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The Darkest Web: Drugs, Death and Destroyed Lives... The Inside Story of the Internet's Evil Twin

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Hitmen for hire, drugs for sale. Inside the dangerous world that lurks beneath the bright, friendly light of your internet screen.


A kingpin willing to murder to protect his dark web drug empire. A corrupt government official determined to avoid exposure. The death of a dark web drugs czar in mysterious circumstances in a Bangkok jail cell, just as the author arrives
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published March 14th 2018 by Allen & Unwin
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Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Online investigative journalism at its finest.

The Darkest Web delves deep into the deprave's darkest desires bringing to light heinous acts of cruelty better left in the shadows of humanity.

The topical nature of the non-fiction peak-behind-the-curtain account of dark web warriors is not for the squeamish. The structure of the book leads the reader down a rabbit hole of murderous and unspeakable acts growing progressively darker as the digital depths of disgust unfold.

Whilst the subject matter
Bri Lee
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, in my humble opinion, is a triumph of narrative journalism. Ormsby's first book, Silk Road, looked at the marketplaces on the dark web and the people who created and maintained their illegal trading. The Darkest Web goes further. Broken into three parts (Dark, Darker, and Darkest) I was both entertained and educated. The first section is about the legacy of the Silk Road marketplace (most famous for selling any and all drugs) and what marketplaces now look like online. Darker is about ...more
Really loved this book as it is something new and quite dangerous to write about! An in-depth look at the dark web from the perspective of a journalist who spends her time trying to take down these websites was invaluable. I would highly recommend this book to people interested in the dark web and the catching of criminals through cyber security.


This novel was set into three parts: Dark, Darker and Darkest.



This part of the book was really interesting and a great starting point. I loved hear
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book turns the Dark Web into a page-turner and complex, sordid issues involving many players into a focused narrative you can easily follow. The chapter on Silk Road and the corruption of its founder is fascinating, the hitman chapter is expertly researched and focused, but I will admit to skimming through the grottier parts of the darkest section. Otherwise well worth reading.
Sebastian Gebski
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
1. It's not Tor tutorial ;P
2. It's not an end-to-end analysis.
3. It's not a story of Darknet.
4. It's a collection of 3 separate "stories" (threads?) that represent "dark", "darker" & "the darkest" face of Darknet - they are quite selective, based on particular stories, cases, people (real ones)
5. The flow (within each of the 3 parts) is generally chronological, so they almost feel like a story.
6. Part 1 is about the Silk Road, so if you've read "American Kingpin" you won't learn anything new.
Chad Mew
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I was very excited to read this book following reviews and mentions in prominent newspapers. I really must diverge from the direction of most reviews thus far in the sense that I felt this book was written in a very average way. This may not be a popular opinion, however I thought it was a little anticlimactic. Many stories featured were already widely published in mainstream media or readily available on the “clear web”. I did not think it was necessary to spend 1/3 of the book to go through th ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read. Truly insightful and very well written- i found it hard to put this book down despite some of the content.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up after reading the Wired piece about Besa Mafia and Chris Monteiro. It’s a fascinating account of a world I know very little about and Ormsby does a great job of making it accessible and adding her own personal experience/insights.

I probably should have skipped the (mercifully short) third section, Darkest. I’m still thinking about those horrors days later.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ormsby is back getting her teeth into the dark net, through Tor or ‘Onionland’ as many of its users refer to it as. A lot of this, particularly in the first section, has been covered more extensively in her previous book, the excellent, “Silk Road”, which is understandable to an extent, but what we really end up with is a lot of the same information being re-used. I am not sure why she thought the very brief recap of these same events was necessary in the second section?...

What Ormsby’s findings
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Darkest Web is a superbly researched and written insight into the deep web.

It has both analytical depth and clarity, which is difficult to accomplish at the best of times, let alone about a topic that is so complex and foreign to many. It provides a great amount of factual information and also weaves stories into it, which is a difficult balance to strike.

Ormsby doesn't just account what the dark web is, but looks at the evolution of its various elements in the context of society, including
Erin Stewart
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The fact that so much of our lives is played out online provides an interesting challenge for writers: how do you make a text engaging when many key events involved someone typing onto their computer and/or accessing websites? It's not exactly a captivating image. But this book is super-engaging, Eileen Ormsby has found a way for the virtual to be rendered undoubtedly real and compelling.

The book focuses on some very dark stories from the dark web (sorted into dark, darker, and darkest, and give
David Sodergren
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievably fascinating book for the first two-thirds, easily the best I’ve read all year. However, the last section — on the “darkest” web — I wish I’d never read. Utterly harrowing and depressing — there aren’t enough trigger warnings in existence to prepare you for this. Approach with serious, serious caution.
Bo Grimes
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Fast-paced and interesting, but a lot of it is obviously blog/articles hastily (or sloppily) patched together and edited.

There are three parts: Dark (drugs), Darker (hitmen), and Darkest (snuff and child torture). You can get by reading the first two and get the gist of third. There were sections of the third I had to skip.

Good overview of a fairly obscure, but increasingly less so, corner of the Internet.
David Veith
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. As you progress through the book the deeds get darker (obviously) but some of it makes you cringe. Just deprived people out there. Reads sort of like a very large newspaper article at times. Also can be a bit repetitive at times, and more so from one section to the next. It references what you already read but acts like you didn't read it. Overall a very interesting read
Ruth Hosford
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly enlightening read, well written by a brave investigative journalist about a subject I knew nothing about. Despite being warned about the contents, I did read the last chapter and was shocked and disturbed by it. Not for the feint hearted but certainly well informed.
Dhruv Saggar
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Ormsby's dive into the dark web had potential to be very good, but I found the overall experience to be inconsistent. It was not so much investigative journalism than a more in-depth summary into the more controversial aspects of the dark web.

The first part of the book (Dark Web) explores the Silk Road investigation. The section was informative, to be sure, but I didn't find that Ormsby put her stamp on the part by providing her own perspective enough. There were some examples of this, but it fe
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read for the Problem Facing Society Today prompt of the 2018 Popsugar Challenge.

O M G I loved this book so much. Who isn't fascinated by crime and drugs and the seedy underbelly of the internet? (Seriously, is there anyone?) This book was as addictive as anything you could buy off the Silk Road - I could not put it down!

The author intersperses the facts with her own personal experiences on the dark web and anecdotes of her travels and interviews with major players in the dark web world. These s
Joseph Giuffrida
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
A really fascinating and engaging read. Each part had me more hooked than the last in both intrigue and disgust. Ormsby positions her non-fiction findings in the form of a narrative which makes you lost in the story as you read on. Highly recommended for any true crime/technology buffs!
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A true, very dark account indeed, written by Eileen Ormsby; lawyer, author and freelance journalist who spent the last 5 years ‘exploring every corner of the Dark Web’.
Ormsby’s Introduction includes facts that under-pin the whole book so that we have a basic understanding of just how the dark web came about. The technology originated from the US military. Known as TOR it guarantees secrecy, anonymity and access to hidden services. The dark web uses crypto currency; that is, Bitcoin.
The Dark We
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I chose this book because I knew nothing about the "dark web" of which we hear so much in the media. It is divided into three sections (Dark, Darker, Darkest) covering online drug dealing, murder for hire and child pornography.
Eileen Ormsby has already written a book about Silk Road, the drug-dealing website that was dismantled a few years ago, and focussed on it again in the first section of this new book. This was by far the longest section of the book, a fact that will probably be a disappoi
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I picked this book up expecting nothing more than a bit of sensationalised nonsense. I was way off base. Eileen Ormsby is a mythbuster and a meticulous researcher, and the book is thrilling and disturbing but also firmly dismissive of all the gruesome urban legends and tabloidesque hysteria that so often accompany the topic.

There's some stuff I sort of wish I could unread. The murder of Amy Allwine was a jarring horror in the midst of what was otherwise a rollicking tale of Bitcoin sca
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting book overall.

Part one covered drug dealing site Silk Road. Too much "the making of this book" content. ie several pages about the difficulty of getting an interview, only to have the interview itself reveal nothing useful. Lost a star on this. This is why it took me two months to finish the book. More about the actual drug trading through Silk Road would be better - ie follow a buyer and seller who used the site.

Part two covered hitman site BesaMafia and the Allwine family trage
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that are dreamt of in your philosophy."
There is so much that I don't know and, after reading this, wish I still don't know. In the beginning of the book, there was a warning about the content of the book, especially the last part. I should have heeded that warning. It's like the book version of "Abandon all hope all ye who enter". But curiosity got the better of me and I finished the book. The first part was OK, the second part can in
Rainie Semmens
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, I really have been thinking alot about this & I still don't really know what to write the contents in this book blew me away, there are some super sick people out there so you really need to have a strong stomach and not get easily spooked out as this is your all time real Horror Story,

This book was super informative, well researched & very well written. it was the first book in about six months that I even finished and I love reading. So it definitely had me hooked from the very start. I'
Natalia Özaydınlı Gyacheva
I added this book to my shelf based on positive comments: but I didnt like it personally.
Some chapters were too long and I was so bored that I had to skip them.
For example, the information about some characters could take a couple of pages, but it took over 1:3 of the book.
Some detailes were so ugly and I think it was not necessary to mention about, especially the last part of the book. Ok, she investigated but the information is disgustish.
And she covered only 3-4 topics, that is is the whole b
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not Curious Anymore

I'm sure I'm not the only one curious about the Dark Web, but have read enough about it or watched videos that have been frightening. I've not ever been on the Dark Web. This book has satisfied any curiosity i have had. The book is very detailed and researched. Nothing really shocks me anymore, more disturbing. The depravity and the vile actions of people is just nauseating. This book is filled with enough information and stories of the Dark Web, I don't need to know anymore o
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
It was horrible and I loved it.
I've been fascinated by the deep web for a while, but too scared to download encrypted browsers or search up anything questionable, so I'm grateful that the author essentially gave up her social identity to do this valuable research.
It is excellently written, with a journalist's eye for detail.
The frequent switching between codenames and legal names was confusing at times, so it would have been great to have had an appendix to refer to.
Amanda Markham
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've got a fairly strong stomach. Living in the outback means I've hit kangaroos whilst driving and had to euthanise them rather than let them suffer.

I'll also admit I read this book mainly for ideas for my own fiction.

It was well written, expertly researched and told in a story-like narrative.

However, I'm still in shock after reading the final 'Darkest' chapter of this book.

I don't want to write about it.

It's simply too distressing.
CarolynBill Cooper
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A riveting read but I wish that I didn't know about 'Daisy's Destruction.' Just vile, awful people on the darkest web which should not even be allowed to exist. Truly horrific and something that I will never, ever understand. Good to have an awareness of what is going on there but an awful insight into the minds of truly wicked people regarding child pornography.
Monika Jaworska
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author is my personal hero. The amount of research that went into this book (not only from darknet but also Amy's story) is unbelievable. The darkest part was very hard to read so I can only imagine how hard was writing it. I rarely read non-fiction books but this one will stay with me for a long time.
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