Beneath the Dark: Ian Backhouse

What a brilliant idea! Ancient demonic spirit leaking into our dimension through the careless occult shenanigans of a hapless young man. The entity wreaks havoc in this isolated island community and the resident cop has no other recourse than to call in the experts: a paranormal investigator and an academic. Between them they manage to work out not only what caused the manifestation but how to get rid of it.

The ball starts rolling with the truly horrifying ordeals undergone by some of the islanders, essential if we are to take on board how truly dangerous the entity is and what kind of force the main characters are up against. Buckle in for lots of POVs to start with. Then, once the cause has been established, the direction changes as the fight begins and Backhouse rebuilds the tension. Great stuff.

I did think the characters were generally more instrumental than relatable; perhaps needing a slight uptick in emotional register? I’d definitely wanted to feel a lot more sympathy for Lucas; there was an unrealised sense of tragedy about him. But … that’s just me. All in all, this was a solid debut from an author who has a lot to offer.

He has another book out later in the year. I shall be reading it!

Jon Pearce is the only police officer on two small islands off of the coast of England; a beautiful and popular tourist spot during the high season, but cold and desolate during the winter months. He finds himself in over his head after a series of unexplained incidents leave various islanders terrorised, and against his better judgement, he is forced to call in Ed Thorn, a renowned paranormal investigator.

Together, Ed and Jon discover that the victims of the paranormal incidents are suffering terrible consequences, specific to their own worst fears, and are being left in circumstances that are excruciating to bear. They must enlist the help of Dr Dina Melnyk, a lecturer in Occult Studies and an old friend of Ed’s: she thinks she might know what it is that plagues and threatens them – and it is worse than they ever could have imagined – but not necessarily how to destroy it.

Can they find who unleashed the evil entity and discover how to stop it before it reaches the mainland?

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