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Pressure Head Paperback – August 6, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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This novel, already strong in plot and overall writing, goes from good to great through the author's huge talent for characterization and dialog. Tom is an unforgettable character and the minor characters (especially Merry the vicar) are outstandingly vivid... A very highly recommended read! - Top Pick, Val Kovalin, ARe Cafe
Runner Up for the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Mystery/Thriller.
Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent? Meanwhile, the evidence around the woman’s murder piles up…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.
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Book has plenty of humor and a solid murder mystery. The romance aspect is dark and complicated - these two guys do not frolic in a field of daisies nor do they read each other poetry while snuggling in front of a fireplace - they have lots of issues to work out. It's not heavy-handed melodrama, it's just two well developed characters.
This is far and away one of my favorite, well-written gay mystery/romances in a long time.
The voice of our protagonist, Tom, is well-rounded and engaging. It's almost as if he's having a conversation with you. Tom feels alive. Having a protagonist that well done is a treat.
The relationship between Tom and Phil is interesting to and doesn't feel forced. It helps drive the plot of the story forward and doesn't hinder it.
If you're a long-time mystery fan you can guess who and what, but the story/plot is still engaging enough to get you to the end. It's more of how will they figure it out and what will happen type of thing. If you're not a long-time mystery fan, once you are done reading you'll realize the author did a nice job planting necessary information here and there to try and get you to the end.
I liked that 2 major parts of the plot occur within the first chapter.
-Tom finds a dead body and
-Tom meets up with the deliciously granite-like Phil.
Phil is a former school fellow, now a PI, who coped with his own homosexuality by bullying Tom. Luckily for us, the murder forces them together (I love it when that happens) and they spend the rest of the novel dealing with their mutual attraction, as well as the friction caused by their past, & solving the murder. (Warning: the romance is rather subtle, or even non existent, depending on your tastes, & there is little sex.)
Merrow didn't make their attraction too easy. There was no obvious solution -- no, you're hawt, let's immediately forget the past & [make passionate love]! -- both Tom & Phil know that giving into their attraction & even forming a relationship will probably cause more problems than they solve. (But for more on that, you'll have read the next novel, Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate).)
As much as I loved all the funnies, romance and mystery--my favorite part of this book is the character Reverend Merry. I won't go into because I don't want to spoil anything -- but his story has really stuck with me. Ok, even mentioning Merry has made me a bit blue....
But oh! Look! Tom/Merrow is being funny:
"He looked like he kept himself in shape the old-fashioned way, with long walks in the countryside in between rounds of golf and persecuting small furry animals."
Yep, that's cheered me right up.:)