Friday 8 July 2022




As a Baltimore policeman Winston Divine shook down drug dealers, snorted cocaine, and partied with prostitutes.

They were the best of times, but like all good things they came to an abrupt end.

Now the reformed ex-cop makes do with his rare book shop and ex-hooker fiancé. Things couldn’t be more kosher, but everything changes when a crooked detective, a recently released convict, and a nefarious parole officer show up looking for the memoir of a deranged Dutchman who raped and murdered his way across Indochina in the ‘50s.

It’s called Monsoon Moon, and nobody’s sure if it’s real or just another urban legend - until Winston tracks down a copy halfway around the world.

The firsthand accounts of what the sadistic traveler did to young Cambodian and Vietnamese girls are the stuff of nightmares. And now young women of Southeast Asian descent are disappearing and turning up dead on Charm City’s mean streets, and the killer’s MO matches the Dutchman’s.

With a copycat on the loose, it’s a race against time to save a special Cambodian-American girl with big plans for the future.

A dark and dirty novel initially featuring the hunt for a legendary, rare book. Crimes which are depicted and described in it's text - sadistic violence against women - are currently being re-enacted on the streets of Baltimore. 

Winston Divine, ex-cop and bad boy, now on the side of the angels, hunts it and the killer, crossing paths with a variety of miscreants and oddballs along the way.

It's a fast-paced tale peppered with humour and wit. There's a concern running through the text for doing the right thing and protecting family and friends from great danger. There's also an accommodation made for the lengths that have to be gone to to achieve that.

There's some interesting dynamics throughout the book, not least in the relationship between ex-con Stan and his manipulative parole officer, Roger. I think Stan was my favourite character in the book. There's an incident with him drving a snow plough which is comedy gold.

Lots going on here and a fast busy read. This was my first time with Matthew Copes' work, but it won't be my last.

4 stars from 5 

Read - May, 2022
Published - 2021
Page count - 132
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle


  1. Hmm...I'm not much of a one for the sadism/gore thing as a rule, Col. But a rare book? A bookshop? Wit? Yeah, I can see the appeal of those. And the characters do sound interesting, too. Hmm.... definitely something to think about1

    1. Margot, probably one that's a bit more me than you I think.