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The War in the Dark

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A genre-defying page turner that fuses thriller and speculative fiction with dark fantasy in a hidden world in the heart of Cold War Europe.

Europe. 1963. And the true ColdWaris fought on the borders of this world, at the edges of the light.

When the assassination of a traitor trading with the enemy goes terribly wrong, British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter must
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Titan Books
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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The term "genre-defying" gets tossed around a lot, but I have never read a book that it fits better than The War in the Dark by Nick Setchfield. This is a book with elements of supernatural horror, urban fantasy, and historical adventure that reads like an old-fashioned spy thriller, but with the contemporary sensibilities of a conspiracy thriller. It's tense, unsettling, and altogether fascinating.

This was a solid read that I devoured over the course of a few nights, so I really want to focus
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

If you love India jones and James Bond you’ll be delighted by this. If you loved rivers of London or if you found it a little underwhelming... you will LOVE this book.

You’re thrown right into the story by the first page, Chris Winters is assassinating a priest who is selling secrets to other governments. But something unsettlingly happened and Chris is propelled into a world of demons, monsters and lies.

This book just doesn’t slow down, you’re really in with all these twists and turns. I can’t
Barry Mulvany
Think James Bond meets The Da Vinci Code meets Urban Fantasy and then you have this book. It actually sounds pretty cool but I did not find the execution matched the ideas. I had no sympathy for the character, perhaps that was intentional as he's a British secret services assassin with a complicated background as we learn, but honestly characterisation was as mild at best. We meet Christopher Winter as he's about to kill somebody, the person being assassinated turns out not what he expected and ...more
Jason Fass
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The War in the Dark was a fun read. It was good to see a book that combined some of my favorite genres together, I enjoy spy novels and modern fantasy books. This books really scratched the itch that I have for a new Dresden Files book along with adding in the additional fun of it taking place during the Cold War. I would say give it a shot if you are interested in a modern fantasy setting as well as Cold War spy fiction.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable debut where the spies of the 1960’s discover that magic and demons are real and plotting too!

full review - The War in the Dark by @NickSetchfield @TitanBooks (thanks to @lydiagittins )
I wanted to love this book. Spy thriller crossed with dark fantasy? Sign me up! But it was plot-by-numbers, with boring characters and reworking of scenes from Bond films without adding anything interesting to them. The motivation of the main character didn’t add up, and the female character was the kind of non-character that made it clear it wasn’t a book written with me as a target reader.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Christopher Winter is a British intelligence agent sent on a killing mission that takes a supernatural turn. The story takes place during the Sixties, and it seems that the Cold War factions also dabble in the occult. The people surrounding agent Winter have a series of unfortunate events, and he is also seems changed since the fateful encounter. He finds an unexpected female ally with whom he will try to unravel the mystery of operation Magus. However, as one character in the book mentions it's ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
Just left me feeling cold.
Peter Phillips
Interesting concept, poor execution. Boring and cliché plot. None of the characters seemed bothered by the supernatural and even the action scenes were dull.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting mash up of different genres. Spy thriller, urban fantasy, historical aspect, gothic horror feel as well as a Robert Langdon does spy thriller ( yes theres alot here). The writing flows very well. I enjoyed the world building but the plot just seemed a little too flimsy for my liking. It had some great action scenes which kept you on edge . I also felt like the characters were a little cliched, especially Winters.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was trying to do too much at once and it was poorly executed.

It was interesting in the last 10% of the book.

I am reading the next one for review purposes and I hope it’s done in a more interesting way.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Billed as "James Bond, Indiana Jones and X-files" it read like none of these. The main character is tedious, a lot of unexplainable things happen without an attempt to let the audience in on the plot, and I got halfway through the book before I stopped. This book does not fulfill the promise of any of the blurbs on the cover. Thoroughly disappointing.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
So the plot for this book was good and overall it wasn't a bad read. I didn't really feel a strong emotional attachment to the main the characters however which leads me to think there's work for improvement there so that as a reader I care more what happens to them. The Widow of fill in the blank/demon was better written even though she was a lesser character but you get a better sense of her than the other characters. Overall a decent reading experience.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: titan
I cannot get over how stunning that cover is.

Anyway! This is a really cool mash-up of old school James Bond and what I feel is best described as Lovecraftian horror, with demons and cultists and sorcerers galore. It is 1963, and British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter is set to complete the assassination of a traitor, a priest named Father Costigan. Winter feels a bit badly about going after a man of the cloth, then doesn't know how to feel when the priest turns into a flesh bag of
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a rare treat in this day and age for a piece of fiction to so engross, so thrill you from cover to cover, that you feel as if the writer delved into your mind and plucked a novel straight out of your interests, but that is exactly what happened to me with The War in the Dark, the debut novel from writer Nick Setchfield.

To suggest this novel was lurking around my brain space waiting to be removed by a skilled scribe is giving me way too much credit and Setchfield not enough, but The War in
Breakaway Reviewers
Fantasy and the cold war, a deadly combination.

Christopher Winter is an assassin during the cold war. In 1963, after an assassination goes wrong, he flees London. He meets a mysterious woman and they head into a world of magic he never thought existed, because the cold war is more than everybody thought. It is a fight between angels and demons, as well as earthly beings.

The adventure will have Christopher doubting everyone and everything including himself and his world.

The concept of this book
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was really hard to get through. I really like fantasy, mystery, the Cold War etc... in theory everything that this book has, and I really did not like this book.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Review originally posted at Erlebnisse:

This was a very interesting read in that I still can't figure out exactly how I feel about it.

Titan asked if I wanted to be part of the blog tour for this book. Considering how much fun I had doing the last one, I was totally game for it. This book seemed a little out of my usual reads, yet it also piqued my interest. It blends the magic found in fantasy with the mystery that is the core component of thrillers--and thanks to my love
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE WAR IN THE DARK by Nick Setchfield certainly lives up to the hype as it blends dark fantasy, mystery, history, and the best parts of a contemporary thriller, all together into one clever package that will keep your eyes hooked on the page from beginning to end.

It is 1963 and British Intelligence Agent Christopher Winter has just witnessed something unbelievable during his latest job, assassinating a traitor. Fleeing London, Winter is determined to uncover the truth behind the horror he has
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This exciting book has something for everyone, although I must admit it does feel like it was written for me!
Any movie buff, TV addict, comic book fan and bookworm will find something to love in Nick Setchfield's The War in the Dark.

A fast paced, action packed, and breathless page turner; to read it is like watching a Flash Gordon serial, with a neat cliffhanger ending or exciting reveal to every chapter that leaves you wanting more!

But don’t let its ‘quick read’ nature fool you, behind the
Kelly Roll
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 ish The War in the Dark is a lovely mashup between cold war spy thriller and dark fantasy/horror.
Christopher Winter is an assassin for her Majesty’s government. In the opening chapter he is sent to kill a priest giving away secrets to Russia. During the assassination the priest’s skin erupts and hordes of insects flow out and his head then bursts into flame. Nor can Winters find his wing man but thinks he sees a man who he thinks may be him. His friend and mentor, Malcolm Hands clues
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can probably say with about 99% accuracy that I have never read a book quite like this one before. It has a great mix of history, suspense and the supernatural. I can sometimes find that picking up a book that is purely historical can be a bit dull but with this story adding in the suspense and a bit of the paranormal, it takes this story to a whole new level!

We follow Christopher Winter in this story. At the start, you don't really know that much about this character and, to be honest, I
Charles Haworth
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book.

It is a fast paced cold war style spy thriller with a very alpha male tough guy protagonist - all standard stuff and enjoyable enough. However, it warms up somewhat when he meets something spooky and more spooky things start happening, and before you know where you are demons aplenty walk the Earth and it gets a bit scary.

This reads very much like a Call Of Cthulhu adventure - you can almost hear the Sanity checks being made and the dice rolls fudging as the lead
John Singh
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a great thrill ride, a fantastic combination of dark thriller with brooding Cold War intrigue, a novel that feels both fully realized as a novel *and* as the setup for (hopefully) a movie or TV series. Christopher Winter is a British intelligence agent at the dawn of the Cold War who is drawn ever further into a world of intrigue that goes way beyond the normal cloak-and-dagger stuff. Nick Setchfield has created a rip-roaring adventure that barrels from one well-realized set piece to the ...more
Travis Hartman
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The War in the Dark is a cracking debut by SFX alum Nick Setchfield. Think John Le Carre mashed with Clive Barker and you've got the right idea. Christopher Winter is an assassin for the SIS, one of the clandestine units assigned to protect Her Majesty's empire from threats unknown. After a job goes horribly wrong, Christopher finds himself on the run with a mysterious woman named Karina and chased by forces both of this world and not.

The writing is crisp and clear, the prose very cinematic,
Philippa Dakin
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew from the opening sentence, I was going to enjoy The War in The Dark. The main hero, Christopher Winter, is a very likeable character, despite his flaws and his rapport with Karina keeps you intrigued throughout. The setting takes place during the Cold War and I loved all the action taking place throughout Eastern Europe. There are quite a few satisfying plot twists, which makes the book difficult difficult to put down, so probably best not to read it before you intend to go to bed as it’ ...more
Mark Redman
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The War In The Dark is a book which mixes a multitude of genres together to give us a high octane dark fantasy. Other reviewers have already stated it’s a mix of James Bond meets Indiana Jones, with a bit of Lovecraftian horror for good measure, which is a best way to describe this book. This is a pleasure to read, riveting, fast-paced and the blending of styles does work.

On the downside Christopher Winters is a character sadly lacking in any personality or depth, emotionally or otherwise. The
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
In an alternate history, the Russians and Brits are engaged in a Cold War. What British agent/assassin Christopher Winter doesn't know is that there are supernatural technologies and magic that both the Russians and Brits want that will give them immense power, but also destroy mankind. Winter becomes embroiled in the secret war when he goes to assassinate a priest believed to be stealing British secrets and giving them to the Russians. The priest is possessed by a demon, and from there, Winter ...more
Aaron Culley
Interesting story, although it wasn't entirely what I expected. I suppose it does fit one of the descriptions on the cover, of being a mix of James Bond with Indiana Jones, as it's about a spy who finds himself in a supernatural/paranormal mystery, though I can't say I enjoyed this as much as the best of either Bond films or Indiana Jones films (this is better than The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but that's not exactly hard to achieve). This also has a plot twist worthy of the film Total ...more
Robert Samuel
My kind of story. It's got all the right ideas, but something is missing in the telling. Took me a bit of time to get into the wordy prose but found that after a time I started to like it. Sorry is a bit all over the place with all the different concepts. As I said I like them all, but all in one story!! The problem my have been as others have said with no real feeling for the main character. The female lead was better. Meet Nick at a book con signing, very cleaner chap and comes over as a fan. ...more
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Nick Setchfield is a writer, editor and entertainment journalist whose work has appeared in SFX and Total Film. He's also been a film reviewer for the BBC and a scriptwriter for ITV's Spitting Image. Over a 20 year career he's interviewed untold actors, writers and directors, along with assorted Jedi, superheroes, starship captains, diabolical masterminds and the occasional quotable Dalek.

The War