Reviewed by K.J.Simmil, Award winning British Author of Darrienia: Dark Times is an award-winning thriller by Michael Gerhartz. I really enjoyed how the author skillfully incorporated different speech for his characters based on their upbringing and nationality, and loved the use of appropriate colloquialisms, and the dialogue was written in such a way you could easily hear the speaker’s voice. Whilst the book has many characters, it focuses mainly on the journeys and exploits of a few, using supporting characters to expertly build scenes, create tension, and reveal the depths alternative, related events. There is so much to this book, the in-depth and detailed plot will keep readers entertained beginning to end, building a clear picture of the characters, their evolving relationships, and the difficulties they face. This is certainly a well-constructed novel with a brilliantly executed plot. I honestly didn’t want to put it down, so the fact I was on a long-haul flight had its benefits, because I didn’t have to. If you enjoy watching plots and schemes unravel in a character and event-driven plot filled with dark happenings, mystery, and danger, then you will love this.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Reader’s Favorit Author Michael Gerhartz has a strong sense of character which really aids the realism of this epically-scaled criminal puzzle. Part mystery, part thriller and even part horror novel in its tone, the plot unfolds like a carefully laid trail as Natascha’s past catches up with her and forces her to once again abandon her attempts at a peaceful existence. The prose is crisp and action filled, with some excellent descriptive moments which give the scenes a cinematic quality, and the dialogue between characters is both plot revealing but also naturalistic as it moves the story forward into the next section. The conclusion was also satisfying both on the character level and for the story as a whole. Overall, I found Dark Times to be an exciting and enjoyable read really suitable for all thriller fans, and it’s definitely a recommended read.
Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Reader’s Favorite
“Michael Gerhartz writes a fast-paced novel with a fascinating and very well orchestrated plot line. There was a cast of international characters which were interesting and intriguing. The main protagonist, Natascha Rehfeld, was strong and feisty which is absolutely essential in a thriller. Her personal story was the thread that held the book together and it was really engaging. The book is quite long but the complex and engaging narrative is good enough to support this. What I liked about the book was the fact that I couldn’t predict what was coming next. I found this very refreshing. If you like an action-packed story to really get your teeth into, Dark Times is the one for you.”
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Reader’s Favorite
“Dark Times by Michael Gerhartz is a thrilling story from start to finish. The very first page hooks you and pulls you headfirst into an adventure that will leave you breathless. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, off you go in another direction, down another path with more clues and more intrigue. This is a fantastic book, really well written with some great characters in it. It is properly paced, with plenty of action and suspense that leave you guessing right to the very end. There’s a whole range of emotions in this story and you will struggle to put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am really looking forward to the next one. Highly recommended for fans of thrillers or those who just want a really good story to lose themselves in.”
President, Fédération Québécoise des Activités Subaquatiques
(Federation of Quebec Underwater Activities)
“With Thin Ice I discovered a very talented author, Michael Gerhartz. With Dark Times Gerhartz goes further by proving that he is a genius author, able to create characters, plots and adventures that come and force you deep into yourself. He has a way to hook you in the first pages wondering where he is taking you. You think you discovered most of the different intrigues when suddenly boom, he takes you on a path you did not see coming, that ‘s what make him a must read. He walks you through a lot of emotions and shows you the good and the bad side of the human being. Being a diver I personally enjoyed the flawless diving parts in both books. Just cannot wait for is next book. Fantastic job M. Gerhartz!”
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite
“This is an imaginative, compelling narrative with plot points that are strong and twists that get readers more and more intrigued as to how the story will evolve. Michael Gerhartz grabs the interest of the reader and sustains it with his strong gift for character and plot. It is a thoughtful thriller, character-driven, with a great setting that takes readers to exotic and exciting places. The plot is seasoned with elements of mystery and a sense of danger that keeps readers awake, following each step of the protagonist. Dark Times is told in a clear and exciting voice, featuring prose that is excellent. I loved the author’s unique turn of phrase. The conflict is well developed and evolves quickly, escalating into a crisis. This is a narrative for fans of thrillers and readers who are looking for well-developed and rock-solid characters.”
Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
“Dark Times by Michael Gerhartz presents a refreshing voice that will resonate with fans of thrillers and mystery. It begins with an engrossing prologue, with two teenagers running through the cold night as fast as they can along the outside walls of Whitmore Abbey. The prologue ends with an intriguing line: “Cathy forcefully turned around and ran through the forest, determined to get as far away from the abbey as she could.” And that was the hook for me. I wanted to know why a young girl would feel so scared of a place that should offer peace and solace and a sense of proximity to God. The reader is introduced to a cast of compelling characters, including Nick and Natascha Rehfeld, Sean MacLeod, Jack MacDonald, Ariel Rashid and many others. Each character has a solid background, with deep roots in the security or military service. The plot is well imagined and deftly written, with surprises that take the reader’s breath away. Michael Gerhartz knows how to hold the reader’s attention and sustain it from page to page. The action is intense, and it begins from the first page. Dark Times has an irresistible spell that only a master storyteller can cast. It is absorbing.”