Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Snapdragon by Michelle Woody

snapdragonTitle ~ Snapdragon

Author ~ Michelle Woody

Publisher ~ JMS Books

Published ~ 21st January 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Mystery/Thriller





Private detective Chris Mason thought he only had to worry about his brother Dylan discovering he was dating Homicide detective James Harris. Dylan and their best friend, Ron Abrams, don’t like James, and Chris has to handle their animosity towards his lover. But then Chris is targeted by a serial killer who leaves snapdragons with his victims.
James leads the Snapdragon investigation as head detective. As each murder links Dylan and Ron to the killings, James questions Ron’s motives and his connections to Chris. Ron’s pet name for Chris has always been Snapdragon. Could there be more behind Ron’s playful teases than Chris knows?
When Ron’s attraction to Chris is exposed, their friendship totters. Is a darker side to Ron revealed? Could he be involved with the Snapdragon murders? And will Chris be able to solve the case before he becomes the killer's next victim?


Freya’s Review

Snapdragon is a story involving private detectives, jealousy, murder and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Chris Mason is a PI along with his older brother Dylan and their friend Ron. Dylan and Ron set up the agency when they left the police department. Chris joined them as the technical backup. Though, he is more than capable of taking care of himself.

A series of murders happen designed to put Dylan and Ron at the top of the suspect list. However, with a calling card of snapdragons (Ron’s nickname for Chris), followed by an attack on said younger brother, it is clear that something involving Ron and Chris has pissed off someone. The question is, who?

Character wise; Dylan is the protective older brother. Ron flirts with Chris, but they’re just friends. James is the police detective dating Chris – albeit the relationship is new. Ron and Dylan don’t like James as they’ve worked with him. When Chris is availed of their dislike of James and his work ethic – my favourite line of the story follows, “I don’t want to see him working a case. I want to see him naked.” As for James, he is a cop torn between his duty and his heart, which puts a strain on his relationship.

There are plenty of suspects and reasons, on the ‘who wants to hurt Chris’ list. There’s a competing detective agency, jealous wannabe lovers, prejudice, and, corruption. A minefield of possibilities, some of which are red herrings. Through the melee, lines of trust have to be formed when no one seems trustworthy.

This is a good story, but I believe I would have enjoyed it more if weren’t for the overload of, ‘Said’s’ and ‘Asked’s’ in the dialogue. The author is also fond of accompanying her scenes with stormy weather – possibly a representation of what was on the horizon. Some fight scenes too, were a touch clinical, listing what each person did, with little emotion to bring them to life.

When in law enforcement it is easy to see how every action can be suspect. And in Snapdragon, innocent actions are condemning in the wrong circumstances. As such, tempers flare as suspicions rise and accusations fly. Chris’s frustration amps up as everyone around him tries to protect him without keeping him completely in the loop. As the story is from his viewpoint, that frustration comes through loud and clear.

To concentrate on the case, Snapdragon has a low heat rating, with any intimacy being fade out. What is between these covers is a story of accusations, suspects, lies, set-ups and learning who one can trust.

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