|Paul Wood is a modern vagabond, a man who chooses to leave the comforts of San Francisco to spend months backpacking through some of the world's most challenging terrain. While hiking in the Himalayas, Paul gets more of a rush than he bargained for when he finds the body of a murdered hiker - mutilated in a way he has witnessed once before, in Africa, years ago and thousands of miles away.
The police in Nepal, anxious to quell a scandal, close the case and declare the victim a suicide. Only Paul is left to search for answers. He reaches out to his farflung tribe
|of fellow backpackers for help, and his discoveries lead him to a terrible conclusion: a killer is stalking the international backpacker trail, preying on victims in wild places far beyond the reach of any authorities. A killer whom Paul may already know.
Finding the murderer becomes an obsession that leads Paul from Himalayan peaks, through the jungles of Indonesia, across the bleak Sahara desert -- and into some of the darkest places imaginable...
Dark Places won the 2005 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.
"You're hooked ... the characters are delightfully delineated ... beautifully controlled ... Evans contrives to slip the necessary specialist net-head detail into the plot without being boring or patronising. He can also pin down a character with a few details deftly brushed in ... A pacy thriller for the 21st century."
"Anyone would enjoy Evans' clever, relentlessly absorbing debut thriller that becomes a lot more than just another serial-killer mystery."
"Easily the year's creepiest crime novel."
"It's very, very good. If you are au fait with the lore and background of international backpacking, it's probably even better ... Will there be more? I certainly hope so."
"In this haunting suspense debut, Evans takes the reader on a page-turning adventure across five continents ... (a) spooky, inventive tale."
"A dark and engrossing thriller ... twists and turns keep the reader guessing ... Evans is a veteran traveller himself and captures the insular world of trekkers perfectly."
"A well-paced thriller with plenty of twists and some creepy moments that keep the pages turning."
"A compelling thriller about the mysterious deaths of travellers in Third World countries, committed, the lead character suspects, by other Westerners."
"Vivid landscapes, unusual culture, marvelous concept ... who could ask for more?"
"A riveting read ... one can only hope that this, the first novel by Jon Evans, is not the last."
"A taut thriller ... Evans keeps you guessing and leaves you with the uncomfortable realization of just how plausible this all could be. A real page-turner."
"A stunning debut novel from a thriller writer to watch ... a breathtaking thriller."
Chosen by Toronto's Metro Today as one of their 'Top Summer Reads'.
"A sharp debut that never lets up on the tension, with a denouement that is both shocking and utterly right ... Jon Evans ... isn't about to develop into something special - he's already there."
"Jon Evans's compelling thriller will indeed take you to dark places ... an adrenalin-laced winner."
"I was completely gripped - I never wanted to put the book down."
"Young, techno-savvy, and unfailingly hip, Evans captures perfectly the world of trekkers and keeps the plot rocking."
"Jon Evans guides the reader masterfully into worlds he obviously knows well. Dark Places is engaging, disturbing, and relentless -- an impressive debut novel."