Friday 8 May 2015

A Killing Moon by Steven Dunne

For the young woman kidnapped on her way home from the pub, the nightmare is about to begin....
Weeks after Caitlin Kinnear goes missing, the police are unable to break her case. Worse they are not even certain harm has come to her. But determined to pursue all leads, DI Damen Brook and his team begin to trawl through the murky world of cheap migrant labour. Convinced that the answers lie hidden within its depths, Brook soon begins to realise Caitlin is in terrible danger.
When the body of another young girl turns up it becomes clear that Caitlin's abduction might not be an isolated incident and the race is on to save her. But with time running out, can Brook put the pieces together and find Caitlin before it's too late?

A Killing Moon was published in hardback by Headline on 7 May and is the fifth in the DI Damon Brook series by Steven Dunne.  I'd like to say that I'm Brook's number one fan, but I know there are others out there who would claim that they are too!  I reviewed the last two in this series; The Unquiet Grave and Deity here on Random Things previously.

Brook hasn't really got  a choice; he can get involved in the latest initiative from Chief Super Charlton, and head up the scrap metal merchant project, or he can act on the suspicions of his colleague John Noble and use his skills as a cold-case investigator. Despite Charlton's initial objections, Brook gets his way, not realising that Noble really is onto something. Something that is going to turn into one of the most complex, difficult, violent and potentially lethal cases that Brook will get involved with.

Steven Dunne does not allow his readers to gently edge themselves into this story. Don't expect to gradually get to know the characters, oh no. Prepare to be shocked by the opening chapter, your mouth may hang open for the rest of the book too.

A Killing Moon touches on many issues and enters the underworld created by Polish immigrants in the seedy back streets of Derby. Also running through this story are themes of extremism and people who are so convinced by their die-hard beliefs that their actions become shocking and murderous. There are stomach-churning scenes of inhumanity and cruelty, the tension is high and the action moves quickly.

Brook and his police colleagues are believable and incredibly well created, from the almost stereotypical Chief Super, to the Constables. Brook has, over this series, begun to leave some of his past behind, and his colleagues are often surprised during A Killing Moon when he shows a more human side. Brook has always struggled to fit into the team, he has suffered a breakdown in the past, and also been off sick after being injured on duty. However, despite his more human side beginning to show, he still has a sharp tongue and does not tolerate idiots or 'Americanisms', his sarcasm can be cutting, but he is loyal to his colleagues ... and Steven Dunne elicits a form of loyalty from his readers towards Brook too.

Steven Dunne's writing is refined and sophisticated. He writes intelligent thrillers that challenge the reader. He teases the reader throughout, allowing them to have glimpses of what may be to come, but never giving away the full story. This only adds to the intensity of feelings evoked by the story and the anticipation of what is to come is spine-tingling.

A Killing Moon is, in my opinion, the best in the Damon Brook series so far, and that is high praise from me as this character is my favourite copper in literature today.

My thanks to Headline and Bookbridgr who sent my copy for review.

Steven Dunne was born in Bradford, Yorkshire but moved to London after attending Kent University and St Mary's College in Twickenham.

He became a freelance journalist writing for The Times and the Independent and, after co-writing a comedy pilot, wrote the book for The Latchmere Theatre's award-winning pantomime Hansel and Gretel.

Since moving to Derby he has written five highly acclaimed thrillers, including The Unquiet Grave and Deity, all featuring DI Damen Brook of Derby CID

Follow him on Twitter @ReaperSteven

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