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Tuesday, 4 July 2017
‘Darkest Thoughts’ by Gordon Brown
Published by Strident Publishing Ltd,
27 April 2017.
This book is definitely for those who are looking for something different.
Craig McIntyre is ex-US army and ex funny-farm, loony bin, or whatever other name is given to institutions that act as repositories for irreparably damaged individuals who emerge from war zones having witnessed and experienced atrocities that no sane person is programmed to deal with. He is also ex nearly everything else, although two people, his wife Lorraine and good friend Charlie, have stood by him.
Although most of the action takes place in The United States, we first meet Craig in Iraq where he has finally landed a lowly job as a security guard. Unfortunately, the man he is guarding is killed in a bizarre incident in the desert. Although Craig plays no direct part in this event, he knows he will get the blame because he is the only person left alive at the end of it. Even more bizarre is the almost immediate arrival of a black SUV containing gun-slinging men dressed in suits. They bundle Craig into the SUV and make off with him before the local police arrive. Black SUV’s and men in suits populate the entire story. They get everywhere and seem to multiply with consummate ease. FBI, CIA, some other shadowy government agency? We never find out.
After the incident in the desert Craig is escorted back to The States via London. On the plane, there is another weird incident in which an air stewardess attacks her boss for no apparent reason when Craig is occupying a seat nearby. Back in The States it becomes apparent that the men in charge of the “Suits” and SUV’s believe that Craig has extraordinary mental powers that can cause mayhem and set people against each other. The rest of the book deals with their inhumane efforts to understand and harness these mysterious powers for their own devious purposes. Craig, helped by Charlie, performs a never-ending series of daring escapes from custody. The body count is high.
Whilst to begin with Craig has no control over the incidents and killings he provokes, by the end of the book we see him beginning to appreciate his powers and trying to control them for himself. In particular he wants to kill the two individuals he believes have been responsible for his terrible trials.
There are two more books, Furthest Reaches and Deepest Wounds, due to be published in this series, one in September and one early next year. Those, including myself, who wish to see if this damaged individual can ever escape from those who want to use his unique powers for their own highly suspect purposes will need to read them as soon as they appear.
Reviewer Angela Crowther
Gordon Brown lives in Scotland but splits his time between the UK, the U.S.A. and Spain. Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non-alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high-tech company on the London Stock Exchange. He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final. Gordon has been writing since his teens and has four books published – his latest, Darkest Thoughts, being the first in the Craig McIntyre series with book 2 out in September 2017 and book 3 in February 2018. Gordon also helped found Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival. He’s married with two children.
Angela Crowther is a retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.