Damen is back! Three years ago I read the second book of the Reaper series (or trilogy how it is written on the book), eager to read on about DI Brook’s adventures. Only this summer, the third book was published (noted, that I missed out all the books on DI Brook without the Reaper inbetween). Right before my end-of-summer vacation. So I wondered what Steven Dunne had up his sleeve. And it actually contained a magic trick, which one might call a sleight of body.
This time, it takes quite a while until a murder. The initial part of the book features looking back at the events after the Reaper’s murders in 2010, but also around Prof Sorenson’s death in 2008. Brook is questioned about the events leading to the death of Ex-FBI McQuarry, shot by her ex-partner Drexler. That’s where Brook gets to know DS Kelly Tyson in who he finds a source on an interesting investigation happening before the Professor’s death. Together with DCI Fulbright, she followed up on a lead of the dying Charlie Rowland which linked Sorenson to the Reaper investigation. Ok, maybe too many names for this review. In short, some new information turned up from talks to Tyson leading to a big twist to the whole Reaper network situation.
Meanwhile, young criminal Jason Wallis is set free, holding a grudge against Damen, against his aunt, against a teacher who, as he learned, humiliated him. This is the strand running quite expectedly and leading to a dead cat and more. And when Jason’s aunt is seemingly killed by the Reaper, Damen instantly knows the truth on her death. It’s a cat and mouse like game (no pun intended) between the characters, which leads to some surprising revelations.
As before, I enjoyed the writing of Dunne a lot. The story never failed to surprise and is full of suspense, even with late deathly crimes. Brook is not the conventional detective, but his conclusions always feel right in retrospect. This novel is a really cool wind-up of the Reaper story and even the ending had a twist that made me grin and hope for more. And, yes, I definitely have to catch up on Damen’s other stories.