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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Great thrill ride

    This book is a true masterpiece. It is written well and keeps you on edge plus the gorey details add that fear factor.

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  • The Classics and Derby

    There are some good motifs in this book, sadly they are not enough to rescue it. The relationship between Brook and Sorensen is a bizarre one to say the least and it does at least add a slightly different dimension to the usual police procedural. Unfortunately, there are far too many hackneyed tropes in the book and they are unashamedly displayed for the reader to tsk over. This is especially true of Brook himself, who has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever; so much so I actually found myself hoping that the titular Reaper would overwhelm him in the end. The murders are told with a relish that should be uncomfortable but isn't - I think a steady diet of brutal scandi-noir has removed the shock factor from such things for most people who read the genre. That and basic attention to biological function seems secondary to making a pleasing kill room scene. There is an attempt to be inventive but I found it did fall rather flat and the squeezing in of "culture" to be just that, squeezed in as a neat little signpost for the reader rather than an actual intrinsic part of the plot. As plot goes it is slightly better than the characterisations in the book but not by much. Events that are supposed to make you gasp and hurriedly turn the page are left floundering because they become increasingly preposterous and rely far too much on coincidence and right place, wrong time formula to become truly engaging. The opening salvo is intriguing and draws you in, you want to know what is happening on this sink estate and why the youth are quite so disaffected and feral. Unfortunately this is then backed up by a Police force that is dismissive and often bullying towards those of senior rank. Whilst I suppose there is an element of that that is true to life here it is laid on with spades and rather than elevating the impression of the police in the reader's minds (as so many in this genre manage to do - even when full of black humour and clear coping mechanisms) this particular example of the genre just serves to denigrate. I found this to be a rather mundane and ploddy example of the genre and certainly would not look at purchasing other episodes in the DI Brook series.

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  • Dark, chilling and well-written

    I really enjoyed this book. Dark, chilling and well-written. Since reading it I have gone on to read the others in the series - The Disciple, Deity, The Unquiet Grave and Under A Killing Moon and loved them all. In fact they get better and better as they go along. Damon Brook is an interesting character, flawed enough to make him really interesting. I cannot recommend this series of books highly enough and The Reaper is a brilliant opening book.

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