Joe is a young homeless man who’s escaped a sex trafficking ring. There’s a blizzard coming, and he’s got nowhere to stay. Joe runs into Derek, a private detective, who is working a case. Derek tries to convince Joe to try to go to a homeless shelter for the night, but Joe is reluctant. Derek can’t stand to see Joe out in a blizzard, so he makes the sudden decision to invite Joe to his home for the night.
Thanks to the blizzard, one night turns into more. The men begin to become friends, and Derek begins to show Joe a few things about being a detective. Once the blizzard is over, Derek extends an offer for Joe to continue to live in his house and become his apprentice. Joe accepts that offer and the men begin working together. Through several cases, and time in the car on surveillance, their feelings for each other deepen. The road to happiness isn’t all that smooth. Both men have traumas in their past that they need to acknowledge before they even have a chance to be happy together.
I rather liked The Detective’s Apprentice. It’s a good story with solid bones, and two excellent main characters. Both Joe and Derek are good men. There’s no need for redemption anywhere here. They play off each other nicely, and they had a decent chemistry. This is a slow burn romance…very slow burn, and that’s exactly as it should be. As mentioned, both men have trauma in their past. However, it’s what happened to Joe that sets the pace. When he was younger, he trusted the wrong person and wound up being trafficked for sex and underage porn. He wants to be with Derek, but his aversion to being touched sexually keeps him from fully letting go. This is why I liked the time it took for Joe and Derek to become intimate. Derek is so kind and so supportive. There’s no pressure on Joe.
As the plot moves along, at a good, steady clip, the men work a few cases. They were interesting, even though they weren’t deeply developed. I enjoyed reading about them. The final case is a little more involved, and the turn it took was well done. It’s obvious the author researched private investigators and the minute things they do every day because life isn’t like the movies. I was able to appreciate that.
Kendrick’s writing style is great. I mentioned pacing, and that’s something he does with skill. There is no slow parts and the chapters are seamless. The story is written in the third person, so there’s no head jumping. The dialogue is what I would consider real. The conversations were believable and anything but clunky. In fact, The Detective’s Apprentice is heavy on dialogue. Definitely a good choice by Kendrick. I think that is just the right way a story like this should be written.
The ending tied up neatly. In the last few chapters, the men begin to work through their pasts, and they can finally concentrate on other things. Derek had already told Joe how he felt about him. Joe feels it too, and the final scene is sexy and sweet. Definitely worth waiting for.
I have absolutely no problem recommending The Detective’s Apprentice. If you’ve read him before, it’s classic Edward Kendrick…a well written story with super characters. If you haven’t read any of his books, this would be an excellent start. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and if you’re a fan of friends to lovers or hurt/comfort, this is a good one. If you’re into a little mystery and some action, this is for you. Enjoy!