Review by Booklist Review
Harry Hendrick is a journalist whose career flatlined years ago. He's working for a local paper, writing drivel no one will care about or remember. One morning he wakes up hungover (no surprise there) and discovers a tattoo on the back of his neck (big surprise there). How did he get it? Soon more tattoos appear on his body, and his terrible dreams seem to be telling a story about the murder of a man whom Harry has never met. Is the dead man asking Harry to find the killer? Harry is a fine creation; we alternate between feeling sorry for the guy and wanting to scream at him to cut out the drinking, cut out the self-pity, and get to work. Kemble handles the supernatural elements of the story with the expertise of a genre veteran, carefully walking the line between fantasy and reality. This is Kemble's first novel. A sequel, Dark Ink, is scheduled to appear in October 2019, but that will seem like too long a time for eager readers to wait.--David Pitt Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In Kemble's taut, suspenseful debut set in Brisbane, Australia, local and international concerns combine with the supernatural. Small-time journalist Harry Hendrick wakes up after a stag party with a hangover and a new tattoo he has no memory of getting. When he starts having intense nightmares, he quickly realizes his new tattoo is far from ordinary. More inexplicable tattoos begin appearing, bringing more nightmares, which Harry suspects may actually be someone else's disturbing memories. Those memories have strong political implications, and Harry must solve the mystery they present before a depraved villain becomes prime minister. The novel's gritty realism viscerally and effectively conveys the discomfort of new ink, the oppressive heat of the Queensland summer, and the horrors of war and murder. Harry is an underachiever with sexist tendencies, but his relatability, hometown loyalty, and doggedness make him easy to root for. This is a strong debut by a promising new voice. Agent: Angela Meyer, Alex Adsett Publishing Services (Australia). (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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