The last of DarkFuse’s scheduled releases for May that I had left to read was a new novella, “Reaping the Dark,” by Gary McMahon. I really did not know what to expect when I started the novella except that I went into it with the high expectations that I bring to every DarkFuse release.
Clarke is not a criminal mastermind. He is, after all, just a driver and nobody notices the driver as long as he is there to drive the car when needed. Clarke was counting on this when he decided to make his play and steal money from the thieves that he drove for. Clarke had to change his entire outlook on life now that he had a child on the way and the money was a way out for him and his family. It would be a simple thing, really. After all, nobody notices the driver.
Unfortunately for Clarke, the money that he plans on starting his new life with was stolen from an ancient order that worships the power of darkness. Even more unfortunately, it is not true that nobody notices the driver. Something is watching Clarke. Something has been watching him for a long time. Instead of starting a new life of prosperity, Clarke must now hope that he will be able to survive the evil plans of the darkness that has noticed him.
When reading “Reaping the Dark,” I almost felt like McMahon could have turned this story into a lengthy novel if he had chosen to do so but instead made the decision to pare the story down to its bare bones to ramp up the intensity. While I think that it could have been an effective novel, I would have to say that McMahon made correct choice in keeping it to a novella and tapping into the power of the shorter form. “Reaping the Dark” hits the reader like a quick punch to the gut. McMahon pulls no punches here but simply lays out the story in a fairly simple and completely straightforward manner that does not allow the reader any time to take a breath. He knows exactly what he wants to do and just gets right to it and almost dares the reader to try to keep up.
“Reaping the Dark” has all of the subtlety of a slap in the face and I loved it. The book starts out almost as a piece of crime noir and then McMahon throws in the supernatural twist and all bets are off. It is obvious that Clarke has lived his life on a code of honor that he has recently had to change in the face of his upcoming fatherhood. Now, before he has a chance to come to grips with this change, he is faced with the ultimate choice (challenge?) of his new life. “Reaping the Dark” is a short novella that packs the punch of a much longer work and is another fine addition to the DarkFuse catalogue.
I would like to thank DarkFuse and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Reaping the Dark” is scheduled to be released by DarkFuse in May and is available for preorder now.