Author – Steven Dunne
Published – 4 July 2013
Genre – Crime fiction
Thank you to Headline for my review copy of this book and my introduction to Dunne and DI Damen Brook.
For me this felt like quite a disjointed opening, as the first few chapters detail the deaths of young boys in 1973, 1963 and 2011. It’s not clear if there’s a connection other than the presence of some of the same police personnel in the two earliest incidents. The story then moves forward to 2012 and the investigation into the disappearance of the best friend of the boy murdered in 2011. Following this? Well it doesn’t become less complicated!
But our main interest is DI Brook – who has featured in three earlier books by Dunne. These preceding books must have been pretty eventful because Brook is just about to return to duty after recovering from an injury and being suspended. In fact he is so unpopular with his bosses that he is sent to a dark and windowless basement to work on cold cases – assisting retired copper Clive Copeland. Which begins to give you some idea of the relevance of the old cases at the beginning, and coupled with this Copeland has his own agenda as he is still trying to find who murdered his sister in 1965.
This is one really complicated book. It’s a police procedural with a difference – the mix of cold cases and the current investigation into the missing boy. Don’t be put off as there’s no unnecessary gore or violence surrounding the deaths, although the sections from the missing boy’s perspective may make you feel a little uncomfortable.
While Brook is able to make progress on the cold cases he can’t help but inveigle himself into the current investigation – pleasing his former DS and annoying his superiors.
Brook is a likable main character – he’s obviously had some difficult times in the past and his commitment to his job is taking a battering. He comes across as a character that you want to root for and one with a healthy sense of right and wrong – which is important in a story as convoluted as this.
An excellent read – but you do need to pay attention!