The Reaper by Steven Dunne (Damon Brook #1)


My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: A damaged detective and a brutal serial killer collide in this nail-biting thriller debut. Detective Inspector Damen Brook thinks he’s left his past behind him in London. But it seems a serial killer has followed him north…

Brook’s seeking sanctuary. Years in the MET have left their mark – so much so that he’s fled to Derby leaving behind his marriage, his teenage daughter and very nearly his sanity to wind down a once promising career in the peace of the Peak District.

But one winter’s night, Brook is confronted by a serial killer he hunted many years before – The Reaper – a man who slaughters families in their homes then disappears without a trace. To find this killer Brook must discover what the Reaper is doing in Derby, why he’s started killing again and what, if anything, connects the butchered families.

As Brook becomes entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse, he is forced to face his own demons by revisiting the previous investigation and confronting a past that destroyed his family and nearly cost him his life…

My Review: I was pretty impressed with this debut by Steven Dunne. I started reading it and found myself pretty immersed with the first few chapters which seemed to pull me in. I only had one issue and it’s not really even a valid one as I can’t explain my reasoning. The lead character is a Detective name Damen Brook. For some reason his name just didn’t sit right with me, don’t ask me why as I have no clue. I just know that it didn’t feel right (I’m hoping that by the time I get to read the others in the series I may change my mind on that).

The story itself is a good one and I particularly liked the fact that there were threads involving not only the new murders, but also following Damen’s life before he moved to Derby. Considering this was a debut novel, I thought it was bloody awesome. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it was perfect, but it was an amazing first book and I found myself thoroughly engrossed. There are plenty of plot layers and threads to keep the story moving along. The murder scenes were described with certain ‘flair’, giving you a feel for the killer. It may have been a wee bit creepy, but it certainly made it feel all the more realistic.

There were parts in the book which I felt were a little bit too descriptive, leaning towards a little bit of padding. However, it certainly wasn’t too much, and this will no doubt improve with each book that Dunne writes. There are threads to the story which take you back in the past, and unless you are paying careful attention, you may not always see the switch. I think this is a lot harder to follow on Kindle, as opposed to a paperback book. I really liked the end and it certainly left me wanting to read more about Damen (damn why is that name such an issue for me?!?!?!?), and I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to reading the follow up to this The Disciple.

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