Dark Art
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An amateurish horror-mystery with an interactive twist.

Hutchins, known for his 7th Son series of podcast novels, makes his print debut with this mediocre supernatural mystery. The book is a tie-in with an online “alternate-reality game” by game maker Smith & Tinker, and during the course of the story, readers can call real-life phone numbers in the text and get a character’s voicemail, or visit related websites. The story is framed as the notes of Zach Taylor, an art therapist in a spooky mental hospital and features illustrations throughout. Taylor delves into the mystery of a psychosomatically blind patient, an accused murderer who claims his victims were dispatched by a murderous otherworldly entity called “The Dark Man.” Taylor soon discovers that The Dark Man may not only be real but connected to his own family’s troubled past. The novel is hobbled by a convoluted plot and remarkably poor writing.

An interesting interactive marketing gimmick but a weak novel.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-38382-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2009