Author: A.J. Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: Super Novel (310pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th May 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½ Hearts
Blurb: Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.
When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.
As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….
Review: Doug left Miami and returned to the town of Elkin and the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother fell ill. Now, he is a deeply closeted gay deputy at the sheriff’s department snatching stolen nights with men out-of-town. One such night leads to an amazing weekend with Christopher Hayes and the hope of future stolen weekends with the detective. Christopher was shot in the line of duty, recovery isn’t looking promising, but all that gets pushed to the side when he has to travel to Montana to deal with his older brother’s (Peter) suicide. It also gives him the opportunity to spend more time with Doug, when he discovers Doug is the one handling the case. But things start to go wrong when his brother’s house burns down and the FBI gets involved. Christopher realizes Peter has given him clues to follow and it is a dangerous path for both Christopher and Doug when a dangerous psychotic pedophile turns his sights on them.
Wow! Just wow. This story is absolutely fantastic. A brilliant mystery, and with a suspense that keeps you guessing. Doug is a brilliant character. He isn’t perfect. He has his hang ups with his background, he’s closeted and a vegan. When he meets Christopher the attraction is sudden and the sex mind-blowing and it’s something he wants more of. Christopher’s character has its own hang-ups that have haunted him from the past; he is strong-willed and is out of the closet. Meeting Doug and having a fling with him helps him put his feelings for his work partner, Ray, into perspective, but Christopher is still conflicted over what to do next.
I am very surprised that this is a debut novel. The writing is brilliant, and the storyline absolutely ace and it switches nicely between the relationship between Christopher and Doug and the suspense of just what is going on in Elkin. The mystery that Peter leaves for his brother Christopher to solve is disturbing. Especially as Christopher and Doug dig and make new discoveries which will shock the town. Doug and Christopher’s romance is tricky as they hide it from the town, but they also have the knowledge that Christopher will be returning to California. We are also treated to Ray, Christopher’s work partner and best friend, and the conflicting feelings the pair of them have. Ray is a great character and I truly hope we get a story for him and also maybe for FBI agent Elliot Belkamp.
So what more to say? Well, the sex is really hot and Doug has to work through some of his fears. Hmmm, the characters are great and really work well together. Doug and Ray are just excellent as rivals. What else? Oh, the storyline leads you through horrific discoveries well, but it is all surface details so there are no really horrific scenes played out on page.
So, I have no choice but to recommend that everyone gives this book a read. but especially those who love mystery, suspense, danger, digging into dangerous secrets, great relationships, hot sex and an ending that gives us great promise for Doug’s and Christopher’s relationship.