- Book Title: Legacy of Hephaestsus
- Series: A Corey Shaw Mystery
- Author: Alex Morgan
- Publisher: Wilde City Press (August 8, 2015)
- Book Length: 164 pages
- Genre: Gay, Erotica, Action, Thriller
- Reviewed by: Diane
- Rating: 4 Star
- Posting Date: August 9, 2015
This episode in the Corey Shaw Mystery series begins with a pulse-pounding diamond heist, then segues right into where we left Corey Shaw and his family after their traumatic vacation cruise experience.
Book 3 focused rather heavily on family dynamics and Corey’s near miss in the relationship sweepstakes. Book 4 continues with sisters-with-attitude, a mother with a mind of her own, and Corey with time on his hands as he plans to “cruise” northern Europe and sample what’s on offer (sans boat, the other kind of cruising).
Naturally, it doesn’t take long for him to become embroiled in events that, at first, make little sense, but eventually the bodies pile up, with Corey being the last one to have contact of the carnal sort with the victims. Plus, there’s a missing person to add an additional layer of intrigue.
Characters with questionable motivations, random clues littering the landscape, and Corey going continent hopping as he pieces together a patchwork quilt of whodunnit elements makes this part chase, part suspense, and part mystery—with a whole lot of misdirection thrown in.
Beyond that, there be **spoilers**
The point of view shifts in interesting, though sometimes confusing ways. Told in third person close, the reader is privy to events, thoughts and motivations for secondary, albeit critical-to-the-mystery characters, yet the plot would have benefitted from a more omniscient—admittedly linear—storytelling pace and viewpoint. In a couple of spots, there are events/clues that sit there in a “gee, I wonder what that’s about” way, obviously obvious but without an organic link to the flow of the plot. Mostly the reader will be surprised they weren’t surprised. That’s a good thing.
Corey Shaw is an interesting character. He’s PTSD in the relationship department, has unrequited feelings for someone close, conflicted feelings about his ex, mommy issues, is both fearless and fearful about his sexuality, is a rouè and a cad in old-fashioned terms, a player in modern parlance, and in possession of paranormal faculties that impact all of the above. Where my suspension of disbelief and underlying dislike for this character stems from is the issue of control, or lack thereof. He’s been schooled to within an inch of his sanity to filter out and contain his gifts and his emotions, but when it comes to his libido… Well, all bets are off.
On the other hand, he’s good at his job, is like a bulldog in pursuit of the bad guys, and has powers that are both très cool and really add to the action and adventure elements of the plot. You don’t have to like a character to groove on their abilities to get the job done.
Speaking of action… the final chase sequence really rocked. The author does a splendid job of describing the locations (Amsterdam, Norway, Boston) and putting the reader solidly inside the mayhem. Ditto the particulars of the diamond trade—there’s enough to give the reader a solid foundation without burying the plot in superfluous detail. I really enjoy coming away from a mystery with most of the threads tied off and also knowing a bit more about a topic than I did going in.
As for the denouement… this reader shakes her head and grins. Shaw is, if nothing else, incorrigible.
The editing had the usual glitches (not many), the sex scenes are frequent—if a bit distanced (see: rouè, cad, player)—and smoking, the characters complex enough to be interesting, the plot and the resolution of the mystery are satisfying. All in all, this might be my next favorite after Murder at the Green Lantern, the second book in the series.
The Legacy of Hephaestsus is a solid four star read.
Paranormal sleuth Corey Shaw is wrapping up what’s left of his European vacation by enjoying the beautiful men in Europe. During his visit, the largest yellow diamond in the world is stolen from a factory in Amsterdam. On his way home, an attempt is made on his life, and his house is broken into upon his arrival home in Boston. Just as Corey finds the “Lava Diamond”, a professor from Boston College disappears while on sabbatical at Bergen University in Norway.
Drawn into the fray, Corey travels back across the Atlantic to search for the professor only to discover a connection between the missing prof and the “Lava Diamond”.
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