The Darkest Heart by Dan Smith

The Darkest Heart
Dan Smith

Pegasus Crime

Zico is just another young hoodlum living in small-town Brazil. He acts as a hit-man for Costa, the local criminal big shot. Zico is good at the job, but trouble comes when he decides the life is no longer for him.

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“. . . a dark and gripping tale of love and hoped-for redemption.”

He wants to make honest money so he can settle down with Daniella, the love of his life, and live in peace – but Costa isn’t willing to let Zico go so easily. He sets him up with one last job, worth a big payoff in US dollars and a parcel of land to call his own. All he has to do is assassinate a politically active American nun. If Zico doesn’t accept the job, Costa will see to it Daniella and Zico’s friend, the old boatman Raul, will die.

Faced with this ultimatum Zico sets off on his mission aboard Raul’s boat, taking Daniela along to keep her out of Costa’s clutches. Raul, river trader and smuggler, has his own commission from a sinister gun-runner, an operation which has uncomfortable ties to Zico’s. Zico soon realizes things will not be as straightforward as he thought and hoped. When he meets his intended target, Sister Dolores Beckett, her courage and convictions make matters even harder. It seems Costa is playing a far deeper and deadlier game, one that could mean the end of Zico and all he holds dear.

In The Darkest Heart, Dan Smith takes us on a journey of trials and confrontations through the depths of the Amazon jungle. The heat, humidity and the smell of the river seem to emanate from the pages as Zico plunges deeper into his nightmare. It’s a dark and gripping tale of love and hoped-for redemption.


Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews