"I was totally enthralled by ‘Deity’ – and I know you will be, too. "


It all starts with a cadaver being pulled out of the river and the realisation that the man has been given a post-mortem and his innards removed – all except the heart. Someone with a fair knowledge of pathology is carefully removing body parts from their victims. Plural, as very soon after another body is found. As with the first – it has been scrubbed and cleaned as if ready to be viewed in a coffin. Both men are identified as homeless but neither was murdered. Both died of alcoholic poisoning. This ‘modus operandi’ does not fit a serial killer as neither man was murdered. But Brook wonders if this is someone leading up to something bigger?

Then four students at Derby College go missing. Not a trace of them can be found. They simply – vanished. Could it be connected to a film they recently watched in their Media Studies class? Could these four students who each had their own reasons for being disillusioned with the world be influenced by a film? And then the videos start appearing on the Internet and DI Damen Brook worries if what he thought of as a charade is much more serious. And as Brook and his team search through troubled families and lies they wonder if the two cases are not as separate as first thought.

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I have to admit that I am not a great fan of the ‘serial killer’ sub-genre. I had my glut of them some years ago and moved on – so it was with a recommendation and some trepidation that I started ‘Deity’. And I am thankful I did as it is so much more than that. Yes, there are bodies that turn up in the river missing bodily parts – but this does tie in very well with the overall purpose of ‘Deity’. There was no gratuitous violence and only what was needed is within the novel. Dunne doesn’t suddenly get sidetracked about some ‘issue’ he wants to highlight – he simply allows us to follow the two investigations. The pace of the novel isn’t frenetic but measured without losing momentum. Dunne introduces Brook’s daughter, Terri that allows Dunne to write a pitch-perfect parallel with the missing teenagers. I felt that Dunne used Terri’s re-appearance effectively and unlike many of this type of novel, there was a sincerity, respect and tenderness about the fragility of youth. Dunne’s writing about the missing students was particularly humane and sensitive and brought the characters of the students vividly to life. It was also a good opportunity to see the tender side of Brook with his new-found relationship with Terri. ‘Deity’ is an intelligent thriller with a great cast, excellently executed plot giving excitement and emotion in equal measures. I was totally enthralled by ‘Deity’ – and I know you will be, too.

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