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In this debut space epic, a crew of thieves and con artists take on a job that could pay off a lot of debts in a corrupt galaxy where life is cheap and criminals are the best people in it.

The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune, and adventurers travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And they never talk about their past—until now.

Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth, and no one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run…And it may be their last.

Courtesy of the author

Mike Brooks is the author of The God-King Chronicles epic fantasy series, the Keiko series of grimy space-opera novels, and various works for Games Workshop’s Black Library imprint including RITES OF PASSAGE and BRUTAL KUNNIN. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, and moved to Nottingham to go to university when he was eighteen, where he still lives with his wife, cats, and snakes. He worked in the homelessness sector for fifteen years before going full-time as an author, plays guitar and sings in a punk band, and DJs wherever anyone will tolerate him. He is queer, and partially deaf (no, that occurred naturally, and a long time before the punk band).

"Golden Age chic! Great fun!"

– Stephen Baxter, , International bestselling author of The Long Earth with Terry Pratchett, and Proxima

Brooks’s terrific debut demonstrates that a good caper tale can take place anywhere, even in interstellar space. Capt. Ichabod Drift and the crew of the Keiko have an unusual approach to galactic law and order, one that ranks “convenience over obedience.” All of them have secrets that they’d rather not reveal, but Drift’s is the biggest of all: he was once known as Gabriel Drake, a notorious privateer. He thought he’d escaped his past, but now it has come calling in the form of Nicolas Kelsier, ex-minister of Extra-terrestrial Resource Acquisition for the Europan Commonwealth, and Drift’s former boss. Kelsier offers him both the carrot and the stick: Drift can take Kelsier’s smuggling commission and earn a handsome sum for himself and his crew—or have his past revealed to the Federation of African States and the rest of the galaxy. Even with elaborate planning, capers never run easily, and this one is no different. It will take all the skills of each of the Keiko’s crew members and some “outrageously ballsy chicanery” on Drift’s part if they are to escape with their lives, let alone make a profit. Fans of rip-roaring space adventures will greatly enjoy this one.

– Publishers Weekly, March 7th, 2016

Brooks has concocted a space opera full of fast talk, action, and gratuitous violence. Brooks delivers a old-fashioned space Western peopled with likable, flawed characters who gallop across an entertaining page-turner.

– Kirkus Reviews, March 31st, 2016

Brooks turns in an enjoyable adventure that has all of the fast action and clever dialog fans of the genre look for, with well-drawn secondary characters who also have moments to shine. Suggest this debut to enthusiasts of caper plots and stories such as Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay novels, and, of course, Firefly.

– Library Journal, April 15th, 2016

"Dark Run is a fun novel."

– io9.com

"Dark Run deserves to be this year's break out. A space opera in the rollicking tradition of Timothy Zahn, John Scalzi, James S.A. Corey, C.J. Cherryh."

– Andrew Liptak, B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

"[Dark Run] doesn’t disappoint. With its fast moving action, wise-cracking dialogue and wry humour."

– SFF World

"Dark Run is a fast paced smuggler story that delivers all the crooked and devious action you could ask for."

– SFBook Reviews

 "A pure scoundrel-centric tale that is worthy of the Serenity crew and will make any Firefly fan smile."

– , Geek Dad

"Wicked."

– , Geek Mom

More books from this author: Mike Brooks

More books in this series: Keiko