First published back in January of 2018, British author Guy Portman’s novel ‘Sepultura’ formed the sequel to Portman’s earlier novel ‘Necropolis’ (2014).

DLS Synopsis:
Life it would seem was pretty much back on track for Dyson Devereux.  He’d taken on a new job in a different borough – with the position of Head of Burials and Cemeteries.  He had a three-year-old son – Horatio – who was doing well, even with his parents no longer together.  Although Horatio’s mother – Rakesha – still clearly had feelings for Dyson.  Despite her new boyfriend being nothing by a freeloading jobless lout.  To Dyson the imbecile was nothing but a parasitical no-hoper.  Which is why Dyson had named him ‘Free Lunch’.  Although not exactly to his face.  Or indeed in front of anyone else.  But in Dyson’s head, this blemish on society was and always would be ‘Free Lunch’.  A worthy name for an unworthy sponger.

Of course life wasn’t all scrumptious pastries from the local patisserie and perfectly brewed cups of caffè latte extra hot with soya milk.  Even in the higher rankings of Paleham Council there were still those that saw fit to project an aura of stupidity and discontent.  Although their presence irked Devereux somewhat, it was nevertheless all within the rich fabric of life.  And Devereux had learnt to enjoy the sugar along with the spice.

It would be fair to say that Dyson Devereux knew how to enjoy the finer qualities of life.  He dressed well, ate well, looked after his trim body, and had an appetite for the more refined delicacies that could be afforded with a suitably appreciative salary.  It’s such things, not just his good looks and well-groomed appearance, that attracted the fairer sex.  In fact, the ladies had a tendency to flock in his general direction.  And being single and relatively without any immediate attachments, Dyson would often take advantage of his fortunate circumstances.  Furthermore, with a work-related trip to Italy to meet with their council working counterparts in the twined-town of Rovito, Devereux’s finely-polished linguistic skills would prove more than enough to afford him a wealth of temptation.

Although Dyson Devereux was also a sociopath.  It was this which had instigated his change of job. If the need arose, he felt no reason to not end the life of those that caused him a spot of grief.  But it had been some time now since he’d last felt the need to kill.

However, all that was about to change.  Unfortunately for Dyson, Rakesha’s boyfriend had gotten wind of their not-quite-over relationship together.  His suspicions - although in fact entirely founded – were causing a certain amount on animosity between them.  This mostly comprised of threats and explosive bouts of aggression from the irksome Free Lunch.

Of course when the hostility bubbles over, and the freeloading scrounger invades Dyson’s personal space, there’s really no other course of action to take other than to nip the problem in the bud.  And in doing so, the world is rid of another intolerable bloodsucker.

Luckily covering his tracks is something Dyson has perfected to art.  But then he’d had a reasonable amount of practice at it over the years, as his small collection of morbid trophies proved.

Another disappearance with Dyson as a connection - the police would undoubtedly question him, but there would of course be no evidence left behind.  Nothing linking him but circumstance.  But it’s funny how quickly things can spiral out of control.  And before you know it, someone else is causing Dyson problems.  Oh well, there’s only one sure-fire way to sort such issues out again.

Who would have thought such a well-dressed, eloquently spoken and altogether charming man such as Dyson Devereux could be a killer?...

DLS Review:
Dyson Devereux returns!  The charming, sophisticated, classically educated ladies’ man was first introduced to us in Portman’s novel ‘Necropolis’ (2014).  It was a tale bursting at the seams with smart, witty anecdotes drizzled in a jus of delicious black comedy.  Think ‘Dexter’ (2006 - 2013) meets ‘American Psycho’ (1991) that’s awash with wonderfully astute satire coursing through its veins.

The first novel was nothing short of a triumphant slice of devilish comedy.  With our favourite sociopath’s return, we now see author Guy Portman very possibly at his very best.  Absolutely none of the satirical, quick-witted magic exhibited in the first novel has been lost.  In fact, Portman has capitalised on everything that was quintessentially entertaining about the first novel, and packed in that much more with this incredibly sharply-written sequel.  Ben Elton eat your frigging heart out!  This my friend is very possibly one of the finest examples of tightly-written and expertly-paced black comedy that you’re likely to read in a long while.

From the very first page you’re flung back into the suave and stupendously entertaining antics of Dyson Devereux.  The man is so instantly likeable.  He’s clever and courteous and always with a magnificently astute wit on the tip of his well-restrained tongue.  The tale is rich with the absolute crème de la crème of observational comedy that, not for one minute, Portman takes too seriously.

Plot-wise, it’s the sort of snow-balling, spiralling out of control storyline that pulls you in seemingly effortlessly.  But it’s ultimately with the characterisation of the impressive cast of characters who grace the novel’s pages that makes the tale such a masterpiece of dark satirical comedy.

Every character - and I mean absolutely every character – has their own ingeniously penned characteristics and colourful mannerisms.  From Devereux’s reformed-goth assistant, to a frumpy floral frock wearing council worker, to the spit and sawdust Brummie in refuse collection – the characters are all so perfectly exaggerated, but with a subtlety that compliments the entire civility of this otherwise ludicrous story.

Dialogue is another aspect of the novel that Portman has nailed to absolute perfection.  Again it’s all subtly exaggerated, but it gives all the characters - no matter how minor their role - their own unique voice.  And it’s so often with the dialogue between the characters, their day-to-day conversing and flirting, which makes the tale flow with such a satisfyingly enjoyable ease.

This my friends is a read that you’ll not want to put down.  A veritable masterclass in darkly satirical sociopathic black comedy.

The novel runs for a total of 247 pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Dyson Devereux’ instalments:





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