I love discovering new authors. It's almost like when you're a kid at Christmas time and you unwrap a present you didn't necessarily know you wanted but are thrilled you received it. I discovered David C. Smith through friend and owner of Rickert and Beagle Books (in Dormont, PA), Chris Rickert. She invited me to a reading of one of his newer books, Dark Muse. Unfortunately, thanks to a dying car at the time, I wasn't able to make it, but I was interested enough in checking the book out. So I later purchased it from her store and began reading it almost immediately only to be left in shock when all was finished. And I will explain why I do mean that as a good thing.
Dark Muse begins with your typical "everyman", Jack Mathis. He has a decent job as a book editor, a beautiful fiancee (who is also pregnant with their child), and is on his way to carving his niche in life. When he begins to receive genius, yet horrifying, manuscripts at his office, he believes he has hit the jackpot that will make his publishing company a giant moneymaker and many of his co-workers agree. Jack goes out of his way to try and meet with the elusive writer of the stories and little does he know that he will end up with much more than he bargained for. He will also find out that the writer knows much more about Jack and his family than the writer should...
Dark Muse is a page turner. Plain and simple. I would categorize it as being a psychological thriller with some pretty horrifying scenes. Smith's writing is brilliant in the way he handles writing his characters to a point where they do seem like real people and there were times when I did put the book down to make sure all the doors to my place were locked. I very much recommend checking Dark Muse out. It isn't a gorefest by any means, but the storytelling is gripping and the ending did leave me sitting on my couch and staring ahead at the wall for a good few minutes before I was able to bring myself to move again.
I would like to thank Chris of Rickert and Beagle Books for my introduction to David C. Smith. I will be reading more from him in the future.
Dark Muse on Goodreads
Dark Muse on Amazon
Dark Muse at Damnation Books
Rickert & Beagle Books