Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset never have a shortage of cases to work. The latest at Emery’s office is when a man hires Emery to find a teen he claims stole his expensive watch. Emery knows there is more to the case and he takes it on to get to the bottom of his suspicions.
At the police station, John-Henry is overwhelmed. His officers don’t respect him as the Chief of Police, he has zero work-life balance, and John knows Emery’s case is connecting to police work once again. There’s a lot to work through with a dead body, stolen jewelry, violent assaults on men paying for sex, and a suspicious husband back in town that was thought to be dead. John and Emery barely have time to piece it all together when Emery’s client’s dead body is left for them—in their home.
Their home life is still unraveling and on a downward spiral as their foster son, Colt, lashes out at them at every chance with hurtful words that shake Emery more than he wants anyone to know. John is unhappy with the way their domestic life is currently and thinks he’s covering it up, but the cracks in their foundation are growing larger every day. The killer still isn’t finished and Emery and John have to solve the case before he strikes again.
Gregory Ashe makes it effortless to walk back into the lives of Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset once again as the adventures of these men continue. This is a long on-going series and this is definitely not a book I would recommend reading without any background on the men.
A large part of this book and this series are the cases the men work and there is still no shortage of toxic people in town. The case here hits closer to home for a few reasons, but none as strong as when the men realize that Colt may be involved. The relationship between Emery and John is also the focal point of the series and it works with and even feeds off of their jobs.
Ashe shows how life keeps adding more and more onto the men. Emery keeps things a certain way and John often feels like he’s over-scheduled and on a short leash, even in his own home. This hadn’t been addressed and Emery’s hold has been growing tighter and going unchecked. During this book, however, John reaches a crisis point and the men finally have a conversation to address some of their issues. This was really needed for me as it still showed the love the men have for each other through the mountain of responsibility they tackle each day.
I haven’t liked the addition of Colt to the series as much and that didn’t change here. There were circumstances that brought Colt to be living with the men, and Colt wanted to stay. Yet he makes it extremely unpleasant to be around as he hurls hurtful words at both men and then he’s crying in almost every scene. This goes beyond the excuse of “being a teenager” for me and I don’t think his issues are being properly addressed. Some of the cases are also more impactful than others and this one didn’t feel fully finished by the end, as not all the areas were tied up, and the addition of a polaroid camera as an integral part of the case gave the whole thing a dated feel to me.
Ashe excels at the deep character development evident for both Emery and John and watching them work a case together is still a highlight of the series. Their relationship has evolved so much during the course of these books and that is what will keep me coming back again.