Title: Guardians of the Haunted Moor
Author: Harper Fox
Publisher: FoxTales Publications
Release: 1st August 2015
Genre: M/M (paranormal Murder/mystery)
(Book 5 in the Tyack & Frayne Mystery series.)
The wedding is just the beginning…
Gideon and Lee have spent a year in chaotic married bliss, with all the trimmings – a dog, tricky in-laws, and a baby girl they both adore. But even the best of lives can be fragile, and a shocking family loss hits their new world like a demolition ball.
Gideon has little energy left to investigate a murder that’s taken place in the fields outside Dark. He still has his duties to his community, though, and with Lee at his side, he begins to unfold the mysterious death of Farmer John Bowe. It’s harvest time, ancient West Country magic in the air, and rumours are flying through the village of an enemy Gideon thought he’d left behind long ago.
Can the beast of Bodmin possibly be real? Everything in Gideon’s stoical police-sergeant’s nature says no. But Lee has taught him to see the world differently, and now they must pool their resources to unmask a killer before more lives are lost – and somehow find a way to mend their shattered family, too.
Oh nooooo!!! Is this the last book for Tyack and Frayne? I certainly get that feeling but as we say in German “die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt” (hope is the last thing to die), so I'll still be keeping my fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe we might have another adventure. However, if this should be the case then it is a well rounded and fitting end to the saga which is Tyack and Frayne.
Right from the very beginning of this book we are thrown into the tumultuous lives of Lee and Gideon. Thrown headfirst into the circle of life, as one person dies a new life is born. I found a certain comfort in this funnily enough as it illustrates the ying and yang of all our lives. On the one hand a sad moment but on the other hand a joyous one, balancing out perfectly the lives of the two MCs throughout this book. Their daughter is born but after a family drama taken away from them and leaves both of them bereft and this obviously takes its toll.
However, Tyack and Frayne for me have come full circle in their relationship. With the love and support they have for each other they are able to weather the storm, drawing on each other's strength. I could feel the desolation in their hearts, the emptiness left behind in their lives, it was seriously too much really. But I just love these two guys for the way they compliment one another and are able to work as a team, reading each other's thoughts and feelings where no words are necessary, something that only comes after being together after a length of time, being one unit, one entity, joined by their unfailing love.
As they are coming to terms with this then trouble is also brooding on the moors. I just so love this setting, if anyone has ever experienced Bodmin Moor it is the ideal backdrop for mysterious and unexplainable goings on, a place where in the very air hangs a palpable doorway to the other side. So with this in mind I could really get into the spirit of things. Throw into this setting a Cornish village with all its quirky characters, mysterious deaths, traditions that go way back, then you have a great read which will keep you enthralled from the word go.
Is the beast of Bodmin Moor back or are there more worldly machinations going on? I just love how Harper with series combines the ethereal or paranormal with the temporal or human. Based around the old Cornish tradition of Guldize, or in Cornish Goel Dheys, also known as The Crying of The Neck which has its origins in Cornwall's Celtic heritage, now lost in the mists of time. I remember only to well as a child going with my parents to this ancient harvest ceremony, standing in the freshly harvested corn field. When the last handful of standing corn is harvested one i of the reapers hold it up, shouting;
Reaper: I 'ave un! I 'ave un! I 'ave un!
Everyone: What 'ave ee? What 'ave ee? What 'ave ee?
Reaper: A neck! A neck! A neck!
Everyone: Hurrah! Hurrah for the neck!
Then it was off to the Methodist chapel hall for tea and saffron buns.
Anyway, sorry for the trip down memory lane, back to the review. As always Lee’s visions have become critical in trying to work exactly what is happening and going on. this time though he needs help from the local village witch, or at least modern day witch, but none the less as far as the villagers are concerned she definitely has powers that are somewhat supernatural. I loved this character, how Harper weaved her into the story bringing yet another supernatural slant to the the village of Dark and the moor. But all this paranormal power that Lee and the witch has it is always ethereal in Harper’s writing. Present enough to be there, gets the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up, but never that it becomes the main aspect or focal point. this in my books is very talented writing and makes the whole paranormal happenings even more spooky or “goose bumpy.” I love the way these two characters also balance out, Lee the psychic and Gideon the down-to-earth, practical kind of guy. He has no doubts about Lee’s abilities but he is also a good anchor for Lee, stopping him from going off the deep end when his visions become too much.
I also love how all these different threads weave their way through the book; a pinch of paranormal, a little murder, village traditions, rumours are rife, shady dealings and all set n a backdrop as atmospheric as it is beautiful. All threads coming together at the end providing for another fantastic Tyack and Lee adventure. Is this their last adventure? Well, I guess only Harper can answer that question. Even if it should be then Tyack and Frayne are now have permanent residence in my literary heart as two characters I will be visiting again. So for anyone wishing to embark on a Cornish journey of mystery, murder, the occult and two sexy MCs, then start and book and enjoy!!
Series Reading Order and Purchase Links
1) Once Upon a Haunted Moor ~ (Mark’s Review)
2) Tinsel Fish ~ (Mark’s Review)
3) Don’t Let Go (Mark’s Review)
4) Kitto (Mark’s Review)
5) Guardians of the Haunted Moor
Meet Harper Fox
Bestselling British author Harper Fox has established herself as a firm favourite with readers of M/M romance. Over the past four years, she’s delivered eighteen critically acclaimed novels and novellae, includingBrothers Of The Wild North Sea (Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2013), Stonewall Award-nominated Scrap Metal and the enduringly popular Life After Joe. Harper takes her inspiration from a wide range of British settings – wild countryside, edgy urban and most things in between – and loves to use these backdrops for stories about sexy gay men sharing passion, adventure and happy endings. She also runs her own publishing imprint, FoxTales.
Harper has recently returned from Cornwall to her native Northumberland, and already the bleak moorlands around her home are providing a wealth of new ideas for future work.
Connect with Harper