Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Demons Beneath - WD Jackson-Smart


A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?
As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?
With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.


What did I think?

I really enjoyed this book; adding an element of the supernatural makes it a thriller with a difference.  DI Daniel Graves has just moved from Derbyshire to London and boy, has he been thrown in at the deep end; he has two murder cases to investigate, one being linked to the tattoo industry and the other appears to be death by demon.  I do love a bit of unexplained spookiness so I did prefer the demon case over the tattoo one, but I think it made it quite true to life for a detective to be investigating more than one case at a time.

The tattoo case is intriguing but the demon case had me completely riveted; I think you could even make a blockbuster film out of that storyline alone.  Of course the police are looking for a traditional earthly explanation for the death of a person who hired a demonologist to rid their house of the ungodly presence.  Whatever the cause of death, what you can't dispute is the strange goings on in the house that set the tragic chain of events in motion.  I would have liked to investigate this a little further but there's so much going on in the book to capture my attention that it really was an afterthought that I felt the demon story had been left hanging a little.

There are tasty little snippets into Graves' backstory which explain why he became a policeman.  It gives us a good foundation on which I expect his character will grow throughout the series.  I found it a really intriguing characteristic that he's squeamish when he sees a mutilated body - how on earth will he manage to cope in the homicide department?

I always give a book extra marks when it causes me to head off to google something.  In this case it was the 'Enfield haunting' - I had never even heard of it.  Of course I would have only been a child when the actual events took place between 1977 and 1979 but there had been a TV show made about it in 2015 which I haven't seen but now definitely want to.

I just want to say one more thing about the book where I thought that WD Jackson-Smart very cleverly summed up the rise of social media and trolling.  The demonologist turns on her iPad 'Where human beings were just as terrifying as the demons they exorcised'.  Maybe think about it for a second before posting something that would hurt others; you don't want to be in league with a demon after all.

The Demons Beneath is a cracking start to a series; it's fast-paced, intriguing and unique and I can't read to read more DI Graves' investigations.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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