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 876


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.


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