Full time plumber, part-time psychic Tom Paretski isn’t thrilled when his sister gets him roped into a job that takes advantage of his psychic finding abilities. However, he agrees to help the client Amelia track down her missing necklace, which she is pretty sure was stolen by her step-daughter Violet. When Amelia later turns up dead (and Tom is the one who finds the body), he finds himself once again right in the middle of a murder investigation.
With the help of his private investigator fiancé, Phil Morrison, Tom begins looking into just who wanted Amelia dead. Since she wasn’t a particular pleasant person, that list might be long. As Tom and Phil begin to dig into the case, it becomes clear that the killer is willing to strike again, and both men are in danger. Now they must try to figure out who is behind the murder, while trying to stay alive in the process.
Blow Down is the fourth book in J.L. Merrow’s Plumber’s Mate series and reunites us with Tom and Phil. As the story starts, Tom is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the newfound fame/notoriety that has come from his role in the bar fire (which occurs in the previous book) and doesn’t particularly enjoy being a spectacle due to his psychic abilities. So he isn’t thrilled to get roped into a “finder” job, especially with this woman who isn’t so nice. But once again, Tom end up in the middle of a murder investigation when Amelia is killed and he is connected to the case. I found the mystery end of this story to be the best part for me. There are enough suspects involved and the plot had enough twists to keep it interesting, but not overly complicated. This isn’t a high intensity thriller, however, and the story has more of a folksy charm than a high-paced mystery/suspense. But the tone fits well with the series and these characters and I enjoyed this aspect of the book.
I did still wish for more on the relationship end between Phil and Tom. This is their fourth book and I felt like things continue to move somewhat slowly. Yes, they took a big step at the end of the previous book, but their relationship seems to be secondary to the main mystery storyline and after so many books, I’d like to see more. A lot of issues are brought up in terms of their future, but they don’t ever talk about much of it and even though decisions are made, they happen quickly. I love both of these guys and really like them together, so I just want more. I also think this is a story that would have benefited from some more on page intimacy, as once again just about everything is not just fade to black, but basically just mentioned in passing. Like we are told sex occurs, but don’t see any of it. Yes, I tend to enjoy the hot scenes, but I also think not enough of the story focuses on the men together in any detail and more scenes of them together (sexy and otherwise) would have helped, rather than mostly Tom telling us about how they ate dinner and watched tv. I guess I just wanted more time with them together, more talking, and more focus on the two of them.
I also wish we got more of Tom and his psychic talents. They were used to such great success in the first book, but the other stories in the series seem to only give it cursory focus. It is such an interesting facet of his character and works so well in the mystery context that it seems a shame that it is not explored more.
I still find myself enjoying this series, and like I said, I love Tom and Phil. I think the mystery end works well, but I would love to see more focus on the guys and their relationship as the series continues.