Darkest Thoughts
PublisherStrident Publishing
Date Published27 April 2017
Price£ 8.99

Darkest Thoughts

by Gordon Brown

Craig McIntyre has an ability that he does not want and that he cannot control. He has the power to drive people into dark and violent attacks on each other. Unfortunately for Craig his power has been noticed by sinister and powerful men.


Craig McIntyre has a new job working for a security company in Iraq. Unfortunately, the man under his care is killed in a violent action together with the prostitute with whom he is consorting. Craig is blamed for the death and loses his job but, unbeknownst to him, his involvement in the death is much more significant and has drawn the attention of powerful men.

It seems that Craig has the potential to cause people near to him to respond to each other with extreme aggression, even killing each other. The trigger is unknown but the outcome appears clear.

Craig is taken to an anonymous centre where his ability is investigated, but he escapes. He is pursued by an army of ‘suits’. His abilities lead to the death of many people until finally he decides to use it to put an end to his exploitation.

This book is very well conceived. Craig’s ability is frighteningly realistic and is well treated in the novel, where no attempt is made to explain it, only to deal with its consequences and implications. Craig, as the main protagonist, is easy to relate to but is dealt with pragmatically. He has his flaws and his errors of judgement but he is clearly on the side of right despite being the focus of such negative action and outcomes. The threat of the powers that be, their omnipresence and the fact that, no matter how cleverly you hide and dissemble, they find you, gives an ominous atmosphere to the whole plot. No one is safe. Death can hit any character at any time.

The pursuit and its implications are very well handled. The bus trip is a particular high spot with an extremely unexpected outcome, skillfully matching comedy and horror, unless that is just my way of seeing things! This atmospheric and interesting book gripped me from the start.

Reviewed 06 January 2018 by John Barnbrook