Dan Smith

An early life split between English boarding schools and Sierra Leone, Sumatra and Brazil. with subsequent spells in Spain and the Soviet Union might have delivered plenty of possibilities for fiction, but writing ability and interesting plot lines are going to be important as well. There’s enough in his first effort to have me watching the Recent Arrivals display..


  • Dry Season, set on the banks of a river in Brazil’s Mato Grosso, where Sam, a former priest, has ended up,  drinking and fishing until one night a man’s death starts a chain of events that rapidly spirals out of control as Sam is caught between an ex-prostitute and a predatory landowner's wife. A chilling read, and not for the faint hearted.
  • Dark Horizons where, having nursed his terminally ill mother throughher fatal illness Alex sets off  to travel with a view to finding himself in Indonesia, which he does but not in the way the script was supposed to go.

A near fatal bus crash immediately after his arrival in Sumatra leaves him injured and in a position where opportunistic locals are able to relieve him of most of his possessions, and when he gets to medical treatment it seems like the local police are interested in drugs found in the wreckage, so when an attractive Australian girl named Domino, another survivor of the crash, turns up at his bedside and seems to know what's going on there's a fairly obvious liaison coming up.

What's less obvious is the exact nature of the goings on at the commune deep in the forest she leads him to. 

At first everything seems to be sweetness and light, but it doesn't take long before dark elements start to emerge and things start spiralling into murderous chaos. There aren't a lot of surprises in the basic plot, but Smith throws in enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages as things spin out of control.

Investigate availability of:

The Child Thief

© Ian Hughes 2012