Title: Blood & Dirt
Author: Lloyd Meeker
Release: 19th August 2015
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: M/M (mystery/murder)
Family squabbles can be murder. Psychic PI Russ Morgan investigates a vandalized marijuana grow in Mesa County Colorado, landing in the middle of a ferocious family feud that’s escalating in a hurry. Five siblings fight over the family ranch as it staggers on the brink of bankruptcy, marijuana its only salvation. Not everyone agrees, but only one of them is willing to kill to make a point. Russ also has a personal puzzle to solve as he questions his deepening relationship with Colin Stewart, a man half his age. His rational mind says being with Colin is the fast track to heartbreak, but it feels grounding, sane, and good. Now, that’s really dangerous…
With the second book we get a full length Russ Morgan story and what a treat this was for me. A real detective story in the best tradition of Agatha Christie or Columbo. Why? Well, Russ is a PI and is called in by Evan Landry to solve the vandalism which destroyed his sister’s marijuana grow. First I didn't even realise this was legal in Colorado but I soon learnt that as long as it is for medical purposes and everything is registered then it's no problem. So why destroy an extremely profitable business?
I loved the way that Russ gets to the bottom of things by observation and questioning with no Miami Vice style action or gun toting! As I said in the the best tradition of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot Russ uses his intuition but more importantly his ability to read auras to see if people are lying or not. Well, what a bitter, twisted and dysfunctional family this is. Sibling rivalry at its most ugly and as we are dealing with adults it really is a nest of vipers. Lloyd brings his characters to life and you feel how detestable they all are in their own way to varying degrees. Here Russ's talent for auras becomes crucial.
It isn't long before the first murder happens and then things start to really heat up even for Russ. This is where the local police are involved and he gets to meet Heath. When he firsts meet the gay vibes are there but one evening Heath comes on to Russ but Russ stands his ground. I felt so sorry for Heath, trapped in a backwoods town, in the police and gay. The guy is obviously so lonely but can't leave his home town as he is so attached to it. Quite sad really as the chances of finding someone where he lives is next to impossible although he would make someone a great partner.
The other thing that I really like about this series is the developing relationship Russ has with Colin who he met in the first book. The relationship moves on to the next phase and although Russ is reluctant not only because of the age gap but also painful memories, he caves in to Colin’s charm’s eventually. I mean who wouldn’t? I felt a lightening of Russ’s aura myself on this point. He felt happier and more content with life and has now another focus to keep him grounded. Is he in love? Well, maybe it’s a little too early to tell at the moment but all the signs are definitely there for sure. Large age gaps in relationships can still be a little controversial even in today’s society but this is dealt with realistically and with such heartfelt sensitivity it never seems a problem at all. Love is love and it doesn’t only include sexuality. To be honest, well done Russ you lucky guy – lol!!
So the plot thickens and in the end Russ’s impartiality is put to the test. Just when I thought I possibly had the answer another twist in the story would get me guessing all over again until the final outcome. I love this combination between private life and investigation and would love to read another Russ Morgan mystery and see how things develop between him and Colin.
Meet Lloyd A. Meeker
Lloyd Meeker can't help what he writes – stories arising from the between places, the mystical overlapping between the worlds of matter and spirit, and the wild beauty that dwells there. It’s his natural habitat.
In addition to his written work, which includes novels, essays, poetry and short stories, he has served since 2008 as a final-round judge in the Queer Foundation’s annual National High School Seniors Essay Contest, which promotes effective writing by, about, and/or for queer youth, and awards scholarships to the winners. Finalists are selected from schools across the United States by members of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Happily ensorcelled by music, subtle energy healing, and the wonders of nature, he lives with his very understanding husband in southern Florida, among friends and family, orchids, and giant hibiscus that take his breath away every morning.
His novel The Companion was named a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards.
He is also the author of the titles Blood and Dirt, Traveling Light, Enigma, Blood Royal, and A Cape of Good Hope Christmas.
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