A Black-as-Tar Coming-of-Age Tale
THE DARK MATTER OF NATASHA
A Disturbing Psychological Thriller by Matthew R. Davis
Natasha stalks the quiet streets of dead-end Lunar Bay like doom in a denim jacket. She’s a grim reminder that some teenagers can never escape the ever-tightening noose of their constricting lives. Burned out and benumbed by a traumatic past, dogged by scurrilous small-town gossip, she finds solace in drugs, sex and Slayer. A tar-black coming of age story from Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Matthew R. Davis that eloquently chronicles the crushing gravity of small-town hopelessness, the double-edged catharsis of addiction, and the brutal weight of youth’s first lessons in accountability
The Dark Flipside of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Davis’s black-as-tar coming-of-age novella explores the intertwined lives of two youths on the verge of adulthood attempting to survive the darkest tribulations of a secret past and their suffocating small-town existence. With his portrayal of the haunted Natasha, Davis paints a devastatingly grim, yet often all-too-realistic, picture of teenagers seemingly unable to escape the closed circle of circumstances beyond their control and the horrifying consequences of youthful indiscretions that endure long into adulthood.
The tormented life of a teenage Natasha struggling with the tragedies of her past amid the scurrilous gossip of a dead-end town is eloquently chronicled in this dark, gritty, and deeply disturbing psychological thriller.
What horrors have her flat eyes witnessed? And how far will she go in pursuit of the one tiny spark of hope that still flickers in her haunted heart?
Matthew R. Davis
Matthew R. Davis is an author and musician based in Adelaide, South Australia.
His work has been shortlisted for, and sometimes won, the Shirley Jackson Awards, Aurealis Awards, Australian Shadows Awards, and the WSFA Small Press Award.
He plays bass and sings in heavy rock/metal bands such as icecocoon and Blood Red Renaissance, dabbles with poetry, video editing, and visual art, and works on projects with his photographer partner.
He is the author of Supermassive Black Mass (novelette, Demain Publishing, 2019), If Only Tonight We Could Sleep (horror stories, Things in the Well, 2020) and Midnight in the Chapel of Love (novel, JournalStone, 2021).
He loves all kinds of metal from Mötley Crüe to Pig Destroyer and his favorite Slayer album is Seasons in the Abyss.
Find out more at www.matthewrdavisfiction.wordpress.com
How Far is Too Far in Pursuit of Fleeting Hope?
When a naïve transplant crosses Natasha’s path, he’s drawn into shadow and doubt. With his girlfriend ghosting him, Natasha’s fresh introduction to her half-lit world is darkly appealing.
Now faced with confusing quandaries—connection or convenience, relationship or exploitation—can he help any of the women in his life? Or is he just helping himself?
The untold tragedies of Natasha’s lonely life may be more than he can handle. And in a town whose history is littered with dead girls, there may be no happy ending for anyone.
Reviews of The Dark Matter of Natasha
“A searing indictment of the selfishness of youth and the injustices of an uncaring world. Bleak, poignant, and dripping with pathos. Powerful stuff.” — Alan Baxter, Australian Shadows Award-winning author of Served Cold, The Gulp and the Eli Carver Supernatural Thriller series
“The Dark Matter of Natasha is a pitch-perfect threnody of small-town despair, a super-collision of sex, Slayer, and the cosmic indifference of infinite space.” — J. Ashley-Smith, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Ariadne, I Love You and The Attic Tragedy
“The Dark Matter of Natasha is a haunting coming-of-age story told with confidence and razor-sharp insight. Equal parts tawdry, irreverent and as dark as the space between stars, Matthew R. Davis serves up a soiled platter of sexual awakening guaranteed to leave a mark.” — John C. Foster, author of Rooster and The Isle