The Creepy AF Books Behind ITV's 'Dark Heart' Will Answer All Your Burning Questions

Dark Heart/ITV

ITV has really gone and done it again, with latest detective drama series Dark Heart. It's an absolute feast for the senses. With lots of beautiful shots, tense music, and some world class home-grown talent, it's everything you need on a chilly, stormy winter night. But if you thought this was the genius creation of some TV writer, you would be wrong. Adam Creed's D.I. Staffe books inspired Dark Heart, so if you want spoilers about what might be coming in the future, here's what happens in the world of Will Wagstaffe.

While a second season of the gritty drama has not been announced, there certainly is scope for a few more, as there are in fact five books in the hit series. So, fans of the show might well be eager to get on board with the D.I. Staffe series and totally marathon them seeing as it's winter season. Well, what is life if you can't read ahead a bit?

So who is this guy Staffe? Well, he is a Detective Inspector who's name is actually William Wagstaffe, or Staffe to his familiars. Tom Riley is playing the dark and brooding detective. And dark and moody is kind of an understatement. This guy has been through the ringer. He basically became a detective to avenge the murder of his parents. If that isn't a full on foundation for a career, then what flipping is? Here's what happens in the literary editions.

'Suffer The Children'
Adam Creed

OK so the first book is what the series is based on, so fans of the show should be all too familiar with the story. Staffe is called to a crime scene. Not just any old crime scene but the very brutal and gory murder of a man. Oh and not just any man, but one who has recently been held on suspicion of child abuse, leading investigators to suspect that there is a vigilante killer on the loose. All this while struggling to balance her professional and personal life, with work always seeming to tip the balance. Cue on-again, off-again GF, ticked off sister, and basically a whole lot of dramz.

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'Willing Flesh'
Adam Creed

Well who doesn't love a Christmas special? Just for you Christmas lovers, Creed went on ahead and wrote Staffe into a case during the most wonderful time of the year. With the Yule Tide season fast approaching, our man Staffe is doing his darnedest to keep on-again off-again bae Sylvie happy, and to give their relationship a real chance. However, a spanner is thrown into the works when he is called to a posh hotel room where sex worker Elena Danya has been found murdered. Staffe grows close to close to the case, obsessing over the victim, and is pulled in further as her friends are murdered and one goes missing. Suspects include wealthy members of the upper echelons, meaning it is incredibly difficult for Staffe to catch anyone, and his involvement in the case puts him, and those around him, in grave danger.

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'Pain Of Death'
Adam Creed

In this instalment, a woman is found under the streets of London clinging to life. The woman, Kerry Degg, is a known burlesque dancer and is barely alive. Shortly after this, a baby which turns out to be hers is found abandoned. Degg keeps company, it transpires, with some fairly unsavoury characters, including gangsters, a dodgy AF husband and, well, a politician. The hunt is on for her attacker, and as the story unfolds, a dark web of illicit and illegal underground surrogacy is revealed.

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'Death In The Sun'
Adam Creed

In the fourth of the series, we see Staffe doing a not-so-unfamiliar thing for a British person to do, and emigrating to Spain for a better life. Olé! Right? Well of course not, there has to be a bit of drama. So, he moves to a tiny village way up in the remote Andalucian mountains and tries to recover from his death defying experiences. His new life is all sangria-this, sunshine-that, and complete idyllic chill.

Until — oh, of course there was an until — his new pal Manolo is all "let's go for a trip to the gorgeous Almeria! Oh and did you hear about the dead body they found buried near there?" So of course Staffe is back on his BS and chasing a murderer yet again.

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'Kill And Tell'

And now to Italy, to Sicily in particular. Carmelo Trapani, an ageing former criminal has been kidnapped. Uh oh. The trail leads back to parts of Staffe's past which haunt him still. Namely the murder of the man who tried to kill him, Jadus Golding. To make matters more complex for Staffe, Golding was murdered by his sidekick DS Pulford, who is awaiting trial. This guy never gets a day off, does he.

The race is on to find Trapani while also ensuring he supports his friend during the trial. All this means that he is truly pushed to his limits, to the detriment of his physical and mental health, and his safety.

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With all the excitement shown in the first season alone, there is definitely more room for more thrills from the hard working detective.