Beyond the hidden mist – A review of the novel ‘Shadows of the Night’

“To face a real demon, you must first look inwards and conquer your own darkness.” – Luis Marques

Author Richard Dawes’s latest novel ‘Shadows of the Night’ is an adult thriller centered around occult themes. Its lead character, Dirk Hammond, is a wise-cracking, bone breaking private investigator who follows his own code. A series of gruesome murders are sweeping San Francisco, and the police are unable to find the culprit. A mysterious and powerful businessman employs Hammond to find the murderer because he believes he is on the list to be killed. Once he is on the case, Hammond realizes that he is dealing with occult forces that transcend normal understanding. He is forced to channel his own inner power to combat the evil and emerge victorious at the end.

Shadows of the Night is a fun and exciting ride that doesn’t take itself too lightly or too seriously. You get just the right amount of entertainment in these pages. The narrative is clear-cut and fast-paced, and its hypnotic quality will transport the reader into the thick of the action. I’m certain the author had fun coming up with such wonderful imagery, which brings the action sequences to life and lends a dark, threatening atmosphere to the scenes of horror. The reader will find the author’s take on mythology and history, and his analysis of genuine masculinity and femininity interesting. The commentary is political when it chooses to be, and Richard Dawes is able to present some highly articulate and analytical points from both sides of the equation.

This book truly belongs to its protagonist Dirk Hammond. He is a self-deprecating tough guy with a talent for attracting trouble. He also possesses a rare intellect, and can stand his own and out-rationalize even the smartest person in the room. The first person narrative style and the heart-pounding pace of the story allows the reader to get inside Hammond’s head and stay with him through the non-stop action.

Plot twists take place on almost every page in Shadows of the Night, and there’s the murder mystery to be solved. You will be wondering who the killer is right up until the end. The story is a quick and easy read and it’s reminiscent of the pulp detective novels of the forties and fifties. Dirk Hammond’s personality and his adventures are in the classic noir, hardboiled private eye style, set against an occult background.

Product Details

Paperback: 196 pages

Publisher: Melange Books, LLC; First Edition edition (April 30, 2015)

ASIN: B00W8W60M0

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