ONE TO WATCH OUT FOR: What I Tell You in the Dark by John Samuel

Review published on August 12, 2015.

How’s this for an opening line, “I jump in at 09.20 on Monday 30th September 2013, just as he’s hooking the noose of his belt on the back of the door.” A suicide interrupted, saved perhaps, by a well-meaning  bystander?

Well, not quite, the ‘jumping in’ is because Will’s body has been requisitioned by an angel who has been watching poor Will try to be a whistleblower about the plot to end all plots. Worse still, this angel has a track record for ‘jumping in’; he’s still out of favour for the last time he did it – into the body of a certain Jesus Christ, before he became Jesus Christ, if you see what I mean.

And as a result God, yes he still exists, is pretty cheesed off with the extra work created by the mythology said angel espoused while ‘in’ Jesus Christ.

If you’re going to read this book – and I strongly recommend you do – you will need to put your religious sensitivities to one side. In return you’ll get a fast moving plot with hilarious asides as the angel tries to keep everyone ‘upstairs’ happy while resolving the plot. Poor Will – because, of course, no one realises his body has been taken over by a celestial spirit – blunders on and on trying to prove the involvement of the Vatican with big business in order to make more filthy lucre.

However, one increasingly starts to question the existence of the angel as Will’s history prior to the ‘jumping in’ is unveiled and the whole book is teetering on the edge of over-complication BUT John Samuel manages to steer it magnificently although – obvs – I can’t tell you the ending.

Apparently, Mr Samuel is a former editor of travel and food titles and has written for national newspapers and magazines but I have to admit his byline has never caught my eye before now. No matter, this is a cracking novel and if you’re looking for something explosive to add to your group’s reading programme you could do a lot worse.

Guy Pringle, August 12, 2015

PS The title is half of a quote from Matthew 10:27 – What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light.


What I Tell You in the Dark by John Samuel

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