Dark Heart by Darren J Guest. Book review

DARK HEART by Darren J Guest. Snow Books £7.99

Reviewed by Cavan Scott

Leo Stamp should be happy. His business is booming, he lives in a dream home and a shiny Aston Martin rests in his garage. But Leo cannot rest. He is haunted by his brother’s murder, when they were children, hates his dead father and covets his best friend’s girlfriend, Sadie. Every night he confides in a James Bond poster that hangs on his wall. Disturbingly, the poster always replies. And just when it can’t get worse for Leo, he dies and finds himself living his best friend’s life while a homicidal demon takes up residence in his old body.

Darren J Guest’s debut novel is an ambitious, if at times bewildering, character piece. The cast is limited to Leo’s close circle of friends, but their depth is impressive. None of them are particularly likable, but feel more real for it. You find yourself rooting for people that you wouldn’t want to spend time with, which is an achievement in itself.

Clichés are turned on their heads and twists move so fast that if you’re not paying attention you’ll wonder what the hell just happened. Gripping, witty, intelligence and tense, while Dark Heart’s plot does at times border on convoluted, it’s never long before Guest gets things back on track. One to watch.

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