Dark Hope

H. D.
Smith
Genre: 
Paranormal-Urban-Fantasy

URBAN FANTASY:  Claire is the Devil’s Assistant; unlucky inheritor of her mother’s contract for her soul.  She can’t hope for normalcy, but she treasures her boyfriend Jack when she’s not pushing paper for her ungrateful, cruel boss.  Her life takes a turn for the worse when she’s asked to go Downtown, a place run by Druids who have it in for her, only to return to the office and find that the Boss’s son Junior has been murdered.  It’s up to her to solve his murder if she wants a chance to see her beloved boyfriend again, instead of being ‘retired’ and sent straight to Hell by the boss.  She’s also on the cusp of discovering her identity is not quite what she was led to believe.

“Dark Hope” is an imaginative urban fantasy with a noir-esque tone.  Claire is a reluctant amateur sleuth on the case of solving a murder.  She’s constantly in danger, much like a sacrificial lamb, throughout.  Some readers may be disturbed at the level of abuse that Claire suffers at the hands of other characters. While the story is interesting, the plot lacks clarity. It’s difficult to keep up with the abrupt scene changes and the continual introduction of characters; who is doing what in the various scenes.  While some mystery about Claire’s origins is not undesirable, even expected, if this is a series, the ongoing storyline is too vague in many ways.  Overall, with some tightening, “Dark Hope” should appeal to fans of dark urban fantasy who enjoy a strong female-lead.

Danielle Hill