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Dane Curse (Black Cape Case Files Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This book just oozes with the noir and superhero style in a perfect combination. It’s familiar territory to readers of both, but presented in a unique way that elevates it to the top. On the noir side, the story embraces known elements like the hard-drinking detective, a dirty underbelly to the city, or people throwing around terms you’ll hear in old movies, like “doll,” and runs with them. On the other side, the variety of heroes and villains, or capes, on display makes this feel like a living, breathing city of super-powered people that has passed its golden age and moved to the modern one, left with older capes telling tales of glory and younger capes seeking to make names for themselves. Honestly, the book excels on both fronts.
If I had to make a comparison, the story plays out like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in a good way, but with superheroes. And the mystery is fun to solve. I had the killer and part of the motive figured out, but completely missed the method of killing. The characters are all likable, from Dane as a well-intentioned, but hardly squeaky clean anti-hero, to others like Lynx, the femme fatale with plenty of power, or the scheming Lynchpin, who controls the villain mafia.
I saw one other review mention that this would be a long read for younger people, but I raise my eyebrows at that. While most of the story plays out about on the level of a PG-13 movie, there are a few instances where it straddles the line between that and a R-rating. This is more a book for older superhero fans and it was smartly written. After this story, I felt like I got off a whirlwind roller coaster. I’m very interested to see what Mr. Abraham will write next, whether in Gold Coast or otherwise, as he’s shown to be an excellent writer with this debut novel.
Dane Curse is a former ‘black cape’, a super villain. Leaving his villainous ways behind, he is now a shamus, a gumshoe…a private detective. His beat is Gold Coast, home to various criminal organizations and other black capes. When a hero, a ‘white cape’ takes the big dirt nap, everyone and their mother wants to pitch in. A black cape…not so much. That’s where Curse comes in. Aided by enough gadgets to get Batman’s attention and his trusty four-armed girl Friday, The Widow, Curse gets the case of a lifetime dumped in his lap. One of the premier white capes has gone missing and largest criminal organization, the Sindicate, wants answers.
It is at that this point where the book could have become a fanboy mess of superpower characters parading through the pages – and there are a fair number of black capes here, but at its heart, the novel is faithfully a detective story. A detective story with energy beams, shapeshifters and people who can fly, but a detective none the less.
If you have a passing fancy for either super-heroes or detectives, or, like me, both, you’ll enjoy this hard boiled adventure.