Rating: 2.75 stars
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Anderson Williams is late for Friday night dinner with his father. He tries to call to explain he is stuck in traffic, but he gets no answer, which is highly unusual. An uneasy feeling curls in Anderson’s stomach, and the longer he goes without an answer, the more he dreads what’s going on. When he finally arrives at his father’s home, it’s to find his father murdered.
Detective Leo Sung Kim catches the case, though because he knows the murder victim, he really shouldn’t be working it. But he wants to catch the person who could so brutally murder the man who was like a father to him. First, Leo has to rule out the victim’s son, but Anderson has a solid alibi. And when Anderson’s home is broken into and trashed, Leo takes Anderson home with him to keep him safe. The attraction to each other ignites, and they spend the night together.
When another person is found murdered in the same way Anderson’s father was, it’s clear there’s a serial killer on the loose. Leo and his partner, Daniel, are desperately trying to find any clues they can, but the killer is too precise and there is no evidence. All they know is that the case seems to be tied to Leo, as both people killed had helped him and he cared for them. When a third victim is found, this time a person from the periphery of Leo’s life, it’s certain that Leo is at the center. When one small clue leads them in the direction of a solid suspect, no one can believe it’s true. And the motive means that everyone Leo has ever cared about is in grave danger. Especially Anderson.
Okay, guys, I have to admit that this one was a real struggle to read. The characters were inconsistent, the plot required a leap of faith that I wasn’t prepared to make, and the writing was, at times, stilted. The book began with a lot of promise and emotion, and then it just fizzled out. I found myself slogging through, reading just to get it done, and not feeling connected to the character or plot at all.
Anderson Williams was the most confusing character for me. After his deep anguish at finding his father dead, all his actions that followed didn’t make any sense to me. He went back to work quickly, he took up with Leo quickly, and he didn’t seem to show a lot of emotion. I found myself constantly wondering just what the heck was going through his head, even though the author tried to tell us. And tell is the operative word. There was a lot of telling going on in this book, and not nearly enough showing.
Leo was a little bit easier to like and accept. Even though he seemed to be taking a lot of liberty with his position, his attraction to Anderson was believable right from the start. He showed more emotion and character throughout the story, and I liked how the pieces of the mystery were all fitting together and centering around him. But I also found him unbelievable at times. His choices didn’t always make sense, and I couldn’t feel his connection to Anderson at all.
The author tried to throw red herrings in, to keep us from figuring it out who the killer was too early. But I found myself frustrated that certain things never lead anywhere at all, and it was blatant that they were just flotsam to attempt to confuse us and think there was another motive. Ultimately, the murderer and the reasoning behind it was over the top extreme, and I felt almost like it came out of left field. That, in and of itself, was frustrating because I would have liked to see at least something that would clue us in beforehand, something I could point back to and think “Ah, now that makes sense.” That didn’t happen here.
I’m sad to say it, but I can’t recommend this book. There was too much bogging down the story, not enough emotional connection to the characters or the romance, and it left me wanting.