Strange Ink: Gary Kemble
Reviewed By Fiona Dodwell
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (9 Oct. 2018)
Strange Ink is a twisted novel from the mind of author Gary Kemble, which follows the story of fed-up and newly single news journalist Harry Hendrick. Hendrick wakes with a tattoo across his neck he doesn’t remember getting; putting it down to a mistake on a drunken night, he tries to move on. However, more ink appears – strange symbols and images across his skin trouble him, especially as they seem linked to nightmares he has started to have. Soon, Hendricks begins to explore and investigate the truth behind the mysterious tattoos – and soon realises he isn’t the only one experiencing the weird phenomena. Kemble’s book follows Hendricks on his journey to discovery after the strange events he has experienced.
The book is dark and gritty, with lots of atmosphere, coarse language and some scenes of violence. However, the story is a deep one, too, really getting into the heart of the main character and making him feel every bit as real as you and I. Gary Kemble seems to be a solid, strong writer, making the unthinkable seem very plausible and that’s what I like in my dark fiction stories – something that makes me wonder if this could really happen.
At couple of times I felt the novel moved quite slowly; there were periods of time when I felt the story had become quite stagnant to me and during those times I didn’t feel as engaged with what was happening as I’d have liked. All in all though, I was invested enough with the story to stick with it and see how the drama played out.
I think Gary Kemble delivers a unique and fascinating story here; it’s certainly well-written and has good tension. I’d describe it more as a mystery or perhaps supernatural thriller than outright horror, though…it wasn’t quite the horror I was expecting.
When washed-up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes one morning with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.
But soon more tattoos appear: grisly, violent images which come accompanied by horrific nightmares – so he begins to dig deeper.
Harry’s search leads him to a sinister disappearance, torment from beyond the grave, and a web of corruption and violence tangled with his own past.
One way or another, he has to right the wrongs.
Fiona Dodwell is a published horror author and freelance writer for several websites and magazines. She has had articles published with Haunted Magazine, Made in Shoreditch Magazine and many more. She has studied Theology, Film Studies and psychology.
Fiona runs a blog which features author/actor interviews, as well as reviews over on Fiona-Dodwell
Follow Fiona on Twitter @Angel_Devil982
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