The Dazzling Darkness ~ A Haunting Gothic Venture

Posted: August 9, 2013 in horror, Mytery/Thriller, Paranormal or fantasy, reviews
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It comes as no surprise that Paula Cappa’s The Dazzling Darkness has won the

Gothic Readers Book Club Choice Award!

Dazzle GothicAwarddazzlingdarknesscappa_7final4

But that’s not all!

The Dazzling Darkness also won the eBook Cover Design Award!

Read more HERE.

Dazzle FRiedlanderBadgeECA-Fiction-May-2013-plaque

Congratulations Paula!


The Dazzling Darkness


At the gates of Old Willow Cemetery, the twisted vines choke the bald ironworks, their thorny cords crisscrossed into images of wrinkled faces and hoodwinked eyes.

This excerpt is from the prologue. With such visually descriptive writing, Paula hooked me before I got to the first chapter.

Young Henry is missing.

His sister is burdened with guilt. She only let go of his hand for a moment.

The parents are struggling to keep it together as days pass and still no sign of Henry.

Eerie, unnatural occurrences, Henry’s laughter in the tree in the backyard, his voice counting in the cemetery, all point to Elias Hatcher, caretaker of the graveyard.

Detective Balducci has Elias firmly in his crosshairs. No one can get in or out of the cemetery without Elias knowing, and the tracking dog alerted to Henry’s presence all over the graveyard.

He feels sure, if Hatch didn’t do the actual kidnapping, he has knowledge of the crime. But he can’t seem to move forward in the case.

“This case is like writing with a black pen on black paper. I can’t see it, but it’s right there in front of me.”

After Balducci’s own strange sighting on the cow path where Henry first went missing he wonders, “Is this an illusion? Or is the fact of the illusion the lead?” He thought again. “What is speaking here?”

The Dazzling Darkness defies a genre. I would say it’s a supernatural mystery/thriller laced with Gothic horror.

The author fed me bits and pieces, like bread crumbs. I gobbled them up, knowing they led to some revelations, to answered questions. I would start to get rushed, to speed ahead, but then I would become so engrossed in such things as a description of a new morning or getting started on a new day, that I would pause and reread the scene, visualizing it, feeling the moment.

Much of the story feels like it was written in a long ago era, though it takes place in the present. I wish I could explain it better. It reads like a classic, reminding me of a vintage bottle of wine. I gently lift the bottle from the rack, dust it off, open it and breathe its essence.

With bold, fresh, almost poetic writing, I can honestly say, I was beguiled.

5 Stars

Paula Cappa

Paula Cappa

Paula Cappa is a novelist and published short story author in literary journals and e-zines (Fiction365, Every Day Fiction, Smokelong Quarterly, Twilight Times, and others). As a writer of news and features for community newspapers, she gained a respectable readership in New York and Connecticut. She works as a freelance copy editor in advertising, business, and medical/pharmaceutical. Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural is her debut novel in 2012. The Dazzling Darkness, a supernatural mystery, is her second novel.

Visit Paula Cappa’s Web site:

She writes a weekly fiction blog, Tales of Terror, which features classic short stories of mostly 19th-century authors, with commentary. Visit her blog at

Goodreads / Blog / Twitter / Amazon

Books by Paula Cappa

Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural  The Dazzling Darkness

  1. You know I like the cover. lol After talking to you about this book and reading that first sentence, I am hooked to. This sounds like a great read.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I knew you’d like the cover art!
      I had a much longer review but it seemed to ramble so I rewrote it. I still can’t put into words what I wanted to say. This book is still with me.

  2. Emma says:

    I’m reading it at the moment. The writing is excellent. I’m beguiled too!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Yeah! I can’t wait to hear what you think. This was so difficult to express in my review. I was almost overpowered by the writing and wish I could have found the words to explain it better.

  3. Great covers! They can make or break a book. The review has me itching to read!

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