Book Review – Death Never Sleeps by David Grace

Death Never Sleeps
David Grace
File Size: 609 KB
Print Length: 312 pages
Publisher: Wildside Press (June 20, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

This book opens with a real shocking scene when Homicide Detective James “Big Jim” Donegan and his partner, Chris Hunter, are called to a park where a body was found in a wood chipper. Chris can barely look at the woman, and I couldn’t blame him. This was one crime scene I was not eager to visualize.

The dead woman turns out to be a prostitute who was strangled, and this discovery sends the detectives on a quest to find the killer. When a high school principal is found strangled and hanging from the school’s flagpole a few weeks later, at first there seems to be no connection between the two murders. However, the investigation proves otherwise, and adds yet another murder to the mix, this one a cold case.

The two central characters in the story have all the grit it takes to be a cop, but they also have softer sides that make them almost like heroic knights who slay dragons and save damsels in distress.  Big Jim has been a mentor to Chris for many years, and continues to help the younger man learn how to be a better cop and a better man.

I enjoy reading police procedural mysteries, and on many levels this was a satisfying read. The cop behaviors and jargon was spot on, and the convoluted mystery was well done, with enough twists to keep me guessing.

The sub-plot, dealing with the relationship between the two men outside of the job, was also well done, and there was a particularly nice wrap up to that at the end of the story. I really can’t say what that was without a major spoiler, so I will leave it to you, kind reader, to find out for yourself, should you get the book.

There were a few places where the main story, the focus on the investigation, got bogged down in back story. That was especially true when the reader was given a lot of detail about other detectives- even full scenes that were only barely connected to the main story. What the reader needed to know about these detectives and the cold case could have been summed up in a few paragraphs.

However, that was not enough of a problem to spoil the read. This was an entertaining story with some memorable characters.

David will be my guest this next Wednesday, so I hope you can come back and see what he has to say about how he picks the stories he writes.


David Grace is the author of 14 novels, five collections of science fiction short stories, and two collections of crime short stories. He has had short fiction published in Analog Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. As a screenwriter, he has written eleven screenplays and shared story credit for the “Outer Limits’ Joyride” episode. An attorney, he is licensed to practice law in the State of California and before the Supreme Court of the United States.

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