Title: Torn and Frayed
Author: Rodd Clark
Publisher: Driven Press
Release: 9th January 2016
Genre: M/M (murder-mystery)
“Conscience isn’t something all people are born with . . .”
Gabriel Church is a portrait in contrast. It would be easy to get lost in his pale-blue eyes, ache with the need to feel the strength of his masculine frame. He appears to be nothing but animal and instinct. The only people who know the full depth of that truth are dead, murdered, or two thousand miles away.
Gabe is a serial killer. For the first time in his life, he has more on his mind than his own survival. This time he is running from Seattle to protect the only person he thinks innocent in his laundry list of crime and murder: Christian Maxwell, his biographer and unexpected lover. Drawn to a place he never thought to return, Gabe finds new and different realities. Realities that insist he let go of his tragic past, those incredible perceptions of God, and his own divinity. He must open his eyes to what the love of a good man can do to heal a broken soul.
But when the killer is confronted by his own willingness to love and sacrifice, he is forced to ultimately ask the question: Just how far will he go to save a life . . . when all he’s ever done is take them?
So the chase is on or it was and then it wasn’t! I must admit this second book had me intrigued from the word go. In the first book, Rubble and The Wreckage, Gabriel leaves Christian and hits the road. Once again driven by self-preservation and not wanting to get Christian tangled up in his life.
He lands up in San Antonio and after arriving wanders into a church that catches his interest. In the first book we learnt that Gabriel has a rather twisted relationship with religion embedded deep in his childhood memories and in the second book he meets Father Kait and develops a fascinating relationship with him on a platonic level. Father Kait becomes his confessor and Gabriel can release some of the things that have been burdening him. Of course he doesn’t give anything away about his murders but it was fascinating to read all the same. I loved this relationship that the two had developed. Rodd’s writing really gets to grips with the psyche of his characters. The conversations between Father Kait and Gabe are philosophical and extremely thought provoking giving the reader something to chew over and ponder on for days. I know I was mulling a lot of the conversation around in my head for quite a while. You are drawn into their inner most thoughts and this is what I love about these books so far. As I said in my first review a real mind f*** on many levels but listening to Gabe opening up to Father Kait was intriguing all the same. Still doesn’t excuse what he does but it definitely gives the reader a hell of a ride in the mind of serial murderer Gabriel Church.
For someone who never lets himself get emotionally attached to anyone he is still haunted with is time spent with Christian. The internal struggle is palpable, he is in all intense and purposes, Torn and Frayed between the attachment he has formed with Christian but knowing his lifestyle would never let him form any kind of relationship. I could feel the tug-o-war going on inside him and to get this straight in his head he uses Father Kait to talk to.
However, in the this book we are introduced to a new character and that is Detective Scott Keen. He works cold cases, murders that most have given up on and have no more leads. He is given a file and picks up Christian’s scent in Gabriel’s last murder although Christian was only involved by default. Christian is now in a flat spin of panic and as providence will have it Gabriel decides to phone Christian as he wants to hear his voice. Is he missing Christian? Well I guess he is but Gabriel would never admit this to himself as that would be forming a relationship now, wouldn’t it? I love the totally f***** up relationship that these guys have. The love is there but this is pushed to the back of Gabriel’s mind as it’s just not possible for him to admit this to anyone let alone himself.
Gabe returns to Seattle to help Christian out of his predicament. Here the book really heats up and the cat and mouse game begins. Detective Keen has no idea who he’s dealing with and doesn’t know how close to danger he’s flying. The whole outcome is breathtaking and for the first time I’m hoping that the murderer actually gets away with the crime. Crazy, right? But as I said in my review for the first book you can’t but not help liking Gabriel or at least understand this complicated character. It goes against everything you have been taught. How does it all play out in the end? Well, it was exciting as any thriller I have read to date. More I’m not giving away as you’ll have to read the book.
For me this book is a great psychological thriller with a warped M/M romance thrown in. The writing of Rodd Clark is detailed and empathetic of his characters, letting the reader delve right into the psyche of Gabriel Church. Maybe it’s a place you want or don’t want to go but just the thrill of going somehwere you normally wouldn’t, pushing your boundaries, questioning rights and wrongs, makes for a super book and an exciting read. Can’t wait for the next book.
Meet Rodd Clark
Rodd currently resides in Dallas, Texas. He shares his life with numerous cats, dogs, and his partner of many years. He has many projects under his belt and is working on many others. Some of his works are There Is Always Another Boogey Man, Jesse, Justice Denied, Short Ride to Hell, A Cache of Killers and the recently completed final book in the Brantley Colton Mystery series, No Place for the Wicked.
Always penning his next work, Rodd likes to keep busy with writing and reading and of course his menagerie of critters.