Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review of DARKROOM by Poppet


DARKROOM by Poppet

An edgy, erotic thriller/horror with supernatural undertones suitable for adult readers

Coming soon from Wild Wolf Publishing http://www.wildwolfpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907954-02-3

You think beauty gives you rite of passage. Charm, a reason to take. Sex, a reason to lay waste, like a vampire.’ The angel Vengeance has spoken and we are terrified.

Shauna is stolen from her life and held in a darkroom, both figuratively and literally, trapped by a manic creature who believes he is an angel called Vengeance. Clad in leather armour, he captures her humiliation in digital and Polaroid snaps, the whirr of the shutter heightening Shauna’s terror. He must expunge her of sinful ways; train her to become the perfect vessel. This is a darkroom of fanaticism, a tribute to the fire and brimstone of the Old Testament, the kind that doesn’t allow light and reason. Shauna is subsequently trapped in dark room of fear very difficult to escape from...until she meets Victor, who swiftly takes on the guise of saviour.

Poppet delves into the psyche of a madman as well as his victim’s absolute fear with rare insight. The result is highly believable, this despite what is an extraordinary situation. Most of us haven’t experienced anything like to the events in this book and yet the reading takes us into a dark room with an immediacy that is almost visceral. Her descriptions are fresh and also create images like to a digital snap in time: Petrified like wood, frozen like a bug captured in amber...
DARKROOM is an apt title; intuitive and fitting references to photography are used to effect throughout and further the analogy. Because it is written in first person, the reader is immediately there, part of an intricate plot, and feels along with Shauna, Victor and Vengeance. Quotes from the Old Testament are simply hair-raising, employed as they are to underscore Vengeance’s behaviour. The narrative therefore has both a biblical feel and is gut-wrenchingly present.

On a lighter note: as a South African now living abroad, I find Shauna’s ‘interrogation’ by two South African policemen, who are clearly not comfortable with the English language, quite the farce...and highly amusing. ‘You is a loner with no alibi...do you have childhood issues with mans...?’ and more; I’m smiling as I write this, can’t help it...

I have to admit DARKROOM took me outside of my comfort zone...and I enjoyed the ride! This is a book very hard to put down; every chapter takes the reader further in. Be warned: you will feel the need to read it start to finish...perhaps you won’t even break for a cup of coffee...

DARKROOM grabs you by the gut and yanks you into a netherworld of emotion and reaction.
Let me leave you with this: ‘She is no longer the sinner, I am.’ Is this Vengeance?
Grab a copy!

Review by Elaina J Davidson
September 2010
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