Review: That Rat, Carter Janson by Amy Spector

That Rat, Carter JansonRating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Felix was going to leave behind his shady past and start a new life with his boyfriend, Carter. Except when he’s supposed to meet Carter at their planned location, Felix is on his own, as Carter doesn’t show up and Felix receives a one line note with no explanation. Felix moves himself forward though and becomes an expert in Mesopotamian art. When Felix is asked to prove the authenticity of a cuneiform tablet for a man he’s romantically interested in, Felix’s life once again takes a turn.

Felix knows that the tablet is a fake for he recognizes the work of the forger. It is of course the work of Carter Janson. Felix hasn’t seen Carter in six years since that fateful day and he’s has no interest in finding the man. But Felix has to not only find Carter, but has to find the original tablet and steal it back. Felix now has to not only revert to his old ways, but ask for Carter’s help and it seems that old wounds, for both men, are not fully healed.

The prologue for this book was great and my interest was right there. However, the prologue was the best part of this book for me. The book opens as we catch up with Felix as he’s waiting for Carter so they can start their new life. Felix and Carter had a solid relationship and solid plans, or so Felix thought until with one note Carter changed the course of Felix’s life. The story then moves six years ahead and Felix has not really gotten over Carter. He has not had any other serious relationship and his and Carter’s story gets unraveled during the course of the book.

The rest of the book really wandered all over the place for me. Felix has to find Carter and the way he finds him was off for me. I could say overly convenient, but it was more off. It wasn’t even presented that Carter was being that difficult to find. The book then moves to scenes of the two men chasing down the authentic tablet and it all wasn’t presented well for me. In addition to this, the way the narrative was constructed was difficult to follow. It was ambiguous as to which character was speaking and it then made their characters hard to build upon. There were also italics at the beginning of some of the chapters and it wasn’t clear if these were previous conversations or thoughts or something else perhaps. Then, in the middle of all of this was a short art history lesson that didn’t fit in with the rest of the tone of the book, even though the book dealt with art.

The relationship between Felix and Carter was presented as the main focus at the beginning of the book, but then was not the focus at all. We learn why Carter didn’t show up that day, but the men do not have much of a conversation about it and it all lacked impact and got lost. This book is also part of Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love collection and while Carter lives in Boystown and they visit certain places in town, it read more like a list and the feel of the location never came through.

Lastly, Felix was being set up with the forged tablet. Yet, at the end of the book he was all fine with it and even maintained a friendly association with the culprits and how does that even work? It didn’t for me. The blurb on this one pulled me in, but the rest of the book did not live up to that promise.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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