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The Damned

(The Darkest Hand Trilogy #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  67 reviews
In this “sublime work of dark fiction” set during WWI, werewolves roam the trenches and the Catholic Inquisition continues its grim work in the shadows (Intravenous Magazine).

When a priest is brutally murdered in the French city of Arras, Poldek Tacit—a brutally efficient Inquisitor—arrives on the scene to investigate the crime. His mission: to protect the Church from
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by The Overlook Press (first published May 21st 2015)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is suspenseful, dark, and bloody. World War I is raging in France....trench warfare, dying soldiers, brutality. ravaged bodies. It's a time of violence and fear. But something else is lurking....something much more dangerous. A creature that kills brutally and without remorse. When a priest is murdered, the Vatican sends an Inquisitor to investigate. He discovers a conspiracy....a secret so dark that it might just threaten humanity itself.

This story is well-written and amazingly
Lör K.
Many thanks to Tarn Richardson for sending me a free copy of The Damned because I loved The Hunted so much. This is no way affected my review of the book in any way or form.

I read The Hunted free eBook on Kindle a while ago, and didn’t really enjoy it. I explained why I didn’t enjoy it, and Richardson had the kind heart to comment on my review and explain why he had the story go as it was. Thankfully, after a reread with this knowledge in mind, I found that my review went from 2.4 stars out of
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Not much to say about this besides this was not a book for me. It dragged. Endlessly. I stopped and started this thing about a dozen times and finally finished it because I got tired of seeing it on my NetGalley dashboard. It's a horror novel set during World War I that had way too much dialogue. I mean to the point that I went, please shut up. All of you. Also I feel like I have seen this book played
Seregil of Rhiminee
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Tarn Richardson's The Damned was a pleasant surprise for me, because it's an impressive and well-researched historical horror-fantasy novel. It's a carefully and engagingly written account of terrifying happenings in Europe during the First World War. It depicts a powerful vision of a slightly alternative early twentieth century and entertains its readers with an immersive story that bring freshness and additional terror to WWI stories. Although it has many
Alexandra Barnett
This was an ARC given in return for an honest review

“Henry, listen to me! You are not safe here. Why do you think there were no Germans here when you arrived?...They were forced to retreat. There are many unspeakable things which appear here in the night.”

When I read about this I knew I had to have it and I was so glad that I could have this in advance. Let me just say it is worth the wait! It is everything I love: historical backdrop with supernatural ties, the struggle of good against evil
Gianna Lorandi
This book is a first for me, a horror historical fiction - it’s mainly set during the First World War.
It started really strong but then the more I read the less I liked it, the pace slowed down massively and the atmosphere just wasn’t there anymore.
I found the parts in the Vatican and all the dialogues between the characters specially boring. Generally I thought it was going to be much darker and plot more interesting.
Sorry but not for me.

Thank you NetGalley and RedDoor for had given me
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Damned by Tarn Richardson is a moody, atmospheric horror novel that starts off very strong and for me, simply falls flat. The premise is one I have read in several different variations but still its been done and by others, far better.

It is the early 1900s and war is breaking out. It will be the first world war that pits nations against nations. In the French city of Arras, a priest is horribly killed. Torn to threads. The Church sends one of its most seasoned Inquisitors to investigate.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-won
To clarify, this book is an uncorrected proof copy so I will forgive any errors that were contained within.

From the outset, I found the book to be beautifully written. The author has a fantastic turn of phrase and the book is littered with interesting and fresh metaphors. There are two main storylines running through the book, alternating back and forth between the two. One set in France during WW1 and the other detailing pivotal moments in Tacit's past. I must admit that I found the flashbacks
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the synopsis of this book so interesting, and I love the cover – the cross, the soldiers marching and the wolf howling – but I had no idea just how much I would love the story gracing the pages. Easily one of my top books of the year! Prior to reading this book, I wasn’t familiar with the term “dark fiction” but, oh my, has Richardson set the standard – dark fiction shares many elements with horror fiction, but it doesn’t fall within the realm of standard horror as it is less preoccupied ...more
Title: The Damned
Series: The Darkest Hand Trilogy #1
Author: Tarn Richardson
Genre: Historical Fiction Horror
Sep, 26, 2019

1914. The outbreak of war. In the French city of Arras, a Father is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition - still powerful, but now working in the shadows - sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost.

Yet as Tacit arrives,
Postconsumer Bookclub
I suppose I should start the review of The Damned with a mention of it’s prequel The Hunted. I read this back in February and my review can be found here. The prequel managed to do some very good things in a short story, but mainly it introduced Poldek Tacit in all his rock hard glory. If I had one resounding wish when I started to read The Damned, it was that Tacit would be a strong and viable character. I was not disappointed. Poldek is most definitely built on extremes, but although violence ...more
Cal Moriarty
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2017
Visceral fantasy writing at its best! Can't wait to read the rest of Tacit's adventures.
The Grim Reader
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Halloween edging ever closer, I figured it high time I read something appropriate for this special time of year. Tarn Richardson’s Darkest Hand trilogy gets off to a fantastic start with this, the opening novel, The Damned. It is a novel bursting with memorable scenes, realistic dialogue, great characters and bloody lycanthropic action! I really enjoyed reading this first installment.

When starting a new novel a strong beginning is essential. The reader needs to be dragged in, given glimpses
James Howard
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having been enticed by the dark and intriguing synopsis, I was fortunate to have obtained my advance and uncorrected proof copy of the book by virtue of a GoodReads giveaway.

The book begins depicting a scene of World War One, and then beautifully transcends that time with years prior to develop intricately planned, delivered, and engaging stories culminating to one. Genres are intertwined, tangled together seamlessly where fantasy (an area that I've never been partial to) is presented with
Michael Bunn
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to win an early proof of this book in a Good Books giveaway and I am so glad I did. For those who have to wait until May till you can read it, I feel for you! It truly is an extraordinary book, as strangely uplifting as it is devastating.

Whilst predominately set at the very start of World War One, the back story weaves between the thirty years (or so) before the outbreak of war and the life of the central character, the troubled Inquisitor Poldek Tacit. One of the beautiful
Paul Malone
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely awesome book. It covers so many genres to describe as just a Horror book is quite misleading. It is very character led and weaves through a number of narratives effortlessly. The author takes you through a journey of discovery and the beauty of the book is that there is hardly a character or story line introduced you do not want to find out more about.

It is set in the first world war as a historical backdrop, and you really get a feel for what life was like in the trenches. This feeds
Simon Gosden
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is really damned good. A real page turner of a novel, a first world war historical yarn mashed with a supernatural and occult horror novel. Poldek Tacit is an Inquisitor, a huge man tortured by his past but he is sent to Arras in 1914 to investigate a murder. What he uncovers threatens everything he holds dear. Poldek is an amazing hero, a bit like Solomon Kane in many respects. The plotting is sharp, the characterisation and the historical attention to detail is superb. This comes ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as an uncorrected proof copy as part of a goodreads giveaway.

To start I really liked this book. It's set in WW1 and has two basic storylines. First what's happening in the present and second flashback moments of one of the main characters life. I found it detailed but fast moving and the story kept you gripped to what was happening. I was surprised by a few things in the book but I really enjoyed the whole story. I heard there maybe a next book, I hope so!
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, first-reads
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. great storytelling, suspense and very well written.Thank you to Goodreads for sending it to me.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, netgalley
I didn't know what to expect when I began reading "The Damned" by Tarn Richardson because I knew little about the plot and I had never read anything by this author before. I also didn't know what to expect from a novel that purported to be both horror and historical fiction. What a pleasant surprise! This book is well-researched and well-written, with engaging characters and an entertaining, creative story that kept my interest throughout the entire book. Though the book alternated between ...more
The Grim Reader
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Werewolf novel steeped in history and myth. Great stuff. Review soon.
A.C. Salter
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tarn Richardson writes in a way that will have you swallowing your own heart from the very first page. The scenes he paints are so vivid that you will find yourself ducking behind the mud and the blood of a world war one trench as bullets whizz by and will have you glancing into shadows as he escalates the terror. The richly historic landscape and events are skilfully woven amidst the fury of Tacit – a terrifying inquisitor from the Catholic church – whose life is being drip fed to us in clever ...more
Matthew Harffy
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In THE DAMNED Tarn Richardson brings us a devilish melange of historical fiction, thriller and horror, all blended together with copious amounts of gore against the backdrop of the early days of the First World War. Richardson's writing is fluid and literary, but without pretensions, and the plot is as action-packed as any airport novel, or even graphic novel (I am pretty sure there are nods to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's fabulous Watchmen in the story's denouement, which I don't think I ...more
Martin Belcher
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I really enjoyed reading The Damned, a really interesting and intriguing mixture of horror, whodunnit, supernatural and religion based in 1914 in the trenches of World War One in northern France.
Poldek Tacit is a boy rescued from an horrific event, taken in by the Catholic Church and the Vatican, he begins to learn and is moulder into an inquisitor, one who searches out those who have disgraced the church or blasphemed - a kind of Catholic investigator.
Set across several timelines (we delve into
Epredator Epredator
This is a fantastically detailed and atmospheric read. From the description of the trenches and the horrors of war to the insides of churches, the vatican, to bars and alley ways you can smell and taste the surroundings, as well as hear and see them. That backdrop, with a time based interwoven tale introducing us to the history, and the current adventures of the wonderfully named Poldek Tacit brings the character to life. It is not just Tacit, the whole cast are rich and well written. That is ...more
Russell Mardell
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific debut novel, bringing religion, redemption, love and humanity together against the backdrop of the real horror of this tale - the sheer lunacy of World War 1. It is a masterstroke counterbalancing the horror at play with mythical Hombre Lobo that drive the story, and the nightmare of The Great War, all too vividly brought to life here in all it's grey's and brown's and mud and blood. Clearly well researched, the sense of time and place is incredibly evocative.

All good stories need a
Suzanne Garcia
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that it took awhile for this book to consume me. I liked it well enough not to quit reading it...and, gosh, am i glad i didn't!! Early on i was tempted to see what my fellow Goodreads readers thought of it but i didn't want to be swayed. I really liked this book! The premise hooked me early on altho I must admit I didn't expect it to have the twists it did...I love being surprised by an intense, consuming read. I'm going to download the The Hunted and am looking forward to the next ...more
Julia North
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed by both the quality of the writing and the extent of detail. Imaginative characters and plot, particularly with the emphasis on the supernatural. Overall a gripping read with an authentic portrayal of the horror of World War I. Am looking forward to reading The Hunted.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sensational read! First World war, inquisition, werewolves, exorcisms and truly unique characters and a murder mystery. Sounds chaotic, but it really comes together perfectly. Looking forward to The next one.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fabulous read made all the easier by some superb writing from Tarn Richardson. Dark, mysterious and altogether cinematic, I can imagine this being snapped up by the film industry pretty sharpish. Looking forward to the next two books. Highly recommended.
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Tarn Richardson is the author of The Darkest Hand trilogy, published by Duckworth Overlook in Europe and Australia, and Overlook Press in the US and Canada.

Consisting of THE HUNTED (free prequel novella), THE DAMNED (2015), THE FALLEN (2016) and THE RISEN (2017), The Darkest Hand trilogy unleashes the flawed but brilliant Inquisitor Poldek Tacit upon a Europe engulfed by the First World War. The

Other books in the series

The Darkest Hand Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Fallen (The Darkest Hand Trilogy #2)
  • The Risen (The Darkest Hand Trilogy #3)