REVIEW: Under The Surface – Richard Dean * * * *

Under the Surface - Richard Dean

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Book Description from Amazon

Matt Moss arrives in the Westchester town of Danbury Hills, New York, after his estranged brother – writer Nathan Moss – commits suicide. It’s supposed to be a quick visit for Matt, one of obligation rather than caring: pack up the house, listen to the reading of the Will, get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. But after formally identifying his brother’s body, Matt notices something that makes him doubt the suicide verdict, and despite his intentions to leave quickly, his suspicions soon leave him compelled to find out what really happened. Suicide? Murder? Nothing is as it seems, Under The Surface.



I download this book because I was in the mood for a thriller and the blurb actually sounded interesting. The story, in a nutshell, is about Matt Moss whose brother had died in what was ruled as a suicide. All Matt wants to do is take care of the necessary funeral arrangements and other formalities, and get back to his life. In the past his relationship with his brother was less than prefect, and the prospect of sorting through his life and getting things in order now that he was dead, was not on Matt’s list of priorities.

What I liked about the book

There were many things I liked about this book. It was well written with an interesting plot and a number of twists. The suspense did not disappoint. I liked that Matt Moss’ relationship with his brother was troubled, it made for some good reading and explained Matt’s indifference toward his brother’s supposed suicide.

Matt Moss is not the most likeable character in the world, which made him interesting and real. I very much enjoyed the glimpses into his past – the brother’s family life and relationship with their mother and father. There are also hints that something in the past drove a wedge between the family and had a ripple effect throughout each of their lives.

There are a number of villains in this story, and I liked getting to know each of them.

What I didn’t enjoy that much

There wasn’t much that niggled me about this book, however the two things that stand out were irksome enough to pull it from a five to a four star rating.

I do not enjoy books that contain swearing, and even thought this one isn’t riddle with bad language, there was enough of it to irritate me in places.

There is a scene in this book which I am unable to go into too much detail about as I do not want to include spoilers in this review, however, this particular scene between Franklin Delray and Matt Moss I found to be horribly disturbing in a that-was-completely-unnecessary sort of way. At that point in the book the author had already convinced me that Franklin Delray was an utterly disgusting man with some serious issues. The scene left a bad taste in my mouth and I actually put the book down for several days before picking it up again. If you agree with me you will notice the scene right off, if not, you’ll read it without giving it a second thought.

Final thoughts

Under The Surface by Richard Dean is a suspense thriller that lives up to its title. Nothing is quite as it seems in this story, and time and time again I was left wondering what was going to happen next. Dean did a good job in creating a world of intrigue and mystery and I would certainly be tempted to check out other books by this author.



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