Life Without Parole is a continuing serial that must be read in order. Spoilers are evident even from reading the synopsis for each book. Proceed with caution to fully enjoy all this series has to offer.
Trey has been taken out of solitary confinement and transferred to county as his lawyer has won an appeal for his case. Trey was not able to see Jeremy before he left and since convicts cannot ever contact other convicts, he fears he will never see his angel again.
While Jeremy watches the court proceedings on TV, he is torn between wanting Trey to break free from prison life and wanting the man he loves to return to him. But even if Trey were to return to prison, there is still no guarantee Jeremy will ever be able see him again.
With Trey gone, Jeremy has to survive on his own in prison and Darren is there ready to guide him. There is no illusion that Darren has any good intentions, but Trey is trying to stay alive and trying to find a safe place to land and Darren offers him complicated comfort. But Darren is so tightly wound and when Jeremy’s defenses are fully down, Darren strikes out.
This is the book in the series that sets so much in motion. Erno keeps adding layers to the story and I am still completely hooked on this series and the story of Trey and Jeremy. The story is cohesive from one book to the next while adding more each time.
Trey has a second trial here and his full story of abuse at the hands of his stepfather is revealed. While not overly graphic, Erno offers up a heartbreaking tale of abuse and what led Trey to finally snap as the protection of his younger brother was all that mattered.
This book also goes further with the relationship between Jeremy and Darren. Darren holds a mysterious place of power within the prison and while all of the workings are not revealed, there is a growing sense of how he operates. We also get the POV shift that I am loving with this series as we get Darren’s background from his viewpoint. His scene did have one character named Adam whose name switched to Aaron and back again, but Darren’s story was well done, enticing, and a great addition to the layers of the overall story. We know that Darren is manipulative and is preying on Jeremy’s insecurities, but there were points where Jeremy’s view could have been shown in a stronger light instead of it seeming like he was giving in so easily. There were also small areas where the dialogue became choppy or awkward ,which had the unfortunate effect of breaking the flow of the narrative.
We are also introduced further to prison guard Corey Levine along with the arrival of brash prisoner, Bobby, and a potential clandestine relationship may be brewing between the two.
This series remains emotional and character driven. While there are two main characters in Jeremy and Trey, the side characters create an ensemble that carries the story in various and engaging directions. Erno has created his own brand of literary torture as I now wait for the next book in the series that has become the best kind of addiction.