Pearl Blackthorn is a novelist and investigative reporter for Darkside paranormal magazine. Armed with her digital recorder and accompanied by her friend and photographer Harry Raymond, Pearl is sent by her editor J.J Benson – affectionately known as Benny – to the four corners of Great Britain, (and sometimes further), to investigate stories of spirits and specters, demons and doppelgangers, prophecy and possession.
The problem is, Pearl doesn’t believe in the supernatural; her creative imagination is tempered by a strong skepticism. She is immovable on her stand that there is always a simple, rational explanation behind every report of paranormal activity. But Pearl soon realizes that the intricacies of paranormal events are often far from simple and not always rational.
A Walk on the DarkSide Review
Though considered to be Occult Horror, A Walk on the Dark Side doesn’t really fit into the genre. I would call it a series of paranormal mysteries more than anything, and often with unexpected – but believable – twists. Pearl Blackthorn is a skeptic, whereas her photographer partner is a believer of things that go bump-in-the-night. Between the two of them, they investigate a series of ‘true’ hauntings for the serial they both work for.
From post-hypnotic suggestions to the ‘magic’ of magic ‘shrooms, there always a logical explanation to each of the happenings in each of these short stories. At the same time there’s almost always a bit of the unexplainable, too. This serves the purpose of giving the reader a sense of satisfaction whilst maintaining an air of wonder. Works out rather well for each of the stories contained within.
The last section of the book is a series of character confidentials wherein the three main characters answer a few questions about themselves. Neither good nor bad, this section didn’t appeal to me at all, but I can see how some people would enjoy it.
Overall, the short stories are entertaining and the faint tinge of the paranormal instead of liberal dashes make the stories feel ‘believable’. The stories themselves are short enough that even a slow reader could easily finish one per lunch period over the course of a week. The mysteries themselves aren’t very mysterious at all, but given how short these stories are, that’s a bit of a necessity and something the reader can put down to the keen observational skills of Pearl Blackthorn to soothe their ego-injured inner sleuth.