Book Reviews

{Review} DEVOURING DARK by Alan Baxter

Devouring Dark by Alan Baxter
Published by Grey Matter Press on 11.6.18
Genres: Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Psychological Horror, Thrillers
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, Paperback
Buy on Amazon

DEVOURING DARK is an urban horror novel about a man plagued since childhood by a malevolent darkness that threatens to consume him. After a lifetime spent wrestling for control over this onslaught, Matt McLeod has learned to wield his mysterious paranormal skill to achieve an odious goal: retribution as a supernatural vigilante.

When one such hit goes bad, McLeod finds himself ensnared in a multi-tentacled criminal enterprise caught between a corrupt cop and a brutal mobster. His only promise of salvation may be a bewitching woman who shares his dark talent but has murderous designs of her own.

The gritty thriller DEVOURING DARK is based on Baxter’s award-winning short story “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” and will be available worldwide on November 6, 2018.

DEVOURING DARK kept me glued to the pages and not wanting to do anything else until I finished the book! 

Meet Matt and Amy. They both have special powers inside them and each of them use those powers in a different way. Meet Vince Stratton. Local mob boss/Fagin. He rounds up local disenfranchised youth to run his errands, keep an eye on the neighborhood, and to make pick ups and drop offs of …whatever. How do these characters all come together? You’ll have to read this and see!

Being my first story from this author, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. To be honest, I was a bit surprised by the quality of writing. From the descriptions of unbelievable pain to the honesty and humor of the dialogue, I was engaged. I really felt for both Matt and Amy, and I really hated Vince Stratton. I did feel that a few of the surrounding characters, (Matt’s mates, mostly), weren’t quite as well developed, but I was okay with that, as it meant I got to spend more time with Matt and Amy. 

I would be interested in reading more about these two, and how they develop and grow in their new situation, be they together or apart. There was a calm and sympathetic take as to how we care for the aging in the world today, and I appreciated that outlook, mostly from Amy’s point of view. It made me like her that much more. 

Overall, DEVOURING DARK was an engaging and fast-paced read. It was well written, had some funny portions to help break up the darkness and an ending I could get behind. Also, the premise was original and that’s hard to find these days. 

Highly recommended!

*I received a free paperback of this book to review for Horror After Dark. This did not affect the content of my review.*

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About Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter is a multi-award-winning British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dogs. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dogs and a cranky old cat. He is the author of the dark supernatural thriller trilogy, Bound, Obsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series), and the dark supernatural duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2). His latest books are the horror noir novel, Hidden City and the cosmic horror novella, The Book Club. As well as novels, Alan has had more than 70 short fiction publications in journals and anthologies in Australia, the US, the UK and France. His short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Postscripts, and Midnight Echo, among many others, and more than twenty anthologies, including the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror on several occasions. His award-winning first collected volume of short fiction, Crow Shine, is out now. At times, Alan collaborates with US action/adventure bestselling author, David Wood. Together they have co-authored the horror novella, Dark Rite, action thrillers in The Jake Crowley Adventures, Blood Codex and Anubis Key, and the giant monster thriller novel, Primordial. Alan has been a five-time finalist in the Aurealis Awards, a five-time finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards and a six-time finalist in the Ditmar Awards. He won the 2015 Australian Shadows Award for Best Short Story (“Shadows of the Lonely Dead”), the 2016 Australian Shadows Paul Haines Award For Long Fiction (“In Vaulted Halls Entombed”), and the 2017 Australian Shadows Award for Best Collection (Crow Shine), and is a past winner of the AHWA Short Story Competition (“It’s Always the Children Who Suffer”). Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

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