A Book Review: ‘Sunburn’ by Darren Dash

I recently had the honour of receiving an advanced copy of Darren Dash’s latest blood-soaked novel to review. It’s been a thrill to be one of the first people to cast an intrigued eye on this book, here are my thoughts…

‘Sunburn’ is the second novel by Darren Dash, the adult alter-ego of the bestselling ‘Master of Young Adult Horror,’ Darren Shan. Darren’s tales of vampires and demons have been read the world over, and his fans hunger for his dark musings, but it is only as Dash where the reader is exposed to the true depth of his gory imagination.

The tale is a slow-burning horror narrative that chronicles the summer holiday of the docile Dominic, his domineering girlfriend Martini and best mate Curran as they travel to Bulgaria; a destination chosen by Martini as a refreshing alternative to the three friends’ previous alcohol-fuelled holidays. The trio explore the unfamiliar country, slipping in some sight-seeing between the frequent excursions to nearby pubs where they chat with locals about politics and cultural contrasts whilst getting pleasantly drunk. As the pages turn, Dash paints a vividly detailed picture of the three main characters, casting a three-dimensional glow upon the laidback lady’s man Curran and his weakness for the bottle, Dominic’s peaceful subservience and Martini’s paranoid temper. As the suspense builds and alcohol begins to impair decisions, a terrifying beast of myth waits in the woods and they realise a case of sunburn is the least of their worries…

The book is a well-written and disturbing piece of fiction that explores relationships and delves into the deepest corners of the human mind. The plot reads like an international horror movie, enticing the reader with a series of detailed and comedic chapters before exploding into a vision of blood-chilling gore. Dash’s gift for imagery is a true thrill and is used to full affect in ‘Sunburn;’ as he creates twisted sequences of violence with startling descriptions and metaphors. The author has yet again, created a novel unlike anything he’s previously written under any of his pennames, and has made it impossible for the reader to predict his next move.

To read more about Sunburn and Darren Dash’s other work click this link http://www.darrendashbooks.com/

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