Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Death Do Us Part by Steven Dunne @ReaperSteven

Even death cannot part these couples  
DI Damen Brook is on a rare period of leave and determined to make the most of it by re-connecting with his daughter Terri. 
But with her heavy drinking proving a challenge, Brook takes the opportunity to visit a local murder scene when his help is requested. 
An elderly couple have each been executed with a single shot to the heart and the method echoes that of a middle-aged gay couple killed the previous month. 
With the same killer suspected and the officer currently in charge nearing retirement, Brook knows that he has little choice but to cut short his leave when forced by his superiors to take the lead on the case. 
Brook believes that he can catch this ruthless killer, but already distracted by Terri's problems, is he about to make a fatal mistake and lead the killer right to his own door?

Death Do Us Part by Steven Dunne is the sixth in the Damen Brook series and was published by Headline in paperback on 25 August.

I've been a big fan of Steven Dunne's writing ever since I read and reviewed number three in this series, Deity back in April 2012. I also have reviews of the last two in the series; The Unquiet Grave (June 2013) and A Killing Moon (May 2015).

I read a lot of crime fiction, and I'm quite picky about what I like. In my eyes, Steven Dunne can do no wrong, His writing is precise and his plotting is utterly compelling, believable and incredibly fine-tuned. However, it is his characters and how they develop and grow throughout the story that really excel. DI Damen Brook is a damaged, troubled individual who faces his own demons throughout this book, yet manages to care more about his colleagues and the victims of the crimes he is investigating than he does about himself. And, this may be his eventual downfall, who knows? His fraught relationship with his daughter Terri is a story on its own and is so cleverly interwoven into the plot.

In Death Us Do Part, Steven Dunne deals with up to the minute, serious issues that can affect all walks of life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, grief, mental health, dysfunctional families and intricate working relationships are all brought to the front, each issue impacting on the way that the plot develops.

What at first seems to be a random double-murder soon turns into something much more complicated and Brook is called in from his annual leave to work on the case. It has become clear that the senior detective already assigned to the case is not only tired and becoming incapable, but is biased and dismissive of some of the victims. Being asked to take over the case is difficult for Brook who has struggled to be accepted since his breakdown some years ago. However, his team are loyal and their working relationships are strong, and Brook is determined that he will solve this case.

I urge everyone who hasn't yet read Steven Dunne to go out now, buy the book, buy the whole series, you really will not be disappointed.

Classy, solid and incredibly well plotted. Characters who are robust and reliable. This is crime fiction as it should be.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy of Death Do Us Part 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, includingThe Unquiet Grave and Deity, all featuring DI Damen Brook of Derby CID

Follow him on Twitter @ReaperSteven


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