Dark Running by M Cid D’Angelo
Review by Gillian Hamer
Anyone who includes in their pitch –
in a world where black magic is real …
paranormal investigator … demons, sorcerers
and ghosts - had me from hello. This is the
kind of book I’d love to write, but don’t have
the balls to pull off.
Professor Artemus Dark is one hell of a lead. Super-star ghost-hunter: director of applied metaphysics: paranormal investigator. He drives a Maserati, wouldn’t be seen dead without his designer labels, and talks like someone from the cast of Glee while having the mental prowess of Stephen Hawking. Wow. One cool dude.
The book opens with the murder of Artemus’s brother, Philip, a less gregarious member of the family – or at least those were our first impressions. However, it soon becomes clear Philip had many secrets of his own; a major player in a secret sorcery society called the Rising Moon and a penchant for some rather bizarre sexual practices among his claims to fame.
Philip leaves a code word for Artemus before he dies – Trismegistus - and although the brothers are not close, Artemus goes on a mission to trap his brother’s murderer.
We’re taken on a high-action, fast-paced ride through demons and hexes, sorcerers and psychics, from New York to New Orleans to Malta – and back again.
The book is a roller coaster ride of energy. Artemus realises early on in his adventure he has been hexed, and not only
has he unknown enemies watching his every move, but also a dangerous nether-demon who can appear at any moment and wipe him from the planet.
When you have a moment to catch your breath, it’s nice to take a step back and admire the amount of work the author has taken to craft this novel. The plotting, research, and attention to detail are phenomenal and show a work ethic and love of craft that deserves success. Personal highlights for me were the historical links to heretics, the interesting archaeological dig and the fascinating insight into the Dark family history.
We’re also treated to some wonderful characterisation. Not only the originality of Artemus, but some finely-crafted lesser roles too. Constanza Van Dyke and Esphme among my favourites. There’s an interesting balance between good guys and bad – and right up to the final pages it’s never clear which way the balance will shift. An absolutely gripping read right to the finale – although I was proud that from a crime writer’s perspective I did guess two of the reveals along the way.
And personally, I look forward to meeting Artemus Dark again one day.
Dark Running, the first of two noir novels concerning a wisecracking paranormal investigator, has been re-released on Amazon Kindle.Having been described as a "Harry Potter for adults" by editors at Simon & Schuster and Ace/Penguin, the novel explores a world where black magic is as common and lauded as professional services such as law and medicine.Dark Running and its companion volume, Darkness Becomes You, can be found on Amazon for immediate download.