Emery Hazard is about to get a client for his new private detective business. It’s not his ideal client, as Walter Hoffmeister is a policeman that no one likes. But the man is receiving death threats and no one is taking them, or Walter, seriously.
At home, things are great for Hazard, better than they have ever been and better than Hazard ever thought his life could be. His relationship is solid with John-Henry Somerset and they have made a home for themselves. They even have friends in the couple next door. But Hazard has been a little on edge as Somers has mentioned marriage and just the word makes Hazard ragey.
Within Hazard’s first day of being hired, his client is almost gunned down on Hazard’s doorstep and no one will get away with bringing violence to Hazard’s home. There are many people who wish Hoffmeister harm and Hazard’s investigation takes him once again to the Ozark Volunteers, recently renamed to Bright Lights, and Hazard wants to be anywhere but near the radical followers.
Hazard also wants to be anywhere but near Somers’ new partner, Jamie Dulac, and it’s taking all of Hazard’s control not to commit murder himself. With Hazard working as a consultant for the police department, he and Somers work closely together again, but Hazard has never been good at following the rules. While the case takes of much of their time, the Keeper of Bees is still out there, as the case remains unsolved, and the killer is slowly getting between Hazard and the only man he has ever truly wanted.
Reading a Hazard and Somerset book is an event. The books are tightly written, the detail that links the series is intricately woven, and the world the characters live in is richly developed.
This book picks up shortly after the last book, The Rational Faculty, with Hazard becoming a private detective and Somers still on the force. They also have a home together and are more domesticated than Hazard thought was even possible for himself.
The book is intense as we are mostly in Hazard’s point of view. He still has a lot of rage inside of him from all the events, past and present, involving Mikey, and the last case, with the murderer known as the Keeper of the Bees, is unsolved and the murderer is still out there. It’s takes a lot for Hazard to admit out loud his fear of something happening to Somers and how this unsolved case is affecting his life and future with Somers. Hazard has so much rage and it doesn’t take much to set him off and he really needs something that will allow him to calm down some. Yet, Somers seems to take Hazard’s moods and outbursts in stride, as while Hazard comes across as a tough guy, he is really struggling, and if anyone can handle Hazard, it is John-Henry Somerset.
There is more than one case going on at the same time where Hazard and Somers overlap and Ashe keeps everything tightly wound, crisp, and easy to follow. Hazard is not used to being told what to do, he likes to be in charge, and that causes friction between the men. Also, Somers’ new partner, Dulac, is like a gnat that won’t leave Hazard alone and Dulac’s intentions aren’t always the most honorable. The primary case that Hazard was working on in this book kept the story moving at a fast pace and, while I did figure this one out early on, it’s truly a sight to watch Hazard unravel a case.
There is also more time here with Hazard and Somers together privately and that was amazing to read. The guys know each other so well and the author knows these guys so well and I feel like I know them so well and their interactions are laugh out loud ridiculous at times in the very best of ways. As settled as they may appear on the outside, they still have a lot to work through. But Somers is who Hazard has wanted since he was a teen and Hazard knows how to step it up big time and the ending and the dialogue and the insight that Hazard agonized over was truly perfect for them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one and knowing there is still more for Hazard and Somers is the best news yet.