The Damned by Tarn Richardson


MY REVIEW:A definite 5*

Initially set in the First World War, in the city of Arras, France.  The barrage of artillery fire is the least of the British or the German forces problems.  There is something more dark and deadly under their feet.  The locals warn them, but the soldiers are deaf to their advice.

Then the reader is introduced to the main character of Poldek Tacit, a priest of the most unusual kind.  Trained by the Catholic Church to hunt down heretics and those wishing to undermine the Church.  He is moody, blunt, aggressive, uncompromising and often found drinking.

During the book Poldek’s life is laid out.  The more you learn about him, the more you realise that there is more to him than the fighting priest, whose reputation precedes the man himself.  There are hidden layers to him and gradually you find a heart and soul that is true and faithful.

There are more battles than those of men.  There are subplots and stories throughout this book that have kept me riveted.  From start to finish, the research that has obviously been done, shows.  The characters that are included have a reason to be there.  They have their own history and purpose in the book, the author has not just thrown them in for the thrill of it.  The book flits back and forth through the years, to achieve a brilliantly pieced together world and story to create a fantastic alternative reality.

This book expertly intertwines the genres of fantasy, horror, thriller,crime and history.  It also draws on fact, folklore, conspiracy and myth. The reader is taken on a journey of epic proportions.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a story they can get their teeth into, who want adventure, action, well written and researched books. The tag line of “Dark Fiction” is a deserved one for this story.

I would like to thank Tarn Richardson for sending me this book for my unbiased and honest review.


1914. The outbreak of war. In the French city of Arras, a Father is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition – still powerful, but now working in the shadows – sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost.

Yet as Tacit arrives, armed forces led by Britain and Germany confront each other across No Man’s Land. As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful and spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British soldier Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields that answers to no human force and wreaks their havoc by the light of the moon. Faced with impossible odds and his own demons, Tacit must battle the forces of evil, and a church determined at all costs to achieve its aims, to reach the heart of a dark conspiracy that seeks to engulf the world, plunging it ever deeper into conflict.

Morally complex and fast paced, this is a gripping work of dark fiction set in an alternative twentieth century, where humanity’s desire for love, compassion and peace face daunting challenges in a world overwhelmed by total war and mysterious dark forces.


Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 28th 2015 by Gerald Duckworth & Co (first published May 21st 2015)
ISBN13 9780715649541
Edition Language English