Review: A Killing Moon by Steven Dunne

Wednesday 6 May 2015
Title: A Killing Moon
Author: Steven Dunne
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 7th May 2015
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781472214928
Source: bookbridgr
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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?

I have wanted to read Steven Dunne's books for a long time and so I was excited to see A Killing Moon on bookbridgr. I did want to read the first four books first, but A Killing Moon can be read as a standalone and will certainly leave new readers wanting to go back and read the earlier books thanks to a mixture of brilliant characterisation and masterful storytelling from Steven Dunne.

A Killing Moon is very much a mystery in the beginning, a beginning that was somewhat formulaic as a young student, Caitlin, leaves a bar drunk, only to then walk home by herself and find herself kidnapped. You could say that it is a bit of a cliche, but open a newspaper, turn on the TV news and you will probably find a tale not dissimilar to the one here. DI Damen Brook and his colleagues set out to find out what happened to Caitlin, Brook and his partner Noble coming to the opposite conclusion to the other officers: Caitlin didn't go missing of her own accord and evidence is soon discovered of other students that have gone missing in the past, all of them from overseas.

I don't know whether it was because the reader knew Caitlin hadn't just left town by herself, but some of the explanations from the officers as to why she probably wasn't kidnapped were a little bit weak, and quite frankly worrying that as resources continue to be stretched, cases such as this could be left by the wayside if there isn't somebody like Brook determined to find answers and not just throw the case to one side. I think this says a lot about the kind of officer, and person, that he is.

As A Killing Moon progresses we are introduced to a number of characters in the migrant scene, some connected, some not. And also the various people that share connections to the missing students; partners, friends, family, lecturers etc. I won't sit here and list them but what I most enjoyed was the scope for red herrings, and for the reader to be thrown off course as they read. I have to admit that I certainly was, and I constantly changed my mind as to what had happened as the conclusion drew near, let's just say I was well and truly slapped in the face. I had about four different scenarios playing out in my mind, and I was almost fully convinced about one of them. I must also add that I really enjoyed the ending, the last chapter in particular but of course I cannot elaborate. One must always be on guard for the spoiler police, but it was a brilliant last few chapters.

This being DI Damen Brook's fifth outing I have to say I didn't feel all that out of place meeting him for the first time. His background and where he is now being firmly established and portrayed to the reader, yet at the same time teasing them with enough information that they will want to discover more about him. I say this all the time (so perhaps I'm wrong?) but I think it can be difficult to create fictional detectives that stand out, and that are different in this overflowing genre and despite sharing a couple of traits I think you will always find in a detective, I found myself intrigued by Brook and what has made him the person he is today.

I finished A Killing Moon with great regret at not having read Steven Dunne sooner, a mistake I will definitely be rectifying very soon. I highly recommend this one to fans of solid police procedurals, and a story that keeps you guessing throughout.


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