I love mysteries. I read Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown, Kathy Reichs and John Sandford like candy. Or crack. I decided to try a M/M mystery this time. I wasn’t disappointed. Author BJ Sheppard has created the interesting little town of Grimm, Texas. Bad things happen in Grimm. The intense prologue gets the story started with a bang, or rather a murder. Then we jump 14 years and the wheels start to come off. At this point, I’m hooked. The mystery pulled me in and if I had any vacation days, I would have stayed home reading. I was invested in the story.
When the story picks back up, our hero, Meyer, is a detective with the police department. This part of the story also starts with a death. With each death, the suspense moves up a notch. It’s a lot creepy, too. One thing that doesn’t work well for me, but is truly just an individual preference, is POV shifts. This book was in everyone’s head. And everyone sounds alike. Yeah, that made it a little difficult at times. The shift didn’t always have some type of demarcation; sometimes it was just the next paragraph. Not my thing, but I’ve read many reviews that love that. So, no dissing the author for his style.
A bit of warning for this book. (Aside from the fact it’s not a romance.) The clues to the mystery are either very well hidden or non-existent. I don’t know which, because it’s possible I just didn’t find them they were hidden so well. I’m an optimist at heart and choose to believe the author wouldn’t leave us hanging without any clues. Those of us who love mysteries, also love trying to solve those mysteries on our own.
There are times I wanted to beat Meyer over the head with something really heavy. Preferably something with sharp edges. He’s frustrating. The blurb alludes to his propensity to operate outside the law. Well, the blurb says above, I think it’s much muddier than that. This part creates some discord between Meyer and his partner, Corin West “Westie”. Meyer and Westie had a thing for a while, but it ended when Meyer wasn’t interested in closet life. This all happens prior to chapter one, so it’s just a past thing that comes up (over and over). Back to Meyer above the law. This is a common plot device of which I’m not really fond. Meyer decides, in his infinite wisdom, that not telling Westie all that is going on with these seemingly random murders will help them solve the cases. Really? Who thinks like that? This conflict is unnecessary to me.
Now, how do I finish this review without leaving too many clues and just spoiling it for everyone? I’ve already said I was hooked by the prologue. No question. I felt the characters confusion and urgency. I became attached to Meyer and his friends. I didn’t connect with Westie. He came across a little self-centered and late to the party. Not that Meyer was the epitome of selfless devotion. The pacing works well. I wanted to keep reading, no matter how much I needed sleep. Or had to deal with real life. I like the story. The mystery is compelling, and I never did guess who did it. Looking back, now, there were some clues, but not enough that I could have solved the crimes without the 20/20 hindsight. I will say the criminal mastermind is plausible and fully fit with the story. The detectives solve the mystery one step at a time. There are several secondary characters. Those essential to the story have been developed a little to a lot. I even liked most of them, for what it’s worth. While it isn’t a romance, Meyer does connect with the love of his life while working on these murders.
Overall, the story worked for me. It’s a mystery with just a hint of horror. I am very glad I took a chance on this book.
14 years ago, five friends were bound together in a pact of silence, burying their involvement in the murder of a classmate hell-bent on exposing their darkest secrets. Now, fighting for justice on the Grimm City PD, Detective Meyer Stanton finds himself thrown back into the past, the secrets he vowed to keep, coming back to haunt him. Working below the law, Meyer, his childhood sweetheart, Evan, and an old flame become the targets of a psychotic serial killer, wearing the face of a long-dead enemy. With the help of his partner and ex-lover, Detective Corin West, can Meyer rip the mask off the dark murderer following his every step – before the five estranged childhood friends all fall prey to his murderous rampage – or is Grimm City about to fall under the bloodshed of its deadliest criminal?
Follow the detective down the rabbit hole as he relives the past, fumbles through the present and tries to survive to see the future. From the writer of Wilde City Press’s ‘Always Have, Always Will’ and the comedy series ‘The Rainbow Connection’, BJ Sheppard is back with a thriller so cold it’s sure to give you chills.