Series: Maloney’s Law #1
Author: Anne Brooke
Genre: MM / Suspense / Detective
Publisher: Amber Allure (April 7th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2006 (for novels set in London) and the Royal Literary Fund Scheme, and longlisted for the Betty Bolingbroke-Kent Novel Award…
Paul Maloney, a small-time private investigator from London, reluctantly accepts a case from his married ex-lover, Dominic Allen. Before he knows it, Paul finds himself embroiled in the dark dealings of big business and the sordid world of international crime. The deeper he pushes, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.
Can he solve the mystery and protect those he loves before it’s too late?
Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/MaloneysLaw.html
Review: Wow, just wow! The more I read Ms. Brooke’s books the more I’m coming to the conclusion that this author picks her characters right from the corner of the street. In this book too, she has made an extremely great job with her protagonists. But it’s not just them. Every single character here is unique. I couldn’t stop thinking while reading this story that each and every one of them pulses with life. They are true if not real and able to evoke too many emotions from the reader.
Paul Maloney is the leading character here. I’ll disregard his appearance description as it has nothing on his personality. There is nothing perfect on Paul, nothing polished to a box of stereotypes. He was for me, for the duration of the book, very much alive. As the story begins, you understand immediately the melancholy that surrounds him. The feeling of being lost in pain and things he can’t control. He is quite obsessive with time, memories and love. Born and raised in a family that let him go and would rather not have him, it feels as if he is constantly running after love, with love always eluding him. He might be a very smart character, but here he’s quite stupid with love for the wrong man. He knows it, he tries to change it and he fails. Only when everything is literally over is this character able to move on. He quite reminded me the saying “There is nowhere to go but up, once you reach bottom”.
Dominic Gregory Allen, Paul’s ex-lover, married with two children. He is Paul’s doom in more ways than one. It is incredible how much I hated this character from the start of the book. I despised him, loathed him with a passion. I was prepared to the classic stereotype when an author makes the misunderstood character “lovable”, gives it absolution and pairs the two men together. Thank you, just thank you for not going there dear author. Dominic is the rich guy who will do everything and anything no matter what for money. He will probably pick a 20 pound note over saving a life, he’s that much of a shark, and he admits it. He knows who he is, what he is and doesn’t shy away from it. Funny thing is that we witness clearly how much he loves Paul. He does, however when it counts he still pick he damn money. He is a sad, sad one, quite pathetic in the end, but oddly enough I felt no pity for him.
Jade, Paul’s assistant and best friend. She is NOT the classical fag-hag even if that’s what comes in mind when you first meet her. She is smart, sensitive and stupid in love with a man who not only can’t see it, but could never possibly reciprocate. She is Paul’s right hand in this job too and his conscience when it comes to his dealings with Dominic.
Blake Kenzie, the bad guy. I have no thoughts for him. He is perhaps the weak part of this story for me. Paul should have withdrawn instantly when he met him in Cairo, but as I said, he’s quite stupid with love here.
So in this book Dominic returns to Paul’s life with a job offer that looks shady the moment he opens his mouth. This case seems easy and clean yet underneath a whole different level of crime lies. I spent the entire book trying to understand why on earth Dominic employed Paul for this. The more Paul finds out the worse the danger. But, while everything he unearths are half-truths, things that make no sense the danger is real. Constant life threats that are promptly being ignored and I couldn’t understand why. Thing is that Paul himself did not make a show for smarts here. Way I saw him he was mostly lucky with the discovery and Jade made the rest happen. His detective work was a bit fragile. But the story was good and suspense held you a captive till the end. Right in the middle of the book the author drops THE bomb and kills a character I would never guess she would. It was so unexpected that literally takes you by surprise and changes the whole way you view this story. Everything, everything change from that moment on and the emotions are so strong you can feel them flowing off the book.
The end was very much to my satisfaction as well. I have questions about Dominic’s money and what happened to them, but I rather liked the turn it took. Although there was the note of optimism coming from Paul, that underlying melancholy that comes hand in hand with him was still there and it made me smile. And I wonder what happens next. No there is no cliffhanger here, just a promise for more.
I loved the book even if it’s a bit bittersweet, or perhaps because of it. Strongly recommended for fans of the genre.