“Down into the Darkness” is David Carter’s tenth book and something of a departure from his usual English murder mysteries (“The Murder Diaries – Seven Times Over” and “The Sound of Sirens”). It’s also a lot shorter than most of his books, running to around 140 pages.
One early reviewer described it as “intelligent humorous horror” – quite some combination!
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Tony Jenks lives alone in a small first floor flat in an Edwardian House.
There are three other flats in the building.
Downstairs, lives Dick Riches with his aging parents. Upstairs lives Doc Maureen Hall, anxiously waiting her monthly visit from her married lover, Gerald, while across the hall, opposite to Tony, lives Derek Chamberlain, ever eager to stop and gossip about the latest man in his life.
Four ordinary flats, full of ordinary people in modern day Britain, until one night Tony Jenks goes to bed, alone as usual, when he hears noises the likes of which he has never heard before.
Tony’s journey down into the darkness has begun.
One early reviewer wrote:
“Down into the Darkness” is a horror story that’s more about instilling a creeping, atmospheric chill in its reader than it is about flashy scares.
The narrator’s voice in “Down into the Darkness” is strong and distinctive, with a conspiratorial tone; from the start, he freely admits to gossiping and as the reader you’re drawn in, wondering what secrets he will reveal about those he shares the house with. As the book goes on, you’re lulled a bit—it seems Tony leads a normal life and is a generally nice guy, if a bit of a loner. However, you sense something dark and malignant rising, and the suspense starts; the ending is a gory shock with a gruesome postscript to hammer it home. The humor and everyday realism mixed throughout the book—from Tony’s wry commentary to the Riches to Derek—makes the horror element all the more shocking.
I would recommend “Down into the Darkness” to readers who like intelligent horror; this story leaves a lingering sense of disturbance long after the last page is turned.
“Down into the Darkness” is out now.