Look at that menacing book cover, it’s so fitting – Devil’s Demise is crime fiction at its very darkest.
A cruel and sinister killer is targeting Edinburgh’s most powerful women, his twisted sense of superiority driving him to satisfy his depraved sexual appetite. He revels in the pain and suffering he inflicts on his unsuspecting victims but a twist of fate and an overwhelming will to survive by one victim ruins his plans for a reign of terror. His tormented prey will need all her courage if she is to survive the hunt. DS Taylor Nicks, DC Marcus Black and the team are failing to get a positive lead as this unlikely monster reeks havoc on the city, always managing to keep one step ahead of them. DS Nicks, a strong, intelligent and striking woman, is now under mounting pressure both at work and in her eventful private life. Can she stop the evil beast before he takes his ultimate revenge?
I can tell you, right of the bat, this book is brutal and it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Devil’s Demise is dark from the offset, the story opens with murder, yep you guessed it, this is a serial killer thriller, perhaps featuring one the darkest, most-hateful murderers in all of fiction!
“It thrills him to watch the life of another slowly drain away before him.”
A serial killer, with a deep hatred for women, is racking up his body count, and it’s up to DS Taylor Nicks and DC Marcus Black to put an end to his killing spree. I’ve read many serial killer thrillers but this is the first time I had to physically move the book away from me when reading certain parts, like I had to literally get away from the words. The sexual abuse that accompanied some of these killings was, at times, so hard to read, I feared the evil was seeping off the pages so I had to read at a distance. You have been warned: there is quite a bit of explicit sexual content in this book, graphic and brutal at times! Not all the sexual content is of the murderous kind, there’s some passionate scene too, however, these intimate scenes in contrast to the abusive ones just highlighted how brutal the abuse was. At times, I thought the erotica, was unnecessary and added nothing to the plot except this contrast, which wasn’t really needed as the scenes were violent enough. Right, that’s the reader warning out of the way.
Regarding the plot, we learn very early on who the killer is, and what follows is a game of ‘catch me if you can.’ I like that Cockburn gave all the chapter’s titles, the first chapter is called “evil awaits”, spot on, so fitting!
The characters are well developed, I really liked the character of DC Marcus Black, a family man, all round good guy. DS Taylor Nicks, however, hmm, the jury’s still out on her, she did a few things I’m not happy with, one being, if you are on duty, you do not sneak off with your girlfriend for a quick fumble, especially while there is a serial killer on the loose, tut tut. I usually really enjoy reading the character’s backstory, but here it annoyed me, too much erotica involved for my liking. What’s not debatable however, is how well these characters were developed, likeable or not, the author used them to create a very real story. You’re gripped by this book as you develop such a deep hatred for the killer, you need him to be caught!
In the midst of the murders and ‘the chase’, I really appreciated the flecks of ‘cop humour’, when you deal with these kind of cases, I can fully understand why you would use humour as a barrier, to protect yourself, as a mechanism to keep going in the face of evil. It was also nice for me, as the reader, to see the humour, to put a smile on my face and create a barrier between me and the evil too.
Lee Cockburn definitely knows how to write some powerful words, to make you wince when reading, to feel that cold chill. The plot is well thought-out, gripping in its intensity, and if you don’t mind reading violent scenes, sometimes of the sexual nature, I recommend this book. It’s a thriller, almost bordering on horror, that makes evil very real to its reader – it’s dark, no holds-barred crime.
*My thanks to Rachel at Authoright for providing me with a digital copy of this book*
This book is available to buy now from: Amazon UK