The Reaper – Steven Dunne

the reaper

Published 29 July 2011 by Avon

A damaged detective.
A case he’s trying to forget.
A killer who won’t let him…

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 confronting a past that destroyed his family and destroyed his family and nearly cost him his life…

A heart-stopping thriller from a stunning new crime talent, for fans of Stuart MacBride and Thomas Harris.

My review of A Killing Moon Book 5

My thoughts

I read A Killing Moon earlier this year and developed a fascination with Damen Brook. So much of his history was alluded to, that I simply had to find out more. The Reaper introduces Brook and is the début novel by Steven Dunne.

We meet Damen Brook, a Detective Inspector working in Derby. He comes across as rather damaged man, picking up the pieces of his life. He had a nervous breakdown and in some ways still appears quite vulnerable. Brook is an outsider and is reminded of this all the time by his new colleagues, with their prejudiced attitudes towards him. We follow Brook in the present day, as he deals with the horrific slaying of a family. Brook quickly sees links to an old case that he worked on in London, that haunted him. We go back in time and witness a young and doggedly determined Brook go after a cunning intelligent killer. Will Brook catch The Reaper, this time?

Dunne quickly draws the reader into the dark world of Damen Brook and his perspective on life. Brook knows who the killer is or he thinks he does. His unusual relationship between the prime suspect is revealed over time. They seem to develop a kind of friendship and the suspect’s talk is very rational and focused. In the past, young Brook’s behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre. He becomes totally obsessed with his suspect. An older Brook does not seem that much different. He is prepared to do anything to prove his point. This is the strongest part of the book and is says so much about the character of Brook.

There is so much to this story, that it is a credit to Steven Dunne. As a first story in the series, it sets enough up to make the reader demand more. It is a fabulous introduction to the complex Damen Brook, an injured heroic lead. I would have liked to have seen even more of Brook’s mental distress explored. It is not often we see a lead character with past mental health issues, being positive and open about them.

Disturbing and dark, psychologically exciting and with a charming prime suspect, this is a series that is just hotting up. Recommended.






About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
This entry was posted in mystery, thriller and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.