- File Size: 1337 KB
- Print Length: 246 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing, Inc. (February 29, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 29, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B018UJ80EA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,325 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Mermaid Murders: The Art of Murder I Kindle Edition
|Length: 246 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- Book 1 of 5 in The Art of Murder
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Kennedy was a minor character in "Winter Kill," and in fact I don't remember him because the love story involved two completely different characters, Rob and Adam, who were much more defined in their sexual identities. This one focuses more on Kennedy's co-investigator, the younger Jason West, who is as annoyed to be assisting Kennedy (under FBI orders) as Kennedy is annoyed to have to take him on as a temporary partner.
The fact that Lanyon uses Kennedy's last name and Jason's first name almost throughout solidifies a mutual standoffish attitude. That we are led to believe that Jason is still hot to trot for the older, burly, blondish hunk Kennedy without once knowing that Kennedy might also be attracted to the younger, more sophisticated, toned and articulate Jason, is a real eyebrow-raiser when they somewhat casually bridge the professional divide.
As for the plot, we have an assortment of not very sympathetic characters, including the missing girl, and a lot of stressed townsfolk terrified that the original Huntsman was either never caught, or has spawned a copycat. The mysterious clues and the mermaid references are quite nicely handled, and the exposure of the killer comes as a bit of a surprise, with a sad motivational conclusion.
That Sam and Jason (or Kennedy and West, however you prefer them) are still in a rubber band state at the end of the tale leads me to hope that the next chapter might be more definitive and include Rob and Adam. We shall see. Meanwhile, definitely worth a go here.
Special Agent Sam Kennedy is a seasoned and revered criminal profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit but he’s known to be aloof. Years ago, Kennedy solved a high profile case involving a series of murders in a small town. But now a woman is reported missing and the M.O. looks disturbingly similar to the convicted Huntsman. As the original agent in charge, Kennedy returns to assist local law enforcement but is also assigned a partner to his dismay.
As Kennedy and West begin their investigation, it is clear that Kennedy would prefer to work alone but he takes it in stride to soon discover that West’s art history knowledge and experience offers a complimentary dynamic to the team. After interviewing residents and pouring over old case notes, clues start to reveal possible suspects.
While West is open about his sexual orientation, Kennedy remains an enigma until one night Kennedy makes his preferences known. Being opposites, there is already palpable tension but after they find a working balance, it opens the door to sexual chemistry and Kennedy shares just how appealing he finds West.
With West digging further and following a hunch, his inquiries raise a red flag to local law enforcement and draws upon past conflicts but he isn’t about to back down. Though Kennedy supports his partner’s zest, he also wants him to be careful considering what’s at stake. As they close in, it’s becomes apparent who the killer is.
For some time, I’ve been curious about Josh Lanyon’s books and was intrigued to see this series offers a combination of murder mystery and art history. Told in third person POV, the narrative mostly feels like a detective story with special detail given to their surroundings that sets the scene in the mind’s eye. The romance is present but in my opinion felt a bit secondary to the plot but by no means was insignificant. For me, I would have liked a little more buildup between Kennedy and West, but I like how these two interacted and it fit their characters perfectly.
As for the mystery, I had my suspicions from the beginning but the way the clues revealed some twists, it kept my attention until the end. Additionally, the conflict of West being connected to the small town added more interest. I am looking forward to continuing this series to see what transpires between Kennedy and West.
For those who enjoy a murder mystery with a side of M/M romance, I recommend The Mermaid Murders.
Jason West, from the Art Crimes division of the FBI, has been assigned as a temporary partner with Sam Kennedy, a hotshot with the FBI’s Homicide division. Jason’s role, unbeknownst to Kennedy, is to watch for slip-ups, because the Bureau seems to want to take Kennedy down for badly embarrassing them during a major case.
The weird edge on this assignment is that it takes place in the small Massachusetts town where Jason spent his summers as a teenager, until his best friend was murdered by a serial killer. The case he and Kennedy are assigned to looks uncomfortably like it might be a copycat of the original killings.
Lanyon gives us her usual expertly drawn characters, playing on the classic m/m trope of the hyper-masculine law enforcement officer who happens to be gay. While I always have a little hesitation over this—since the FBI was for generations the single most homophobic agency in the U.S. Government and destroyed many gay men’s lives—Lanyon gives us complicated, interesting characters who at least begin to have something like three dimensions.
In “The Mermaid Murders” we learn more about Jason than we do about Sam; but we learn enough about Sam so that Jason can begin to revise his initial dislike for the star senior agent’s arrogance and self-assurance. Lanyon also gives us a plot that gradually tightens the screws, as the murder investigation twists and turns to its resolution. What's most interesting is that the fairly high-stress ending is not really about the murderer, but about Sam and Jason’s reactions to the situation.
This is the first of a new series called “The Art of Murder.” I’m looking forward to watching Sam and Jason develop. It seems like we’ve just scratched the surface with our two FBI guys. How fun it will be to watch them evolve together.
Top international reviews
Both are FBI agents Sam Kennedy, a brilliant profiler under a cloud from his last case and Jason West, who usually specializes in art crime has been lent out from his local bureau and is recovering from a recent injury in the line of duty.
You have a missing girl, differences in temperament, age and approaches and links to an old case that makes the best of each of their knowledge and skills as well as the intermittently explosive then simmering relationship that is developing.
All of this Josh Lanyon packs into five days.
I have already pre ordered book two.
All that aside, I couldn't put it down and pretty much read it in one go. But - the next book is out late 2017??
Overall 2-2.5 for the romance, 4.5 for the story/style of writing, 3-3.5 overall.
The investigation had me intrigued but i felt a little disappointed when i found out who was behind it. Nevertheless, i am a little inintrigued as to what might happen next between Kennedy and West.
TV series. Or all of them.
I couldn't put it down.