Title: The Beast Within
Author: Edward Kendrick
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Heat Level: Mild/Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: A serial killer targeting gay men results in four men’s lives intertwining–Devin and Gary, ex-lovers–Vanni, gay-club habitué–and Hollis, the case detective. Can they stop the killer, finding love in the process? Or will tragedy destroy their connection?
A cannibalistic serial killer targeting gay men is on the loose.
Devin, who has become increasingly erratic in the last two months, just split up with Gary, his lover of three years. Vanni, a habitué of the gay clubs, makes extra spending money on his knees in the club johns. Is one of these men the killer? Or will one of them instead become the killer’s next target?
Detective Hollis Robbins is in charge of the case. He intends to stop the killer, if he can.
When the killer strikes again, the four men’s lives intertwine as the search for the murderer intensifies. Will the attraction that two of them begin to feel for each other survive the hunt? Do they have the strength to continue on after tragedy strikes and teaches them that love can be bittersweet?
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title involves a “happily for now” conclusion.
Review: This was an absolutely fabulous read. It starts by following three gay men who awaken after a night of clubbing not being able to remember details of their night befores. Intermingled is a police investigation, where gay men are turning up dead. It was very Agatha Christie and I loved it. I HAD to move to the next chapter to see who might have gone missing next.
In my mind, this book could be divided into three parts. Unfortunately, I can’t put labels on those parts or I’d have to give away the whole story. Suffice it to say, Edward Kendrick has penned a tale that is equal parts romance and suspense. There is grittiness in this book that I think he was going for in some of his other work but didn’t quite achieve.
I’d also like to note that I really appreciated the inclusion of an HIV positive character, albeit one of the secondary characters. Don’t worry, the guy doesn’t die or anything, but it was nice to see an author addressing the issue without getting all angsty.
I will say this: The Beast Within is not a quick paranormal read. There are no sexy werewolves or shifters coming to save the day. The Beast could dwell in anyone.
If you are up for a well-written tale of intrigue, broken men coming to terms with life and death and more than one beautiful love story…this is a definite must read.
Chat with Edward Kendrick
Edward and I had an opportunity to chat over the weekend. Below is the cleaned up version. Please leave a comment about The Beast Within or any of Edward’s books. He’d love to hear from you and is giving away a free copy of The Beast Within to one lucky commenter…might as well be you. 😉
Portia de Moncur Anyway, (actually questioned omitted to not give away plot)? How could you do it? Not the normal happenings for your stand MM romance novel.
Edward Kendrick Humm. Because it had to happen?
For the drama? Because it felt right for the story? I’m a pantser when I write. It just…happened.
Portia de Moncur I neared to have a heart attack and almost threw my Kindle. I think I’ve read all but one of your books. Is it me, or did you lean more towards suspense with this one? I have to admit the first third of the book had me on pins and needles.
Edward Kendrick I like writing suspense/mysteries. *smile* and no throwing Kindles. It tends to damage them *G*
Portia de Moncur Did you mean to have so little sex? I seem to remember you being pretty good with a love scene.
Edward Kendrick For me this was more about the relationships than the sex per se. And about the suspense too…
Portia de Moncur I loved the whole book and gave it a top review (to be published later this afternoon.) I liked the fact that the romance just kinda evolved along with the mystery. Which character popped into your head first?
Edward Kendrick Thank you….Now that’s a good question as to who was first. In my head it began as a mystery and evolved into being Vanni’s story somewhere along the line. The three club men were the beginning, as in ‘who done it or who might be a victim’. Then there had to be the cop of course. But the more I wrote of Vanni, the more I saw him as the central character because he was ‘angsty’ for lack of a better word.
Portia de Moncur My only complaint would be that you didn’t really address Vanni’s tricking. It’s not like he needed the money.
Edward Kendrick And good point about why he tricked.
Portia de Moncur I think I liked Beast because it was different. Do you find MM romance churning out lots of sameness…or is it just me?
Edward Kendrick What I find is there seems to be an emphasis on ‘it’s not good if it doesn’t have lots of sex’ in the minds of some people. So I think, and it could be just me, that sex is thrown in so a book will sell. Which makes for ‘sameness’. And honestly at this point I don’t read too many, primarily because I don’t want to be influenced by them. If that makes sense?
Portia de Moncur That makes a lot of sense. I write erotica and love steamy romance, but I also like stories that have more of a build up to the “good stuff”. I particularly take offense to the books that make all gay men seem like bed hoppers.
Edward Kendrick Boy so do I.
Portia de Moncur So what’s next?
Edward Kendrick I have one coming out in January from Silver. It’s my first stab at fantasy. It’s M/M too, titled ‘Mage of Silence’; Action, adventure, etc, etc.
Portia de Moncur Man you are really churning them out. And I for one love watching you grow as an artist.
Edward Kendrick Thank you. I really hope I am growing.
Portia de Moncur Last question. What is the Beast Within?
Edward Kendrick Oh boy. Good question. The inability to understand the other person and where they’re coming from. The inability to say what you’re really feeling. The inability to be honest with yourself and others. And of course the craziness in the killer.
Portia de Moncur Nice…
Portia de Moncur Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. I’m not just blowing smoke when I say I really enjoy your work. As an aspiring writer, I take courage in the fact that publishing houses will take a chance of writers who push the boundaries of the known literary universe.
Edward Kendrick Thank you very much for having me, and for the compliment. As for publishing houses, I was very lucky to find Silver because I think they’re excellent at doing that.
Portia de Moncur Thanks again and now go get your coffee. 😉
Edward Kendrick LMAO. I will. And you do a very good interview. Not the usual ‘how did you get started’ kind. I like. Again, thank you so much. It was fun.
Portia de Moncur Ditto…
Edward Kendrick And now………coffeeeeeee. Laters