The Disciple, by Steven Dunne

This is a very good sequel to Dunne’s first book, The Reaper, effectively rounding out the story started in that debut, but I’m not sure how it would work as a stand alone novel.

Having read The Reaper very recently, I found it easy to follow the continuing and developing story, but I think a lot needs to be known from the previous book to make this one work for the reader.

DI Damen Brook is drawn back into the world of the killer he named “the Reaper” when he becomes involved in two separate murder investigations that have clear links to earlier Reaper cases.
Are they copycat killings? Or were his earlier beliefs about the Reaper’s identity wrong?
And considering both cases have strong links to Brook himself, should the reader consider the possibility of his potential involvement in the murders?

Like the earlier book, The Disciple spans two time periods, linked by the man Brook has suspected of being the serial killer.
In this book the earlier time period also includes a shift of location, where a historical murder investigation in the US potentially becomes part of the increasingly complex “Reaper” story.
As in the first book, this one differentiates the time periods with different type face. In this case the American sections were in bold type. Personally I don’t like the technique, but it might work for others. I think I would have preferred the same typeface throughout.

While community fear would be the logical outcome of the apparent return of a brutal murderer, the response is very different. The killer has only targeted those who’ve been holding the community to ransom through violence, theft or general abusive, threatening behaviour. The killer’s work ironically makes those communities feel safer and the Reaper becomes a kind of folk hero to those who have been saved from the thuggery of not-so-petty criminals.
Where the legal system seems to fail, and where society increasingly turns away from any idea of ultimate Divine retribution, The Reaper carries out the justice desired by the community at large, but considering how widespread the desire for “justice” has become, how can the Reaper meet the growing need?