Lucky Lucklighter and Bo Schollenburger barely escaped Mexico with their lives, and now are back in the relative safety of the U.S. The Southeastern Narcotics Bureau agents were caught up in a vicious drug trafficking case that nearly cost both of them their lives. Now that they are home, Lucky just wants to buy the fixer upper home he’s had his eyes on and settle down with the man he loves. But things aren’t that easy. Bo is definitely not the same man he was before they went to Mexico. He is sullen and withdrawn, suffering panic attacks and mood swings. The forced drug addiction and subsequent loss of control is really devastating him and he is having a hard time handling it. Not to mention that the threats to their safety will never be totally gone. Now that they have made it home alive, the guys must struggle to move on from the case in order to settle into their future together.
Redemption is the fifth book in Eden Winter’s fabulous Diversion series. I have been reading this one from the beginning and totally love it. There is a wonderful mix of fabulous character development and exciting investigations. The series focuses on Lucky and Bo and drug cases ranging from abuses in the pharmaceutical drugs industry to the distribution chain and manufacturing of street drugs. Winters does such a wonderful job with the inside and detailed look into the various facets of the drug trade and it is just fascinating.
This story takes a bit of a turn in that there is no investigation element this time. While we touch a bit on the wrap up of the case from a legal end, this story focuses almost exclusively on the emotional aftermath of their ordeal. Once again Winters gives us such layered characters and really explores the issues this guys are facing. Lucky, who for years was afraid of a real commitment with Bo, now wants nothing more than to be settled with the man he loves. He wants to build a life with Bo and is trying to make that happen, but Bo is an emotional mess. Lucky is doing everything he can for Bo and it is killing him to see his man so unhappy, but he struggles with the right way to handle the situation. And poor Bo is not doing well after Mexico. This is a man who has maintained rigid control for years with his diet, his lifestyle, and his behavior. He has held tight to his sobriety and his anger issues to make sure they don’t get out of control. Then suddenly he is forced to do daily drugs and must live his cruel Cyrus persona, and everything he has struggled to hold together for years has fallen apart. Emotionally he is devastated, not to mention suffering some major PTSD and other negative effects from the ordeal. So this book really chronicles their fight to get back their lives in the aftermath of the case.
I will admit that I struggled at little at times with the story as it is rough going for these guys. It is hard to see them in such a difficult place for so much of the book. I also missed the investigation in this story, as Winters does such an amazing job with them in the other books. I wanted a little more balance I think between the suspense end and the personal end. I see why this approach makes sense, as this story is kind of a transition book, especially after the super high intensity of the last few. But still, I missed the cases and the happy in love Bo and Lucky.
I am not sure if this book is concluding the series or if there is more to come, but Winters does tie together a lot of threads here quite nicely. Bo and Lucky end the story in a great place in their relationship. There is also closure on a lot of the open investigative threads from the past few books, including things with Stephen, Nestor, and Victor. I would absolutely love to have more books, of course, but if this is a stopping point, I feel like we got nice resolution.
In case it wasn’t clear, this is a series that really must be read in order. The first book gives a great start to their relationship, as well as Lucky’s past with Victor, and the last 2-3 really tie together in terms of the investigation. So you will want to start from the beginning to get the full story and it is really worth it. With its great characters and exciting cases, I definitely think that the Diversion series is one of the best suspense/investigation series going on in m/m romance right now and would highly recommend it to anyone.
P.S. It looks like all the books for this series got new covers and they are really lovely. A nice improvement over the older versions.