Jack Horwood is a bit stunned to discover he has found he one thing his life always lacked: a family. His relationship with Gareth Flynn remains strong and solid and their guardianship of Nico and Daniel seems to be progressing slowly but surely. But Jack is drawn to trouble and seems to seek out assignments that place him perpetual danger. His natural curiosity results in the discovery of a potent strain of dangerous drugs that ultimately leads to a dangerous undercover mission.
Gareth knows better than to try changing Jack. He loves the man absolutely, even with his scars and stubborn independence. But his resolute support of Jack’s decision to go undercover takes it toll and stress and worry eat away at his normally calm demeanor. Even when Jack comes home, he and Gareth struggle to find their balance. When one of Jack’s cases threatens his life, he and Gareth must remind themselves why they work and find a way to balance their passion with the realities of their world.
House Hunt is the third book in the Power of Zero series that follows Jack Horwood and Gareth Flynn. One of my biggest issues with Ghosts, the second story, was the fact the plot lacked much punch. With House Hunt, we see a stronger return to form, though it still fails to capture the full impact of Job Hunt. House Hunt’s storyline is relatively strong and equally well written as the rest of the series. Jack confronts two main cases, one involving drugs and the other dealing with a corporate spy. The latter case is far stronger than the first and its resolution feels more probable and truly adds to the growing relationship between Jack and Gareth. The drug case never seemed necessary and ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Though this is one novel, given the two cases, there does seem to be a something of a natural break in the story. This could have become a detriment, but the author does an excellent job of bridging this and providing a well-rounded background to a multi-layered series of events.
As with the other books, House Hunt is really a continuation of Jack’s story. Gareth always seems to get a bit of short shrift, though I did feel we get a slightly more even view of him this go around. But the lynch pin of these books is the relationship between Jack and Gareth and its what makes everything else work. We finally see them declare their love for one another and Jack realizes that Gareth is the only rock he needs. This couple works because neither of them spends time trying to change the other. Gareth never contemplates trying to stop Jack from taking the drug investigation, even with the danger it brings. And for the first time we see Jack realize that Gareth courts his own measure of danger and that he must learn to manage his worry, just as Gareth does. I do feel that Jack tends to take more from Gareth than he gives in return, but this feels realistic and very in line with most relationships. The author has done an a great job of creating vibrant, emotional characters that readers will end up caring about and that’s probably the biggest reason I have so enjoyed these books.
House Hunt is a stronger entry into this series than its predecessor and, while it still has its issues, Jack and Gareth’s relationship continues to resonate as a powerful, realistic connection between two fiercely independent men. This book is not a standalone and you really have to read the books in order, but I guarantee that doing so is well worth your time. Jack and Gareth will captivate you from the start and you’ll find yourself eager for the next installment. If you love great characters that pack an emotional punch, you’ll enjoy House Hunt.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.