David Haviland (publicist) provided an e-copy of Dark Water by Simon Thould for review.
Dark Water, an eerie sounding title to be sure, actually refers to the town the story is set in. The activities taking place in this small community on the edge of the Forest (the Wikipedia function on my ereader explained this location well) are also quite dark. Rafter, our hero or anti-hero, you choose, is the hard drinking ex-military sniper whose code of ethics draws him into a missing person case.
We have; sex, drugs, rock'n roll. Human trafficking, drug-dealing, Albanians, Hell's Angels, Foreign Legionnaires, promiscuity, extreme partying and plenty of local secrets. Brutal and graphic violence. The sex would be called a tease; lots of promise but little to no follow through. I guess hearkening back to the idea that you can't have graphic sex and violence in the same story.
Good action sequences, but the story did lag a bit for me between those sequences. A lot of hurry up and wait; kind of like the real military. This added to the feel for me that the book was longer than it actually was. In the end, not a lot of really likable characters. Gabriel and Li Li (new friends of Rafter) were probably the only ones for me. The rest are so flawed, and unabashedly so that it becomes difficult to sympathize with them, or root for them. Our hero, unrivaled killing machine that he is (and really, isn't that what we all want in a good action story?), is the hardest drinking character I think I have ever encountered. The amount of vodka he consumed through out the story, which chronologically is only a few days, is staggering, and he should have been by the end of the story (pun intended).
My biggest and most lingering question? Does anyone (beyond the author) know what a "Wolf" vehicle is? I Googled it, and all I got were auto dealers, no reference to any actual vehicle. Made me a bit crazy.
I did like Dark Water by Simon Thould. It did make good on its' claim to be good action story. Enjoy!