Demons is the first installment in the London crime thriller series, D.I Graves, written by W.D. Jackson and published in February 2017. Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is new to the homicide department of the London Metropolitan Police Service and is working on the seemingly dead-end case of a man stabbed to death in a public park. The only lead the detective and his partner can turn up is a woman connected to the victim through their similar tattoos.
Concurrently, a London family is being terrorized by an unknown being. After seeing the family’s plea for help on the local news, demonologist Catherine Delamar and her assistant contact the family to help them purge the house of any demons or unwanted spirits. When D.I. Graves is called to work on a case connected to the demonic haunting, the two stories converge. Graves works to make sense of the situation and refuses to believe that demonic forces are to blame. As the two cases unfold, the pressure mounts and Daniel Graves struggles to find the truth behind the murders.
The series’ namesake, Daniel Graves, is committed to his life as a detective, but plagued by his past experiences and his own doubts and insecurities. Throughout the story, Graves works to overcome his inner demons to expose the very real demons responsible for the two murders. Despite his insecurities, he is somehow attracted to almost every woman he encounters. Underdeveloped and superficial, Graves’ character is unable drive the story in a meaningful way. Jackson attempts to make his protagonist dynamic by being both vulnerable and heroic, but he just comes across as a sexist jerk.
Staying true to the crime thriller genre, the story is full of twist and turns and action around every corner. However, the plot borders on cliché and unoriginal. The demonic haunting angle adds interest and spices up the plot, but it fails to support the rest of the story. The many suspenseful moments and plot twists keep the reader interested, but a weak main character combined with a familiar detective story narrative keep the story from being anything but average.
I didn’t dislike Demons, but I probably won’t read the next book in the series and I definitely wouldn’t read it again. There were several typos in the book as well that made it appear sloppy (i.e. “he went to poor himself a glass of orange juice”). Jackson does attempt to make the story with a killer twist ending, but once the reader gets past the initial shock of what the author reveals, the plot feels weak and poorly pieced together. I also felt let down that the two story lines never came together like I expected.
Overall, I would say that Demons is an entertaining read. There was enough action to keep me turning the pages and I got through it fairly quickly. But it was just that: entertaining. It lacked the elements that make up a really good story that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading. Even though the ending was shocking and unexpected, it didn’t tie everything together and didn’t make complete sense.
By WD Jackson
When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man on task to 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 all be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?
As case one 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.
With two cases on his shoulders and the truth seeming ever out of his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.