sex scenes and much musing on female sexuality.
The story’s appeal is diminished by indifferent editing and the depiction of Carol, an object of fantasy celebrated for “ample” breasts and “ivory” skin, and whose May-December romance frequently throws her into the older man’s “powerful” arms. Spohn takes pains to acknowledge the harassment and double standards women face in contemporary life and throughout history, and the plot eventually centers on the organized repression of women, but scenes like the one where Carol sunbathes in a state of erotic rapture, thinking about her professor, strain credulity.
Takeaway: Greek mythology meets modern murder in this steamy mystery set on archaological dig.
Great for fans of: G.G. Vandagriff’s Murder at Tregowyn Manor, Elizabeth Hand’s Waking the Moon.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: B