Final Orders is part of the continuing Hazard and Somerset: Arrows in Hand series and is not intended to be read as a standalone.
John-Henry Somerset and Emery Hazard—their names have been around through many books over many years. Their relationship has survived great challenges, both personally and professionally. With their foster son, Colt, now living with them, the school board meeting is a hot topic and things get heated, landing Emery in a heap of trouble with his husband, the chief of police.
With their life under a microscope as foster parents, the men don’t need any additional attention, but it does bring a new client to Emery. A woman is convinced someone is trying to kill her mother, a known author, and she wants Emery to protect her for the two days they are in town. Except things never go as planned and the woman is found dead of violent injuries.
No matter what is going on in their lives, Emery and John-Henry work together well and they are on the hunt for a killer once again. With many suspects and uncooperative and fanatical town residents, the case shifts many times and finally lands too close to home as Colt is a target and his best friend, Ashley, gets abducted. The constant stress takes its toll on their personal life as well and the men must solve the case before the frantic pace affects the one thing they hold close—each other.
From the first page of this book, and each Hazard and Somerset book, it feels effortless to be transported right back into their lives. The character building and the world building in this series is strong and the town and their home becomes vivid once again. This book has a similar format to the rest of the series, with life super stressful for the men and murder once again landing at their door.
The last book ended with the men trying to get Colt in a better place and this book shows he’s not quite there yet. I don’t think that the men give enough consideration to the life Colt had before he lived with them and, while Colt asked to be in their home, his behavior is extreme and ungrateful. Even when he’s trying to cool off, he comes off as unappreciative all the time.
The case once again puts the men in danger and there are intense moments in both the case and their rocky home life. There are moments where we see the love between the men, but there are not many of those moments anymore. Even thought the murders in this series are a priority, the relationship between the men has also been a priority and it seems to decline with each book.
I still like revisiting this world and seeing what the men are up to, but the format of the books has become too predictable for me. There are still open storylines within this world for Hazard and Somerset and Colt and even the secondary characters that now play a large role in the lives of the men, like Nico and Dulac, and I will still continue to revisit with them time and again.