Author ~ Ethan Stone
Published ~ 6th February 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense
Seattle is being plagued by a string of gruesome murders. For Detective Peter Tao, it’s a career-making case, but he’s struggling to find a lead. How is the killer choosing his victims? What is he trying to prove?
With a long list of suspects and nothing to connect them, Peter is more determined than ever to apprehend the murderer. Then Peter gets the one vital piece of evidence that ties everything together. Now he’ll have to look beyond the obvious to identify the killer before anyone else is murdered.
Solve the mystery in this fast-moving crime thriller by Ethan Stone.
When we meet Detective Peter Tao and his partner Detective Jamey Nolan they are investigating a gruesome murder and castration and we quickly get a sense of their good rapport and friendship. Jamey is the only one at work that knows Peter is gay. He’s not out to his conservative Korean parents and at the moment he is satisfied with a no-strings attached arrangement he has with someone in a similar situation. It’s clear he’s been burned in the past and is in no rush to start another relationship. A second similarly mutilated body turns up the next day and the case quickly takes an unexpected and devastating turn for Peter. When the investigation reveals links to an online site for cheating spouses, one potential victim poses a personal challenge for Peter and his strict views on relationships.
There is a lot going on in this story which has plenty of twists and turns, a lot of suspicious behavior and a lot of people with red hair. Peter’s investigation into the serial murders requires him to put together an unlikely team, including a whip-smart young cop on probation, a tech expert and a by-the-book cop who loves his rules and regulations.
They story is a Law and Order type procedural, ripped from the headlines and heavy on the investigation, but there is a romantic sub-plot woven into it as Peter finds himself a suitor in gorgeous tech firm CEO and potential victim Bryce Carrick. Carrick challenges Peter both personally and professionally and I absolutely loved their interactions. It was also nice to see that even through the haze of lust, Peter has a moral code that’s hard to break. Peter’s friendship with his partner Jamey was also touching and made for a few emotional moments.
Ethan Stone has crafted a complex storyline, with lots of different possibilities, plenty of red (or redheaded) herrings and likeable characters. There’s more than one investigation going on as the team’s digging into the serial murders expands their pool of witnesses and possible killers. Although I had an inkling as to who might be involved, the author did manage to surprise me a bit at the end.
I thought the story was well-paced and entertaining (and it’s not nearly as gory as the title and nature of the crimes might make it sound). I did have some small questions left about the final resolution and some trouble with the motives of one of the many baddies and wish there had been a better explanation, but overall they were minor and could be attributed to an unhinged murderer’s state of mind.
If you enjoy fast paced crime stories that are heavy on plot and will keep you guessing Hacked Up is a good pick.
Connect with Ethan Stone
Ethan Stone doesn’t write your typical boy meets boy stories. With a combination of love and suspense he makes his characters work hard for their HEAs. If they can survive what he puts them through, then they can survive anything. He enjoys Romance with an Edge.
Ethan has been reading mysteries and thrillers since he was young. He’s had a thing for guys in uniform for just as long. That may have influenced the stories he writes.
He’s a native Oregonian with two kids. One of whom has made him a grandfather three times over; even though he is way too young.