Devil’s Demise is the debut novel from Lee Cockburn, who has worked for Police Scotland for fourteen years. Five of those years as a Police Sergeant in Edinburgh. So going into this book you’d expect it to be a page turning thriller as our protagonist DS Taylor Nicks, and her partner DC Marcus Black, hunts down a predatory sadist who appears to be slaughtering successful business women.
But sadly it’s not very gripping. Whilst Lee has brought her expertise to the book, providing an insight into the process of a murder enquiry, the story felt quite rushed in places. The book opens with an incredibly vicious and descriptive attack on a woman named Susan, I know Lee probably intended to shock but I found some of the imagery a little hard to swallow and it made me feel uneasy. Granted, I do like to be moved and feel emotions whilst reading but to recoil in cold terror and discomfort, is not exactly one I particularly enjoyed.
I can easily say that whilst reading the entire book, I didn’t find one character I felt I could relate to or was spurring on, as they were all quite flat and didn’t feel fully formed. The killer, John Brennan, appeared to have been written with the intension of being truly depraved and cruel however I just didn’t feel that his Modus Operandi made any sense, nor were his internal dialogues particularly believable. The style of writing felt rushed at times, with timescales seeming to jump all over the place, which made the flow of reading difficult to follow at and when there was actual dialogue exchanged it was poorly written and seemed forced instead of natural.
Injected into this novel were moments of eroticism, which whilst here and there made sense to the characters and the situations, felt somewhat overdone, and dare I say unnecessary. Although I could see the potential of what Lee Cockburn was hoping to achieve with this novel, it fell short of the mark in every aspect, with characters, pacing, plotline and dialogue leaving a lot to be desired.
Devil’s Demise is published by Clink Street Publishing and is available for the Kindle from amazon.co.uk (RRP £2.99) The Print Edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £7.99)