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A great read. Not only a thriller but a well-researched one which draws you into a period of history in Spain which not everyone will be aware of. The plot is detailed and the clues are there but which are the real ones and which the red herrings? My review is deliberately vague as I don’t want to give anything away and for you to enjoy it for yourself. There are plenty of characters to like and dislike and root for. As ever Damian’s vivid descriptions of people and places ensure you feel like you too are there. -Amazon UK Review
The Dark Place:
A historical suspense thriller set in the murky world of fugitive
war criminals, vengeful Nazi hunters and spies
They escaped justice in 1945, but vengeance has found them.
When Inspector Jesus Garcia is awoken by a call from the chief of police, he realises that this will be a day like no other. A fifteen-year-old boy – the son of one of the most influential members of his town’s secretive community of German nationals – has gone missing.
In the week he was due to retire, Garcia is told in no uncertain terms that he has one day to find the boy and to catch the culprit. Should he fail, it will be more than his retirement that is at risk.
Garcia, who had survived the brutality of the Spanish civil war and the three decades that followed by steering clear of situations such as this one, must now confront not only his own past but the legacy of his nation’s troubled history if he is to save the boy. With the secret police on their way, Garcia finds himself embroiled in the murky world of fugitive war criminals, vengeful Nazi hunters and the Machiavellian intent of multiple state actors.
An innocent life is at stake, but as Garcia quickly discovers, there are secrets that must be kept, a history that cannot be told, and that monsters hide in dark places.
About the Author
Damian Vargas is an emerging author of action thrillers with a vein of dark humour.
Damian is a self-exiled Brit, living and working in Spain on the Costa del Sol. A child of the 1970s and 1980s, he was brought up on an entertainment diet of intrepid adventure novels, gritty crime dramas, epic war stories and low-budget British science fiction television.
Experiencing everyday life in southern Spain opened Damian’s eyes to the dark underworld that occurs (mostly) beyond the view of the annual influx of British and other holidaymakers. These regular criminal goings-ons, coupled with the rich tapestry of life and stunning locations on ‘The Costa del Crime’, sparked a deep desire to write fast-paced action and thriller stories. Six Hard Days in Andalusia was the first of these and was followed by the prequel, Den Of Snakes, both of which are available on Amazon. Several more books are planned, including The Dark Place (due for release June 2021), the plot of which revolves around a secretive community of German nationals living in a secluded mountain village in the south of Spain, and a British WW2 veteran who arrives to expose their terrible wartime crimes.
His motto is “Wisdom Comes To Those Who Stray”, he has a love for indie/punk rock in dank seedy venues, a fascination with the number 27, and harbours an intense dislike of spiders. He once met Mark Zuckerberg, but couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say, and David Hasselhoff, while dressed up as Ron Burgundy.
Follow Damian at www.damianvargasfiction.com
I’m a bit of a WW2 nerd. I once took a former girlfriend to Holland in the middle of a very cold winter, to traipse around Arnhem, Nijmegen and other famous sites of Operation Market Garden and The Battle of The Bulge. Unsurprisingly, our relationship didn’t last. I’ve also done similar such trips to explore bunkers, museums, cemeteries and bunkers in Dieppe, Normandy and Berlin.
The post-war legacy in Europe has also always fascinated me. The Cold War was one (huge) part of that, but in particular, I was always intrigued by how so many thousands of Nazis and other war criminals melted back into society, most never paying for the crimes. When I moved to Spain several years ago, I read much about the Spanish Civil War and the role the Germans played in it, but then also discovered how so many high-ranking Germans and wanted Nazi war criminals had sought sanctuary in Spain after the war. Seventy-five years later, they are no longer around, but what must have it have been like in the decades after WW2? What influence did they exert? Who protected them, and what dark ambitions were they working to achieve?
A real-life encounter with a witness to those times, and the realization that I live not far from a village where many of these people lived and thrived, sparked my imagination, and ‘The Dark Place’ was born.
The controlling question it asks is one almost all of us have asked at some time; “Does evil lurk inside every one of us?” My wife, who is my primary beta reader – and a woman not normally prone to overt emotional displays – cried when she reached the final scenes (and, she promises, not because the writing was terrible).
I strove to deliver a reading experience that is both accessible and fast-paced, yet surprising and suspenseful. It is written in the third person, and I sought to maintain a hard-boiled, edgy voice. I opted to break the linear timeline in the manner of some of my favourite stories: The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Cryptonomicon. The story leaps back and forth between the 24 hours in which the main events occur, and to more distant events which ultimately led to the dark conclusion. This was no minor challenge but, I believe, well worth the effort.