Dark Father - James Cooper
What could be greater praise for a book than to say that this is probably one of the finest novels ever available on the kindle and it’s thanks to darkfuse that Dark Father was published earlier this year....and what a cracking story it is.

There are three threads running; we have Jimmy Hopewell part time gangster and professional wife beater, one day Kate has had enough and escapes the the torture with her son Billy. Then there is Frank and the wife he loves Cindy with their adorable son Jake. In a medical facility/asylum lives Mack a deeply disturbed patient under the auspices of attending Physicians Doctor Kincaid and Doctor Faber. To delve deeper into the storyline would spoil the surprises that await the reader, all three stories have a thread that will become surprisingly clear as the novel concludes.

The novel in some ways is a mixture of crime and horror, Jimmy Hopewell’s lost (removed!) eye and his increasing ability to visualize the future adds a touch of humour to a somewhat monstrous character. “Jimmy stood there, his hair hanging across his brow, his face all but destroyed. His left eye was a black hole, rimmed with attenuated tissue and dried pulp. There was a large bruise down the left side of his face. His stubble was dark with blood.” However it is through Frank that we understand the real meaning of loss and what one sad demented individual will do to recapture the past. There is a wonderful sad and descriptive passage that illustrates the beautiful writing style of Mr Cooper and the deteriorating mind of Frank.....

“He swiped the brush across Cindy’s lips, creating the perfect smile, and then stood back to admire his work. He frowned; the effect hadn’t been adequately captured. He primed the brush with a fresh slug of paint, and then slapped it across her mouth again, even as Cindy was moaning, trying desperately to compress her lips. Frank took another step back and smiled, satisfied with his work, He repeated the whole procedure on the boy, taking more care this time, almost dabbing on the paint for fear of unnerving his darling Jakey, which would be inexcusable. He applied the emulsion with a kind of detached wonder, granting them both cosmetic smiles that stretched halfway around their face; not a disfiguring scar, but an extension of their elation. Unequivocal proof of their love.....He dipped the brush into the tin and drew an irregular line of red paint across his own mouth. “God, I love you” he said. His family sat across from him, unmoving, wearing smiles as wet and wide as a slashed throat.!

When I was 94% complete I still could not see how the author was going to complete this wonderful story and show the connection of the various threads to the reader...but I need not have worried in the hands of an expert the conclusion is crafted to perfection. If you enjoy dark fiction of the highest quality, with a touch of crime, a dash of humour and a great dollop of emotional heartbreak then I implore you to read this amazing story....I can’t recommend highly enough....so what are you waiting for:))