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Dane Curse (Black Cape Case Files #1) by Matt Abraham Book Review

Write on: Fri, 06 Dec 2019 by  in Charles' Reviews Be the first to comment! Read 875

4.5/5

DANE CURSE is the first book of the BLACK CAPE CASE FILES by Matt Abraham. It is the story of the titular detective who is a former supervillain with the powers of the Wrecker but who has since retired to become a private detective specializing in the affairs of "black capes." Dane Curse is a fascinating noir private eye in a seemingly Golden Age of Superheroism city that has the same sort of timelessness as Gotham City.

Dane's business is doing alright but not exceptional when he gets the opportunity of a lifetime: the Sindicate is offering ten million dollars to a selection of the best private eyes in the city to investigate the death of the world's greatest superhero. Pinnacle's death threatens to tear the city apart as he was a figure who kept all of the most violent heroes in check while also intimidated the worst villains into compliance. He has a week before the story inevitably gets out and the Sindicate gets the blame.

I really enjoyed this novel and it's going on my list of top ten recommended superhero novels. Dane Curse has a believable gritty attitude that invokes Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe without actively copying them. He is respectful of criminals and remorseless for his history of villainy but has a moral compass guiding him based more on feelings than the law.

While Dane seems a little too trusting of the various femme fatales in the book, I think we still is great to read the perspective of. Unsurprisingly, he reminds me a lot of Harry Dresden who did a similar thing with wizards that Dane Curse does for superheroes. The book doesn't have the Dresden Files' level of humor or world-building but it is well done in both. It also manages to make a believable and consistent superhero world.

The action is very well done in this book and genuinely exciting. Dane is indestructible and super-strong but he's just one superhuman in a city full of them. He also has a pair of superpowerful super-science/magic guns but even these are no guarantees against his opponents. I appreciated this as it allowed dynamic fight scenes without making Dane overpowered for the setting. Several times he's overwhelmed and even captured during the book.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend this book if you liked the Dresden Files or just detective fiction in general. I also recommend it if you have a fondness for superhero fiction. I saw the twist at the end coming from a mile away but that just shows that the author's use of tropes was well done and it also made a lot of sense once you followed the trail of clues. This is a fun-fun book and I immediately picked up the sequel.

Last modified on Friday, 06 December 2019 07:47
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.

Website: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/

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