Death Unmasked, by Rick Sulik

A different spin on a classic cop tale. It follows quite a few stereotypes of the genre. However, it differentiates in the fact that it brings reincarnation and past lives–paranormal things–into the station. 

Sean Jamison’s so close to retiring. His coworkers think he’s losing it. In reality, that’s the farthest from the truth. Relics from a past life set him on a journey of self-discovery, heartbreak, and a killer much more familiar than he’s comfortable with. 

I liked the reincarnation aspect included in the narrative. The typical “gut feeling” that many cops seem to have was given more depth. My issue with it came near the end, during the resolution, when Sean suddenly knew an awful lot about other people’s past lives. Don’t get me wrong–the explanations tied things up nicely. A lot of information came that left me wondering why he knows all of this? Is the author looking to set things up for a sequel and explain things more then? The entire sequence felt a bit disjointed from the rest of the narrative. 

There’s a nice roller coaster of emotion that goes with this as well. Relationships were made and broken, people stepped out of their comfort zone, and really made quite a bit of progress with their personal development. I felt like things moved too quickly or easily on occasion, however. 

The ending felt a bit anti-climactic. There was a large buildup with the antagonist. It just seemed to coast along, though. I wouldn’t say it fell flat or short, but it didn’t feel nearly as exciting as the buildup led it to be. 

Character dynamics were nice. There were quite a few to get attached to, even in just a short period of time. And instead of featuring trim, young, handsome cops in the prime of their life, the narrative focuses on those in the later stages of life. It shows how it’s never too late for anything to happen–love, a sense of self and purpose, all of those can happen at anytime. Sometimes a person just has to wait a little longer than others. 

I also liked how the women were treated as characters. They were empowered, respected, and just as necessary to the narrative as everyone else. 
Death Unmasked was certainly a unique twist on an age-old formula. It followed quite a few stereotypes, but differentiated enough that it wasn’t boring. The world was set up in such a way that spin-offs and sequels that can explore some of the secondary characters a little deeper. 
Buy it here!

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