Review: Death Do Us Part by Steven Dunne

Monday 13 June 2016
Title: Death Do Us Part
Author: Steven Dunne
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 5th May 2016
Pages: 496
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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?

I shockingly only read my first Steven Dunne book last year and that was the brilliant A Killing Moon (and the paperback version has my quote inside, which excited me greatly when I stumbled across it at the library!). I therefore couldn't wait to read Death Do Us Part when I requested it on NetGalley. For me the bar was set very high by Steven with his previous book but I think had I read all of his previous work, then I would probably be calling this book 'his best one yet' because it kept me thoroughly engrossed the whole way through and it was a very late night (or early morning) when I turned the final page.

I found DI Damen Brook to be a very interesting character in A Killing Moon and he was one I was looking forward to meeting again. In this latest instalment he has his work cut out for him both personally and professionally. Personally as he is attempting to reconnect with his daughter Terri who has a drinking problem, and he's attempting to get a handle on that when his presence is requested at a local murder scene. A scene which results in him taking on another murder case because the current officer in charge is nearing retirement. Not a lucky day for Brook. The case centres around the murders of first a middle-aged gay couple and the an elderly couple who were also murdered in the same way: a single gunshot to the heart. Straightaway I knew this would soon become an addictive case to read about, because what could possibly connect the murders of two very different couples?

The team that Steven Dunne has created to work alongside Brook is just fantastic, and very believable, everything between them flows very naturally and whether its in the field or out of it, they are an enjoyable bunch of characters to read about. The whole series just works and feels fresh because it seems as though (and this is only my second read of a Steven Dunne novel) he is an author that likes to mix things up, and even just reading the blurbs of his previous books gives me a sense of how different each book is from the last. Yes, Brook is taking on a murder case but it's never just a bog standard, everyday case for him to solve. I have also come to realise that Steven isn't an author that I am even going to attempt to second guess. Instead I will sit back, be throughly entertained and let Brook do all the hard work. Readers of my blog will know that I like my crime fiction at the more gruesome end of the spectrum and Steven delivers on that front. 

Some brilliant twists are delivered in this story that really test Brook personally and emotionally and his daughter plays a huge role in that. To connect with a series and its characters I think the author does have to push the boundaries and make sure that their characters are people that we can see as real people, and make them characters that we can really invest in. Then, when they have achieved that, they can go and place them in situations that have us as readers sitting their with our hearts in our mouths. The last third of this book was especially enjoyable (and immensely thrilling) and definitely left me wanting more from Damen Brook and so I simply must try and somehow fit the previous books in this series into my TBR. If you are yet to pick up Death Do Us Part, then please do so right away. A truly enjoyable police procedural that delivers on every level. 

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