I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Shadows of Hell by Duncan Thompson
Published by panther publishing on April 1 2021
Genres: Horror, Supernatural
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
When a man of heavenly worth sins in Hell, darkness shall reign upon the earth
A message from the other side - an omen of the impending apocalypse. A message intended for one man, the only man who can prevent Armageddon, saving the soul of every man, woman and child on Earth. That man is Joe Costello.
But, not only is Joe trapped in the underworld, he is also the same man who has the power to unleash the shadows of hell upon the world.
Inspired by Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Joe must battle his way through the nine circles of Hell - his escape being the key to salvation. Not only will he face all manner of Hell's demons, he'll also face his own.
However, Joe is not alone on his journey, as he is guided through each level of Hell by medium and psychic, Layla Thorne. Shadows of Hell is the epic follow-up to Shadows of the Woods.
'Shadows of Hell thunders along at a breakneck pace, not giving the reader chance to draw breath.' - Lee Mountford, author of The Demonic
Sometimes, just sometimes, you know instantly when a series is going to become a favourite. The Shadows series by Duncan Thompson is just that. Shadows in Hell is the sequel to the brilliant Shadows in the Woods novel.
Features Dante’s Divine Comedy – Check
A battle of good vs evil – Check
Hard hitting themes such as grief and forgiveness – Check
Thompson once again utilizes the short sharp shock in delivering at times a hilarious but dark installment. One event changed several people’s worlds, but one person’s actions saved the world. It paints a vivid picture of how the strands of connection between characters is unbreakable, even when in the underworld.
Shadows in Hell continues straight on from the events on top of Ravensfield police station nearly two years ago. Joe Costello made the ultimate sacrifice but is now residing in Hell. Linda, his fiancé is living a broken existence and tries to fill the ache with multiple sexual partners, but nothing can take her pain away. A forced evening out with her friend to the local pub leads to an encounter with a medium called Layla Thorne. She has a message for Linda…a message for Joe. A warning.
There are many hurdles in getting this message to Joe. He needs to be warned, he’ll be pushed to his limits, but he is alive, and it is possible he could escape Hell but only with a guide, Layla Thorne. Inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy which is a massive love and fascination for me just gave the story that sharp, artistic edge. Thompson coaxed me down an unsuspecting path before setting his trap – countless times did I just wander into it.
Shadows in Hell tackles some particularly difficult topics. Linda, assuming her fiancé had died in his decent to Hell is stuck in purgatory herself. She doesn’t want to believe Joe is dead but after having a funeral for him it is inevitable that he isn’t coming back. She fills her loneliness with sex and melancholy and isn’t eating. This snapshot of grief and pain was dealt with tact and care and in amongst the Hellish events of the Shadowmen we still see a glimpse of the effects upon the human condition. Buckle up – once again Thompson punches us where it hurts.
As mentioned before there are a few moments of hilarity and the events that take place in the centre of Hell did emit a chuckle or two from me. Whatever you think you know about the devil, leave it at Hell’s gates because you are surely wrong. This novel was short, but the pacing was like a bullet – swift, complete and without mercy.
Shadows in Hell is a brilliant dark story with a cast of memorable characters. It’s becoming clear that Thompson is a master of menace.
ABOUT DUNCAN THOMPSON
Duncan has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire — the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Ravenfield. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven. In those early days, his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction.
Duncan still lives in West Yorkshire with his partner and their two young children. He also has slight obsession with Spider-Man and the actor Bruce Campbell, as well as having an addiction to vinyl records, coffee and Lego.