DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

Listen to the PODCAST I co-host: Hosts in the Shell

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Matt is brutalligatored and loves it...


This house is too big, this house is too small

BRUTALLIGATORS (@brutalligators)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

What have we here?? 

Self-described as a four-piece pile of limbs and awkwardness – possibly the coolest Hertfordshire-based band named Brutalligators ever!?

They comprise of vocalist Luke Murphy, guitarist Paul Wade, bassist Simon Lee and drummer Rhys Kirkman and have released their wicked debut album: This house is too big, this house is too small. 

I’ve really enjoyed the band’s singles including Coffee & Codeine (which they marketed with their own coffee, but not codeine alas). The album rocks with nods to ragers reminiscent of Funeral for a Friend, but also punky influences like Carter USM in their savagely witty wordplay, if far more guitar-based… There’s some Emo in there too and enough sheer energy to make This House is too big a great driving soundtrack!

very cool merch available too

With rants against the Tories, honesty about anxiety and depression, some soulful heartbreak ponderings and a lot of ‘modern life is rubbish’ observation, Luke once said  “Most of the lyrics I write are a mixture of reality, washes of feeling or sentiment and complete fiction, all mixed up together.” 

I saw Weezer at the Hella Mega Tour last month and if there was a UK equivalent then I'd vote Brutalligators to take that mantle!!

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Get brutalligatored ASAP, you won't regret it...)

Get your copy of This house is too big, this house is too small

awkward limbs a go go

I got to ask the band some Q’s and this is what they said:

Matt: If a mad scientist turned you into a giant mecha, who or what would be  your nemesis?

Brutalligators: Priti Patel 


Matt: What is the most disturbing thing you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?

Brutalligators: I'd say the eye scene in Audition is probably up there. 

Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?

Brutalligators: I guess since we are technically an emo band it would have to be a Black Parade 

Matt:You are granted a supernatural power, what does that look like for you?

Brutalligators: The ability to reverse time by a minute. Would be good for not saying jokes that don't land and avoiding snapping strings on stage. 


Matt: Who or what inspires you most (can be living or dead)?

Brutalligators: Dennis Bergkamps goal against Nerwcastle in 2002 continues to be a great source of inspiration  

Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?

Brutalligators: James Corden 


Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Brutalligators: Try to have fun and do the things you like as much as possible. I can't see much meaning beyond that. Oh and work less and get a cat. 

Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?

Brutalligators: My sister once paid for me to get therapy at a time when I really needed it and couldn' afford it. Serious answer I know but it might just have been life saving. So yeah, therapy is awesome. Other than that probably a Mega Drive when I was about 10.  

Matt: If you could create a robot bandmate – what would it be able to do for you?

Brutalligators: Carry gear 


Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Brutalligators: I like to think we will all get buried together, therefore it would say 'See ya later, Brutalligator'  

Matt: Any final words you like to add...

Brutalligators: everything Brutalligators is here: https://linktr.ee/brutalligators

Book us to play your town xx

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my dark sci-fi novel...


Monday, August 29, 2022

Matt meets Rosie Shadow and is given the creeps (review)

Rosie Shadow

Louise Worthington

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“The aubade is as sweet as Daddy’s lullaby to a baby. When darkness falls, the sound of a lonely owl spills through its branches, settling in the shadows at the base of the trunk where it shouldn’t travel any further.”

We all know some children who are literally little horrors but damn, Rosie Shadow is right up there and if you want to be creeped out – this little six years old is a terrifying monster that will get in your head and mess it up… 

It could be something to do with having a demon for a dad, but destruction follows Rosie everywhere (and let’s not mention the animal mutilation or self-burial that she lists as one of her hobbies). Her Majesty’s Prison Shortbury, might be a fascinating Medieval tourist attraction but most people don’t get the secret tour which takes in the creepy underworld thriving in Ward ‘D’… I mean, it is not like there are demons down there feeding from the dead is it, oh wait, *checks notes*, sorry it DOES look like that’s what’s happening…

Rosie Shadow is a weird book that crams in a host of horror tropes. Some work really well – the scary Rosie being the star of this show, but others feel a bit shoehorned in just to try and up the horror factor.

There are car crashes, cannibalism, a Pagan yew tree, demons and more to explore, it’s a veritable horror all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll be drawn into the obviously unwell mind of author Louise Worthington trying to guess who it is that decorates the branches of the yew tree where Clare's boyfriend crashed his car, what the voices in prison walls in time are trying to say and whether it’s possible to escape the orbit of destruction that Rosie Shadow seems to have… 

Yep, this is a dark and twisty Gothic horror, perfect for fans of writers like Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower and Ania Ahlborn. If you like to be horrified by gore, disturbed as vile characters do nasty things and repulsed but little Rosie herself – step right this way horror lovers!!

This review is part of the excellent www.zooloosbooktours.co.uk 

'Rosie Shadow as an adult, erm, I mean Louise'

Author Bio

Louise writes about the complexity and the darker side of the human heart in the genres of horror
and psychological thrillers. She is the author of six novels. Many of her novels explore
motherhood, mental health disorders, revenge and family. Her tales are imbued with strong
emotional themes and atmospheric settings. She has a degree in literature and a postgraduate
diploma in psychology. Louise lives on a farm in Shropshire, in the UK.
Her latest novel is Doctor Glass, and her poetry and shorts are brought together in the collection
Stained Glass Lives. Rosie Shadow is book one in the Black Tongue Series. Louise is currently
writing a psychological horror...

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Here be not just a little monster...)

Buy your copy of Rosie Shadow here: https://geni.us/sBXRJ

Still reading?  In the mood for something chilling? May I recommend this new anthology for which I had the pleasure of writing the foreword for and submitting a short story that is included. Proceeds go to charity too so jump in (click the image below):

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Matt is Chair of the Hertfordshire Society of Authors


Just a quick update for you writers who might be interested to know I'm now the Chair of the Hertfordshire Society of Authors branch - we're having our first IRL / hybrid meeting on 13th Sep at The Sun Hotel... 

Details HERE

If you've ever wondered about joining but didn't fancy the subscription - the SOA membership opens up a world of legal advice, networks with authors, agents etc and enables you to register with the ALCS (who make payments to authors for their works being used in research. learning and taken out from libraries) - I wasn't sure I'd get much from this service but even though I only have Complete Darkness, the Neo Cyberpunk anthologies and DREAD COLD in the wild so far - the payments more than covered my SOA membership and have brought in a few hundred on top, just for registering...

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my dark sci-fi novel...


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Matt joins the House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon (18)

Streaming on Sky Atlantic / Now TV 

Reviewed by Matt ‘Hand of the King’ Adcock (@cleric20

How do you like your politically charged fantasy? 

If you answered ‘tasty – with plenty of spicy situations, intrigue, violence, treason, naked bums, simmering rage and kick ass dragons’, then oh boy are you about to be happy… 

Here we go then with a time-rewind to Westeros some 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. We get to join the action in the ninth year of King Viserys (Paddy ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ Considine) Targaryen’s reign. Things in the kingdom are a bit tense, the king is ill, and he doesn’t have a male heir although does have cool daughter - Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), but it’s pointed out that “there has never been a queen on the Iron Throne”. 

Step forward cocky pantomime baddie Prince Daemon (Matt ‘acting like he’s cos-playing a Game of Thrones character’ Smith) who wants to be king elect. Luckily the current queen is pregnant and about to give birth – many fingers are crossed for a male baby and Viserys has such a good feeling about it that he puts on a celebratory tournament where the knights of the realm joust and take to hand-to-hand combat for some patented GOT extremely gory demises. 

pick a side... each comes with a free dragon!

It's only a minor spoiler to say the birth of the new heir doesn’t exactly lead to a glorious new succession plan the king was hoping for – cue Daemon thinking he’s an evil shoo-in for the crown. But, being an absolute bell-end, he parties a bit too hard over the death of his nephew which doesn’t go down very well. Add to the mix some pot-boiling stirring by the King’s Hand, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and his Cersei-like daughter Alicent (Emily Carey) and the fuse is well and truly lit for another 7 episodes of carnage. By the end of this first hour, we’ve met plenty of the main characters, and heard tales about some who will no doubt turn up later in the series – my favourite being the reference to a salty self-appointed Prince Admiral of the free cities who is called ‘Crab Feeder’ due to his penchant for, well, feeding his enemies to crabs!? 

But perhaps given the name of the show we get to see some very impressive dragons. Oooooh here be dragons alright and they are fine beasties indeed, apparently there are no less than 10 kicking about and I for one can’t wait to see them in battle. In proper Game of Thrones style the seeds of political, lineage, and civil squabbles are well sown – I can’t confirm or deny if Westeros is in the throes of a ‘Westxit’ vote but having a blonde-haired loony overseeing political chaos and an unhappy populace doesn’t sound that far-fetched alas… 

House of the Dragon is sublime – Game of Thrones fans (even if jaded by the unpopular ending of the main series) should definitely give this a look. Based on this first episode we could be in for a prequel series every bit as awesome as GOT was at its best. Let’s hope that the mooted sequel ‘Snow’ can also step up and deliver because it looks like fantasy fans are going to have a great time what with the rival Lord of the Rings ‘Rings of Power’ hitting in September too…

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Fire will reign

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my dark sci-fi novel...


Monday, August 22, 2022

Matt's mind hits a Refraction (review)



Terry Geo (@terryjgeo)    

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

 “ …I’m your Shadow Man. I never meant to scare you. I rushed the programme. In my arrogance, I honestly thought it would work. I sent my digital form, this form in an email… ” 

Welcome to a whole new world - a place where you can dream literally anything into existence. If the thought of dinosaurs running loose on the streets of London while all manner of crazy dreams break through into reality - oh boy does Terry Geo have a book for you…

It’s not like we haven’t all suspected that a privately-funded facility somewhere is trying to find a way to tap directly into our minds? And you really don’t need to be a Facebook conspiracy theorist to wonder if shady big-budget corporates are looking to observe and record our thoughts and dreams. 

With Refraction, these nightmare scenarios are brought to vivid life. But imagine how cool it would be to use high tech to allow people to experience impossible treats such as seeing Prince, Kurt Cobain, Freddie Mercury all perform on a lineup - from beyond the grave. Geo has a lot of fun exploring ‘what ifs’ such as having Babs Windsor and Kenneth Williams do a background guide to the Carry On films, offering characters chance to fly a dragon over Westeros or follow the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and pals… These pop culture Easter eggs are grin-inducing and wide-ranging - there are so many yet the don’t detract from the main action, it’s all very LGBTQ+ positive as well which is great to see in sci-fi. Geo has woven them into a rich geek tapestry of sci-fi and fantasy. 

The man of your dreams...

At the heart of the tale is a conspiracy to get highly active brain-function individuals from across the globe to ‘the facility’, Abby, a young girl who’s father disappeared, Terrell, a young gun who has bagged a tech placement, Ryder, the troubled grandson who is about to join Silicate and Jake… 
What do these people have in common? 

It’s a trip finding out…

My advice is to jump in to this sci-fi Refraction.

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Your dreams aren't what they used to be...)

Get your copy of Refraction here:


>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Friday, August 19, 2022

Matt visits the City of Sin (review)


City of Sin   

Sean O'Leary (@SeanOl777)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“What they didn’t understand, even Rhia with her street smarts, was someone was going to be coming for them. Someone hired by New Light Church. Thompson was looking for Rhia too. She didn’t kill anyone, but she left the scene. Stole the credit cards. He could make her answer for these things but right now he feared for her life. She might know something, and she had that USB.”

Welcome to Sydney, Australia.

Sydney is the vibrant largest city in Australia. Marvel at the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, catch the ferry to Manly, have a swim at Bondi Beach and stroll through the historic Rocks district. Do mind your step though if you venture into the dodgier neighbourhoods – this might be an exciting place to visit but it is also very much a City of Sin. 

Of course, that might be exactly what you’re after and as luck would have it, the New Light Church may just be able to facilitate some discreet sexual encounters with your choice of sex and age group. They ‘might’ record the trysts though and that ‘could’ cause a problem if hypothetically their senior pastor dies from a heart attack whilst in bed with a young prostitute, losing the USB stick that holds all the incriminating videos, access to shady accounts holding millions of dollars and more… 

Don’t worry though, even if that tenacious Indigenous investigator Carter Thompson from the Prosecutors Office picks up the case, New Light Church have unorthodox resources including the terminator-alike attack dog, P.I. Sally Bois. This woman will bribe, torture and kill anyone in her way and she is fully set on finding the USB and silencing young Rhia. What plays out is a riveting cat-and-mouse race against time where no one is safe and everyone is stained with sin. 

Author Sean O’Leary has a nicely morbid imagination and doesn’t skimp on the adult material with the plot packed with bad language, violent fights, sizzling sex scenes and grizzly murders including a full-on modern-day crucifixion!? 

If this road trip into the darkness of men’s hearts sounds like your cup of tea, strap in for an exciting thriller that blows the doors of the masquerades of God-fearing hypocrites as their cold-blooded pursuit drags you kicking and screaming into the lives of Rhia and her makeshift family. 

I really enjoyed this brush with dark forces and have no hesitation recommending it!!  

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - sin when you're winning...)

Get your copy of City of Sin here:


Who is this Sean O'Leary then?

Sean O’Leary is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. He has published two literary short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’. His literary novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘The Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in 2017. He self published ‘The Heat’ his crime novella set in Darwin and Bangkok in 2019. ‘Drifting’ and ‘The Heat’ will be re-published by Next Chapter in 2022/23. 

His second crime novella ‘Preston Noir’ was published in 2020 in ‘Crime Double Feature…Neo Noir’ from the indie press ‘Zombie Pirate Publishing. ’ His crime fiction collection ‘Wonderland‘ was recently published by the down and dirty folk at Close to the Bone Publishing in the United Kingdown. His new crime novel ‘Going All the Way’ and short story collection ‘Tokyo Jazz & Other Stories’ are both published by Next Chapter and out now. 

City of Sin is the first book in his new Sydney crime series featuring Indigenous investigator Carter Thompson. He likes to walk all over the face of the earth, travel as often as he can, supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence) enjoys art but knows nothing about it, is a film buff and writes like a demon. 

Follow him at: 

Website : www.seanolearywriter.com

This review was organised by the cute and powerful Zoe of www.zooloosbooktours.co.uk

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Monday, August 08, 2022

All I do each night is PREY (review)

Prey (15)

Dir. Dan Trachtenberg (@DannyTRS)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“We have him!”

 “No, he has us.”

In a world full of prequels, one warrior stands above the rest… The word ‘prequel’ has often been tarnished, even some of the best film franchises have been cursed with prequels which have either been weak, rubbish or just mediocre cash grabs. 

But what’s this? 

Prey is the latest to jump a much-loved series back in time – here is a prequel that tells the story of the first Predator visit to earth, some 300 years ago. So, is this Comanche vs space hunter effort another blot on the cinematic landscape? In a word ‘NO’, director Trachtenberg pulls off something incredible and manages to stay true to the essence of the 1980’s original. So strap in for stylish violence including graphic - predator fan-pleasing - brainstem ripping gore, nail-biting tension, tasty action and new characters that you’ll actually care about.


Meet Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche warrior and expert tracker whose has spent her life trying to prove herself to her tribe that she is worthy to be allowed to hunt. But the patriarchal tribal system is strong and try as she might – even almost taking down a lion on her own – she is not given a chance to do more than cook.

But when a ‘sign in the sky’ heralds something bigger, nastier and carrying some advanced weaponry coming into her tribe’s hunting grounds and killing their food supply, Naru might just be her people’s only hope and must find a way to combat this serious extra-terrestrial threat.

I’m delighted to say that Prey is absolutely badass, packing a level of gruesome endorphin rush that has been sorely missing from the decent but not-a-classic Predators and the wildly misfiring The Predator from Shane Black.

Prey brings us a Predator who is a primal killing machine in a skull mask and as is their way, keen to track and hunt everything in its path. There is so much to enjoy as the various wild beasties go up against the space warrior, a highlight being a grizzly bear vs predator one-on-one fight but when the action moves to human targets things really amp up.

gothic face paints are very in...

The film is excellent at capturing the feeling of Native American customs and traditions and working them seamlessly into the plot. Naru wields a homemade axe-on-a-rope which is a fantastic weapon, the like of which Kratos from God of War might want to borrow. Throw some white, gun-totting trappers who aren’t big fans of the natives and stand back as the carnage kicks off in fine style.

There’s a feral majesty not just to the woodlands replete with wolves and picturesque acres of wildness, but also to the combat. The primal predator doesn’t have all the same weaponry as we’ve seen before but some staple things like the head-mounted 3 red dot target system is still in place.

Prey moves along a breathless pace and Midthunder is a charismatic and engaging lead. Her supporting cast might not get the same character development but this film is less a ‘team vs predator’ than a battle of wits between girl and monster.

Even if you only have a passing interest in the previous Predator films, Prey is absolutely worth seeking out – and if you’re a newcomer to the series then it’s an excellent place to start!

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - 
If it bleeds, we can enjoy seeing it battle…)

Awesomeness ööööö – The Predator is back in business baby!!

Laughs öö – A few well-observed chuckles 

Horror ööö
ö – Nice and grim 

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Only the hunt matters

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my dark sci-fi novel...