Thursday 13 January 2011

Book: American Devil by Oliver Stark

Oliver Stark introduces us to volatile cop Tom Harper and psychologist Denise Levene in the first of a new ongoing series.

Harper is recognised as a brilliant detective but following his marriage break-up and a fight with a fellow officer he finds himself off the force until a series of gruesome murders leave the Brass with no choice but to bring him back. One condition of his re-instatement is that he must attend regular sessions with Police Psychologist Denise Levene.

The story flows nicely as we follow Harper’s investigation but it really kicks up a gear when the characters of Mo and Nick are introduced and their part in proceedings is gradually revealed.

Unusually for this type of book it’s the female psychologist who steals the show from the tough cop. Her profile of the killer and subsequent interactions with him help this overcome the stereotypical route that it frequently veers into.

All the tried and tested elements of the genre are here:
Tough-but-kind cop, attractive & intelligent Doctor, killer with a deeply scarred childhood, horrible murders and some well developed supporting characters.

This debut novel is nothing original but has been written with enough style to warrant continued attention and with a sequel, 88 Killer, already on the way, it looks like Oliver Stark and his duo will be here for some time to come.
Ric's Rating: 69%

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