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Fatal Shadows

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One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his ans One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien's shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself. Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer's list.


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One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his ans One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien's shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself. Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer's list.

30 review for Fatal Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shile

    5++++++ April 2019 Buddy re-read Just as good as the first 2 times. ************************************ Loved it .. Adrien is an amazing character. As for Jake.. well he still frustrates me.. The writing is solid... The backyard was vaguely familiar like so many yards out of my Southern California childhood. There was a cactus garden in the center of the patio, which featured a built-in barbecue. In the jungle of weeds stood a rusted swing set, gilded in moonlight. I could make out the roof of 5++++++ April 2019 Buddy re-read Just as good as the first 2 times. ************************************ Loved it .. Adrien is an amazing character. As for Jake.. well he still frustrates me.. The writing is solid... The backyard was vaguely familiar like so many yards out of my Southern California childhood. There was a cactus garden in the center of the patio, which featured a built-in barbecue. In the jungle of weeds stood a rusted swing set, gilded in moonlight. I could make out the roof of an empty dog house behind tufts of dead ornamental grass. I probably read this again just to read the two words that started it all. “Okay, baby?”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lenore

    I'm surprised by how much I liked this. It was slow and it dragged a little and the mystery was a bit sloppy and the villain was meh and Adrien's inner monologue could be irritating—if you let it. But still, I can't describe how much I loved the writing. I now understand why some people claim they would read the telephone directory if a certain author wrote it. Well, when it comes to m/m crime/mystery/romantic suspense, I'll read whatever Lanyon writes. And, by the way, Detective Riordan! Oh, Dete I'm surprised by how much I liked this. It was slow and it dragged a little and the mystery was a bit sloppy and the villain was meh and Adrien's inner monologue could be irritating—if you let it. But still, I can't describe how much I loved the writing. I now understand why some people claim they would read the telephone directory if a certain author wrote it. Well, when it comes to m/m crime/mystery/romantic suspense, I'll read whatever Lanyon writes. And, by the way, Detective Riordan! Oh, Detective Riordan! So little page time, so little dialog, and yet you were easily the most captivating character in the novel. I can't wait to read more about you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Re-read...again After re-reading this one yet again... I figured it was time to finally write a review for it as well. I also changed my rating. I normally don't do this, but I have re-read and enjoyed this series so many times already that a higher rating is definitely deserved ;) That said, this first book is my least favorite of this series. This is usually the case for me, when I start a series, because the first book is always more of an "introduction" into the series. The second reason that Re-read...again After re-reading this one yet again... I figured it was time to finally write a review for it as well. I also changed my rating. I normally don't do this, but I have re-read and enjoyed this series so many times already that a higher rating is definitely deserved ;) That said, this first book is my least favorite of this series. This is usually the case for me, when I start a series, because the first book is always more of an "introduction" into the series. The second reason that this is my least favorite, is the lack of romance and steam in this one. I can do without the heavy steam...but I do love my romance... This is a mystery series though and I am a big sucker for mysteries !!! Also...since I have read every single book in this series already, I can tell you not to worry, because the romance will come....and so will the frustration and angst. Now about the story... Adrien (32) is a smart and very witty bookstore owner and writer (he writes crime novels). He is also an amateur sleuth. All in all, he is a big geek. I myself absolutely adore Adrien..he is awesome !! He is also quite sick, he suffers from a heart condition ever since he has asthmatic-fever when he was young. He suffers many symptoms which get worse when he gets upset or excited.. So when his best friend and employee is murdered, leaving him as a suspect, it does cause a bit of a strain on his already damaged heart. The big blonde cop investigating said murder causes a bigger strain though... Jake is what you would call a big, sexy, intimidating and homophobic homicide detective. Jake was quite an asshole at times and I would love to say that his jerky behavior is very fleeting... but it's not. I wanted to punch him in the throat many many times in this series :P Like I said before...there isn't much of a relationship in this book. It ends with a very little hint at one though... For me...this was all I needed to want more !!! Definitely one of my favorite MM series !!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    2015 After an embarrassing number of rereads, I've decided to up my rating from 3 to 5 stars for the first book, because I can't view this book separately from the rest of this fantastic series anymore anyway. So, there. 2013 Isn't it nice to root for a male lead who is such an adorable cookie? The 32-year-old Adrien runs a little bookshop in LA. Getting his hands on rare detectives makes his heart beat faster (ah, the effect books can have on us book nerds!). Speaking of Adrien's heart; it does 2015 After an embarrassing number of rereads, I've decided to up my rating from 3 to 5 stars for the first book, because I can't view this book separately from the rest of this fantastic series anymore anyway. So, there. 2013 Isn't it nice to root for a male lead who is such an adorable cookie? The 32-year-old Adrien runs a little bookshop in LA. Getting his hands on rare detectives makes his heart beat faster (ah, the effect books can have on us book nerds!). Speaking of Adrien's heart; it does tend to over-accelerate whenever he gets into a frenzy, a souvenir from a brush with asthmatic-fever. And lately, Adrien gets into frenzies a lot... You see, his high-school friend and employee suddenly gets brutally murdered. Everything seems to point at a hate-crime. And if that isn't terrifying enough, the cops apparently want to frame Adrien for the murder. The fact that he receives roses with threatening cards and creepy phone calls doesn't prove a thing to them. He's probably just another hysterical ho-mo-sex-ual. Worse, Adrien also decides to give dating a shot again after an abstinence of 8 months.. It hardly comes as a surprise that all goes wrong, horribly wrong. Fatal Shadows was such an enjoyable, charming read! I haven't come across this dry sense of humor in a while. In terms of blazing intensity and sizzling hotness, this one doesn't leave much of an impression though. The suspense was entirely by the book as well, meaning that you mustn't expect exciting plot twists or shocking turns of events. In fact, if you're all about well-plotted mysteries, you will probably find this one dull. I usually don't find out who the murderer is until I'm slapped in the face with evidence, but even I immediately picked the culprit. Oh well, despite the rather forgettable mystery-elements, Lanyon makes sure everything runs smoothly, is quite amusing (book 2 really brings the witty one-liners!) and Adrien's potential love interest seems both promising and deliciously complicated. A Dangerous Thing, here I come!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    A mystery with almost no romance whatsoever and very little sex content? For me? Oy, this book was so not my thing... in theory. But I surprisingly enjoyed it and the promise of what's to come is making me itch for more. I think the fact that this was an excellent audiobook really helped its case. In fact, it is well worth continuing with the series just to hear Chris Patton speak. All in all, a promising start to a series I will hopefully come to love. A mystery with almost no romance whatsoever and very little sex content? For me? Oy, this book was so not my thing... in theory. But I surprisingly enjoyed it and the promise of what's to come is making me itch for more. I think the fact that this was an excellent audiobook really helped its case. In fact, it is well worth continuing with the series just to hear Chris Patton speak. All in all, a promising start to a series I will hopefully come to love.

  6. 4 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    I know I know, I'm a bit too late with my excitement and my new discovery of a F*CKING ADORABLE COUPLE!! But better too late then never, right? So...A late reading has it's advantages also. I knew already before the reading: That it is one of the best MM series we have. That it is one of the best MM couples we have. I just need to add: Josh Lanyon is one of the best MM-writers EVER. I LOVE his writing. LOVE IT! Do I need to say more????????????????????????? I ask myself: WHY FGS have I waited so lon I know I know, I'm a bit too late with my excitement and my new discovery of a F*CKING ADORABLE COUPLE!! But better too late then never, right? So...A late reading has it's advantages also. I knew already before the reading: That it is one of the best MM series we have. That it is one of the best MM couples we have. I just need to add: Josh Lanyon is one of the best MM-writers EVER. I LOVE his writing. LOVE IT! Do I need to say more????????????????????????? I ask myself: WHY FGS have I waited so long to start with the series?! And the answer is very simple. It is like a dessert. We eat it at the end of a a three/five/seven-course-menu. It is my dessert now. So. Well done, Lena! And now.... during all of you... poor poor friends.... have to search for a right book.... get exasperated with disappointed instalments of other series... hoping to find something valuable... somewhat at least a little bit comparing to Adrien(with an -e-) English Mystery... I can just seat back and be pleased with the next(how much? enough to make you jealous!) sequels... that are supposed(according your reviews) to be better and better and better!!!! I'm in love. Already. Am I easy? For Josh Lanyon YES. (My third of this author! He is great. GREAT) For Adrien English YES. (He is very promising. And...I have a weak spot for writers. Always have and always will have! So- a perfect MC for my taste! YEAH!!!) For Jake Riordan YES.(Mmmmmm....Tough, smart and sexy cop...Dominant? Delicious!) It is a VERY BEGINNING. And a VERY GOOD start for a super series! Now I'm hooked, addicted, drugged! I WANT MORE OF THEM! AND I CAN HAVE IT WITHOUT A LONG WAITING! A late reading has it's advantages also.;))

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    O.M.G. The very first Lanyon mystery? I stayed away from that series for a very long time, even though I've been a huge Lanyon fan for several years, simply because I'm usually too lazy to start a series that consists of so many novels. Finally giving myself a shove and reading this very early Lanyon, where people still held phone receivers in their hands that were considered modern if they had a caller ID display, I noticed once again what I love about Josh Lanyon's work: A hot but complicated O.M.G. The very first Lanyon mystery? I stayed away from that series for a very long time, even though I've been a huge Lanyon fan for several years, simply because I'm usually too lazy to start a series that consists of so many novels. Finally giving myself a shove and reading this very early Lanyon, where people still held phone receivers in their hands that were considered modern if they had a caller ID display, I noticed once again what I love about Josh Lanyon's work: A hot but complicated law enforcement character who may or may not be gay and be a love interest to poor Adrien English, who is the lead MC in the novel. I liked Adrien, although he is the typical gay damsel in distress that we find in so many gay crime mysteries. He's a trust fund baby who bought his own book store simply to give his life a purpose and is hoping to one day make it as a mystery author. Together with a group of friends he discusses books, chapters they wrote and simply bitches about life and love - or lack thereof. One of these friends is his college mate Robert - a promiscuous gay guy who escaped his marriage and moved to West Hollywood to sleep through many beds while earning his money as Adrien's book shop assistant. Rob is dead, though. Killed in the backyard of his apartment. The police, especially Detective Riordan and his partner, are not a big help in relieving Adrien's fear that a serial killer might be on the loose. It takes another dead body before Adrien can convince anybody that *something* fishy is going on. I counted up to 5 side characters who 'could' have been the killer and I admit I went for the one who didn't want to work on full moon nights. But he might just have been a satanist or werewolf, so... nice diversion, LOL. I found Adrien a bit on the weak side, which is natural, given his medical condition, so I hope that the next books will have him react to someone more...challenging (Jake?) to give his boring life the spice it needs, hoping he doesn't have to sleep with every murderer, psychopath or maniac that crosses his path. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, pal. 5 stars for this awesome mystery that obviously established one of the most prominent gay characters in m/m fiction.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Argona

    I'm writing this review after finishing the entire series. I have to say I went back and rated every single book 5 stars. What can I say, this series has officially joined my all time favorites, Adrien and Riordan making it into my most favorite couples. Forever! These books might not have such complicated mysteries and for some people, they might drag a little, but after finishing the entire series, I don't have the heart to give anything less than 5 stars and I can't exactly rate each book sep I'm writing this review after finishing the entire series. I have to say I went back and rated every single book 5 stars. What can I say, this series has officially joined my all time favorites, Adrien and Riordan making it into my most favorite couples. Forever! These books might not have such complicated mysteries and for some people, they might drag a little, but after finishing the entire series, I don't have the heart to give anything less than 5 stars and I can't exactly rate each book separately since the romantic relationships develops in stages and reaches completion at the end of the series. I seriously don't understand why I waited so long to read these books! After finishing the series, I tried to immediately start another book from Josh Lanyon, but I simply couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to Adrien and Jake. Book hangover! It's real people! I ended up rereading the entire series instead. Actually, I reread the parts that my favorite boys are interacting since I already knew the mystery. My main complaint is that I haven't had enough of these two. I seriously want another book. A 6th book! There wasn't nearly enough. I wanted a lot more to happen between Adrien and Riordan! Then again, the suspense, the constant wondering and worrying over their relationship while I was reading this series was very unique and I enjoyed every second of it. No wonder I am addicted! I really enjoyed this first book. It got me hooked after all. I was patient while reading this book regarding the romance. I was really curious to see how these two connect considering their personalities and how they met each other. What immediately captivated me was Adrien himself. I love him so much and I really enjoyed reading the story from his eyes. He is smart, stubborn, witty and kind. He is such a beautiful soul. He has a unique sense of humor and the way he deals with everything that life throws his way is simply amazing and moving. Despite being judged by many people during most of his entire life, he judges no one and does not hesitate to lend a helping hand. This world needs human beings like him. Then there is Jake Riordan. He is an equally captivating character. He is a selfish jerk in certain parts of the series (and he knows that!), but he is the kind of jerk that does things for his loved ones that no other soul is ever willing to do, and that's why his selfish actions can cause serious damage. People we love are the ones we should fear since only they have the ability to hurt us the most. Jake cares for Adrien in a way that no one else can, since he understands Adrien the way no one else does. I love him. I love everything about him and I know some people think he is too selfish and Adrien deserves someone better but I understand why Jake acts the way he does and I can't blame him when I consider his circumstances. Who knows what I might have done in his place? I also understand why everyone else blurs in Adrien's vision when Jake is present. His physical presence is overwhelming and there is a delicious tension when he and Adrien are in the same room. He is a complicated flawed character and I enjoyed rereading the series even more since this time, I actually knew what was going on in his head in each scene. It's amazing how his smallest gestures count! In my opinion, Jake and Adrien are perfect for each other and I seriously can't get enough of them. They are MADE for each other. The way they switch from flirting to hostility and back again, the way they constantly bicker and get on each others nerves and the way they reveal their deep love for each other with small gestures and words is simply perfect. The writing is wonderful. I'm officially a Lanyon fan! I plan to read all his books! His supporting characters are also very unique and strong and easy to become fond of and the crime stories are nice enough to captivate the reader. At the end, the Adrien English series is a must read if you are into m/m novels and I strongly recommend it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna (Bananas)

    Five stars for being effortless and entertaining, slyly funny and utterly charming. This is true comfort reading. Adrien is our amusing gay antihero, a simple guy who owns a bookstore that specializes in mystery novels. He's also a murder suspect. Policemen Chan and Riordan arrive on page one to question Adrien about the murder of his childhood friend and employee. The mystery isn't terribly complicated yet it's still engaging. I was never certain of the identity of the killer and once it was re Five stars for being effortless and entertaining, slyly funny and utterly charming. This is true comfort reading. Adrien is our amusing gay antihero, a simple guy who owns a bookstore that specializes in mystery novels. He's also a murder suspect. Policemen Chan and Riordan arrive on page one to question Adrien about the murder of his childhood friend and employee. The mystery isn't terribly complicated yet it's still engaging. I was never certain of the identity of the killer and once it was revealed I found him/her sympathetic, even till the end. Because killers are just misunderstood, right? They just need a little love. One thing that struck me as odd was the sudden affection for Adrien that Riordan showed at the end. If I hadn't already been aware of the love story, that fondness would've come out of left field. The two men certainly interacted enough but there wasn't much relationship-building, and I don't know Riordan's character well at this point. Still, that single "baby" got my heart started. It illustrates the power of every word, every sentence. A short novel like this can have as much sway over a reader as any epic. For a straightforward book, the writing is unique and never boring. I found myself laughing at the random humor every other page and overall enjoying myself. Fatal Shadows delivered a slow, easy seduction so complete it left me mystified at the end. And ready for more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ~Mindy Lynn~

    I think this is my third time around with this book. I think I enjoyed it more and appreciated the story telling more. I really do love Adrien. He's one of those character's that you just feel like you could totally be friends with. Well, I could be at least. Riordan really frustrates me with how he see's a homosexual relationship. Or how there can't be one. In his eye's it's OK to fuck a man but a relationship with one is out the question. He is gay and homophobic all rolled up in one. Frustrat I think this is my third time around with this book. I think I enjoyed it more and appreciated the story telling more. I really do love Adrien. He's one of those character's that you just feel like you could totally be friends with. Well, I could be at least. Riordan really frustrates me with how he see's a homosexual relationship. Or how there can't be one. In his eye's it's OK to fuck a man but a relationship with one is out the question. He is gay and homophobic all rolled up in one. Frustration is all I get when he's on the page. Yet I want them together.... Yeah.. The mystery is solid and I enjoyed how Adrein (the author) weaved all the clues together. JL is a go to favorite of mine when I want a good mystery and some good MM cop action. On to the next.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dia

    Wow, this was ... unexpected! 4 solid stars. A great start to this series. I didn't expect to get so invested into the story. I've read it in one sitting and even if I guessed the killer's identity, the author surprised me a lot. I jumped right into the next book. But I am only sorry we didn't get more of Adrien and Jake in this one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m reading the Adrien English Mysteries as part of a Group Read organized by MM Romance and Gay Fiction, so my review grows out of the discussion being held on those forums and is a way for me to sum up my own impression of the novels in the series as we work through them. Sincere thanks to everyone who is participating in the discussion--I am learning so much from you all and these conversations are making the experience of reading these books even better! SPOILERS follow. Don’t read unless yo I’m reading the Adrien English Mysteries as part of a Group Read organized by MM Romance and Gay Fiction, so my review grows out of the discussion being held on those forums and is a way for me to sum up my own impression of the novels in the series as we work through them. Sincere thanks to everyone who is participating in the discussion--I am learning so much from you all and these conversations are making the experience of reading these books even better! SPOILERS follow. Don’t read unless you already know (or don't care) whodunnit. Although this isn’t a 5 star review, I really enjoyed the first instalment of this now classic m/m romance-mystery series. Prior to all the slashing and stalking at least, gay bookstore owner and aspiring 30-something mystery novelist Adrien English is basically living my retirement fantasy: he reads and writes genre fiction from the comfort of a bookstore that he has purchased with inheritance money. He runs a mystery writer’s circle in his bookshop and navigates the world with a capaciously stocked mental arsenal of literary references and snark. His love life may have flatlined following his breakup with film professor Mel five years ago and he has issues with his mother Lisa (“She Who Must Be Placated”), but he has a small stable of close friends and is pursuing his professional dream, having just sold his first novel about “a gay Shakespearean actor who tries to solves a murder during a production of Macbeth.” With looks that resemble those of Montgomery Clift, Adrien is every bit the “moody sensitive young man” that his Cliftlike appearance suggests. When his longtime friend and employee Rob is found gruesomely murdered in an alley, Adrien becomes the prime suspect and must move from plotting the exploits of his fictional detective to actual sleuthing in order to clear his name and save his own skin from the masked stalker who vamps in the shadows. One of the police detectives working the case, butch cop Jake Riordan, taunts Adrien throughout the book; as a first time reader of the novel, I was never sure if he was flirting with Adrien or sadistically bullying him. Turns out, a little of both. Riordan (with his sneering delivery, filled-out Levis, and “Nazi haircut”) is rumored to be part of the gay leather scene, a revelation that surprises, unnerves, and increasingly intrigues more straightlaced, repressed Adrien. Is Detective Riordan actually the killer? Or perhaps it is the eager new man who has shown up in Adrien’s life, a freelancer for local gay newspaper Boytimes (lol what a perfect 1990s title) who is reporting on the investigation and working his way into Adrien’s bed? Or perhaps it is his dead friend’s betrayed still angry ex-wife? Or perhaps it is a member of the writers’ circle, a narrative device that is a conduit for some very funny caricatures of novice detective fiction writers (one couple, the Finches, is writing a novel called Murder, He Mimed!!!) but which may also conceal characters from Adrien’s and the victim’s high school Chess Club in whose history some mysterious scandal lays buried. The novel’s handling of the mystery plot, which relies heavily on withheld past events for its solution, is sometimes clumsy, especially in the final act, when the authorial desire for a thrilling climax trumps the protagonist’s common sense. But none of that really matters much because what makes this novel so memorable and worth rereading is its spot-on characterization (both Adrien and Jake are fascinating, three-dimensional men, and Adrien’s inner voice, which we hear via free indirect discourse, is authentic and razor sharp); its vivid atmosphere of urban biblophile Gothic danger; its often brilliant metafictional play (which provides a running commentary on the novel’s own genre mash-ups and interventions); and its serious and searching treatment of gay identity during the AIDS era. Among these many strengths, the two that really stand out for me are the interlacing of characterization with the AIDS era and the metafictional treatment of genre. In the early stages of the book, Adrien seems very much to be a portrait of a gay man who has closed himself off from sexual adventurism and even from love in the era of AIDS. Speaking about his murdered (and sexually uninhibited) friend Rob, Adrien remembers “He confided in me less and less. You’re turning into an old maid, Adrien, he’d said when I lectured him about promiscuity in the age of AIDS.” Sexually-speaking, Rob is in every sense Adrien’s opposite: “‘Silence equals death.’ This was Rob’s favorite quote when I’d ask him not to come out (or on) to customers. I’m running a business, not a political forum here, Rob. ‘You can’t separate being gay from the rest of your life, Adrien. Everything a gay man does makes a political statement. Everything matters: where you bank, where you shop, where you eat. When you hold your lover’s hand in public--oh, that’s right…’ Go to hell, Rob.” Etc. Later, when Adrien announces Rob’s death to his mother, her immediate response is: “AIDS?” The actual cause of death is “fourteen stab wounds to his upper body and face,” a mode of death that leads Riordan to quip with dark irony, “Those kinds of wounds generally indicate prior acquaintance.” The simultaneous intimacy and horror of Rob’s method of death hints, in other words, that Lanyon is at least in part writing a kind of genre-filtered reflection on the devastating effect of AIDS on gay men in which the killer--who turns out to be a serial murderer (much like the virus itself)--is a displaced embodiment of the disease. Such a speculation may feel like a reach, since the killer himself is never explicitly connected to the AIDS epidemic, but it is nevertheless suggestive that the climactic scene of danger and revelation coincides with a scene of unprotected sexual coercion between Adrien and the killer. What all of this amounts to in terms of characterization is an important social and political context for Adrien’s semi-closeted repression and likely also for Riordian’s differently inflected but still highly ambivalent relation to the term “gay,” which he scornfully repudiates. (More on that in future novels, presumably.) It might seem strange that there is so little romance--and no sex--between the two romantically fated MCs in this novel, but it makes perfect sense in a gay romance that unfolds in the “fatal shadow” of AIDS. The opposition the novel establishes between cautious, fearful point of view character Adrien and sexually adventurous, ACT UP slogan-quoting murder victim Rob positions the novel as a romance about overcoming fear of death. The genre mashup that Lanyon orchestrates between gay romance and gay murder mystery is thus perfectly poised to explore the awful conjunction of love and death that defined the AIDS era for gay men. Fatal Shadows may not be a perfectly satisfying murder mystery nor even a perfectly satisfying romance. In fact, it’s neither. But is it a brilliant genre novel, nonetheless. Everyone should read it. I should probably end this already lengthy review here, but I want to add a couple of notes about Lanyon’s incredible play with genre fiction and film. One of the things I enjoy most about Lanyon’s novels is her obvious and contagious love and enthusiasm for the history of the genres she synthesizes. No doubt because it was doing something very new at the time, Fatal Shadows is quite self-conscious about its status as a hybrid genre novel that combines the tropes of gay romance with those of detective fiction. Early in the book, Adrien reports on the activity in his bookstore, observing how “a new face” (Lanyon??) “cleared the shop of all Joseph Hansen’s [gay detective] Brandstetter series” and “Mrs. Lupinski brought in another stack of Harlequin Intrigues and tried to convince me they were real mysteries.” Here we are already very deep in Lanyon’s genre-laboratory, and the novel virtually burbles with allusions to and commentary on the history of detective fiction and its conventions--including, notably, the Golden Age convention of crypto-queer murderers. Another pertinent genre allusion is to Wes Craven’s hugely meta- series of SCREAM movies, which spoofed the classic slasher formula from the perspective of 90s film-school grad students. Adrien’s masked stalker wears a “dark raincoat, a hat pulled low” and carries a butcher knife, “a vision straight out of a Wes Craven movie.” Laynon seems to have been at least partly inspired by the metafictional self-reference of these films, as well as by their cunning play with genre conventions and their own combination of over-the-top thrills with more old fashioned detective work. There is a masterclass in the many interconnected subgenres of crime fiction and film and their history at play in this wonderful novel for anyone who is as delighted by that history as I am. Highly recommended!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Snjez

    Re-read 5/2020: It was pretty much the same as the first time I read it, only this time I'm continuing with the series. 😉 ********* Original review: The audiobook was excellent. It's what made this story really enjoyable. As for the story itself, I found it just ok. I rarely get blown away by mysteries. They usually end up being a bit shallow and predictable, and this one was no exception. Adrien was a likable, fun character, even though I didn't approve of some of his actions. As for Jake, I can't s Re-read 5/2020: It was pretty much the same as the first time I read it, only this time I'm continuing with the series. 😉 ********* Original review: The audiobook was excellent. It's what made this story really enjoyable. As for the story itself, I found it just ok. I rarely get blown away by mysteries. They usually end up being a bit shallow and predictable, and this one was no exception. Adrien was a likable, fun character, even though I didn't approve of some of his actions. As for Jake, I can't say I had any warm feelings toward him. I guess this was a good introduction to the series, but personally, after reading the reviews of the following books, I don't plan to continue with it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    ***5 Stars for the audiobook*** Chris Patton did an amazing job with his narration and reminded me of how much I love Adrien-with-an-e and what an a**hole Jake was most of the time. #BooksEvokingStrongEmotionsAreTheBest

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rosa, really

    Update 4/30/14 - Editing all my reviews of this series in preparation for writing my review of The Dark Tide (YES, I KNOW I TAKE MYSELF WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU - and NO I don't know why I can't write a review without acting like I'm Gustav FUCKING Flaubert). I can't seem to write it 'cause I just don't want this series to be oveeer! *sob* *********************************************************** March 28, 2014 I love the noirishness (hope that's a word) of this novel. I love that Adrien owns Update 4/30/14 - Editing all my reviews of this series in preparation for writing my review of The Dark Tide (YES, I KNOW I TAKE MYSELF WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU - and NO I don't know why I can't write a review without acting like I'm Gustav FUCKING Flaubert). I can't seem to write it 'cause I just don't want this series to be oveeer! *sob* *********************************************************** March 28, 2014 I love the noirishness (hope that's a word) of this novel. I love that Adrien owns a bookstore. It's total reader porn. I love that his bookstore is in a converted '30s hotel. I love that Josh Lanyon clearly knows & loves his genre (mystery/crime fiction/romance). It shows in everything he writes. I love that Adrien criticizes his own fashion sense, then a few scenes later puts on worn Levis & a blue cashmere sweater. Yup...I'm sure you looked like crap, Mr. English. I love how (view spoiler)[ about 3 minutes after discovering Adrien is not, in fact, a killer & standing 15 ft from a crime scene, (hide spoiler)] Det. Chan asks Adrien to read the novel he's writing. "It's a police procedural," he says. Hilarious. (view spoiler)[I love how Adrien could've been a version of Dr. Sheppard in that Agatha Christie book. He even sells a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. (hide spoiler)] I love when Jake says to Adrien "But you are a homosexual?" Is it just me, or is that luuuurve in the air? I HATE the fact I loaned this book to someone on Lendle so I can't look up the CORRECT FUCKING QUOTES. (Seriously, though, I'm glad to loan it cause it's so good I need to share!) I love how Riordan is sex with a badge. However, it's only one book in & I already want to punch him in the larynx for all the hurt he hasn't visited upon Adrien. YET. I love Adrien and his questionable taste in men. The only thing I hate at the moment (other than the quote thingy) is typing this review on my FUCKING Kindle. As I type this, it insists that Adrien's name is really Darien or Adrianne. Shut up, Kindle, YOU KNOW NOTHING. No cuddles for you tonight.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christelle

    *4.5 stars* Review for the whole series “Adrien English Mysteries” : it’s definitely an MM romance sliced in 6 books (Josh Lanyon’s stamp, 😂) with Fatal Shadows, A Dangerous Thing, The Hell You Say, Death of a Pirate King, The Dark Tide, and So This is Christmas. No way the MCs, Adrien, bookseller, writer and amateur sleuth, and Jake, closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective, can be fully apprehended in only the first setting…well, maybe Adrien because he’s the kind of character you got attached to in *4.5 stars* Review for the whole series “Adrien English Mysteries” : it’s definitely an MM romance sliced in 6 books (Josh Lanyon’s stamp, 😂) with Fatal Shadows, A Dangerous Thing, The Hell You Say, Death of a Pirate King, The Dark Tide, and So This is Christmas. No way the MCs, Adrien, bookseller, writer and amateur sleuth, and Jake, closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective, can be fully apprehended in only the first setting…well, maybe Adrien because he’s the kind of character you got attached to in the blink of an eye, while Jake is more enigmatic and a hard nut to crack, but I loved him as well : once the walls crumble, ouah !!! No way the development of Adrien and Jack’s relationship is done in the first setting : it evolves slowly, realistically and firmly throughout the whole series. It’s frustrating, painful, doomed or not, hurtful, slow but then totally dreamy and strong. And all this mingled with Adrien and Jake’s life issues (insecurities, uncertainties, fear of being rejected,…) and the evolution of their career. As for the subplots, ie the numerous cases Adrien and Jake face, no wonder Jake is so annoyed : Adrien has a knack for always tumbling into problems and I enjoyed the intertwining of the mysteries. The scene that will stick the most for me : Jake on the boat, almost dying for Adrien if I could say so. I stop here because several others scenes come to mind and are quite close to be as memorable. It’s not my first series from Josh Lanyon. Her writing style works well for me and the mix of mysteries and slow relationship development are engaging. I guess it’s because of the characterization and the insights that are put up front. But I have to say, so far, “Adrien English mysteries” is my favorite : it made me feel so much for Adrien, for Jake, and for Adrien and Jake. PS : **Thank you Lisa, Josy and Shile for this joined gift during the SS exchange : the gesture was of course so nice and the choice…well, perfect !!! 😘

  17. 5 out of 5

    Macky

    The Adrien English series is a must read if you love your m/m. In fact Josh Lanyon should be in your library somewhere. Ok it's more of a slow burner than some but that's what makes it so enjoyable. I love the way these two guys dance around each other all the way through the series. Great underlying murder mystery and I say winner and keeper. Magic!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Breann

    3rd reread, second time in audio. ****************** Adrien, Adrien, Adrien. You might not scare yourself to death, but you just might do me in. This was a reread (or listen) for me, I know Adrien is too curious for his own good but I didn’t remember him being so STUPID! Anyway, I loved this. I just love Adrien to pieces and he’s one of my favorite narrators. His POV is just a pleasure to read and I don’t know if I’d get tired of it. During this reread of the series I’m going to try my darndest n 3rd reread, second time in audio. ****************** Adrien, Adrien, Adrien. You might not scare yourself to death, but you just might do me in. This was a reread (or listen) for me, I know Adrien is too curious for his own good but I didn’t remember him being so STUPID! Anyway, I loved this. I just love Adrien to pieces and he’s one of my favorite narrators. His POV is just a pleasure to read and I don’t know if I’d get tired of it. During this reread of the series I’m going to try my darndest not to want to impale Jake with a butter knife. No promises.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ingie

    Written May 26, 2014 4.3 Stars - not much of a romance but wildly fun to 'hear'... and breathlessly thrilling Book #1 I just finished my listening to the first part in the series about Adrien English by Josh Lanyon. Kind of highly "hyped" M/M books as many readers here 'talk' about. This is also books my wise (missed) friend Vio recommended me long ago. Five and a half audiobooks hours later: Jeez, Yahoo, Yeah!! - I'm just like a nerdy out of time, "Thriller" dancing girl (se below). ~ What a Written May 26, 2014 4.3 Stars - not much of a romance but wildly fun to 'hear'... and breathlessly thrilling Book #1 I just finished my listening to the first part in the series about Adrien English by Josh Lanyon. Kind of highly "hyped" M/M books as many readers here 'talk' about. This is also books my wise (missed) friend Vio recommended me long ago. Five and a half audiobooks hours later: Jeez, Yahoo, Yeah!! - I'm just like a nerdy out of time, "Thriller" dancing girl (se below). ~ What an 'unusually' wise decision of me to jump on this wonderful Adrien English wagon at last. I'm sure this will be a fantastic journey to contiune. *********************************************** The bookseller Adrien English's best friend has been murdered and Adrien is getting weird phone calls and a lot of odd thing happening. The cops just think he's trying to divert suspicion from himself and Adrien fear he is their murder suspect instead pf a victim. “That's one of the oldest tricks in the world, Adrien-with-an-e.” Adriens love-life has been poor (simply nothing..) these last years but now are suddenly two attractive men there. A very keen journalist, Bruce Green. Bruce is for sure a nice and sweet man and Adrien really try to like him more...but it doesn't feel quite right. And although Adrien's life just are a big huge mess for the moment, he can't help himself. He just need to look a second to long on that homofobic, scary big, tall homicide detective Jake Riordan. Is this cop really a black-leather clad guy who likes dark mysterious kink clubs at night? The plot thickens. ~ As if that wasn't enough is Riordan also 'swoonish' good looking and sexy. ...Of course!! *********************************************** More crime than romantic stuff was the rumor!? That's a rumor, and a warning to actually listen to. But sh!t the same! My adventure with the 'Adrien English Mystery' started both fun, chuckling witty and very very promising. I like this style, a kind of old black & white Film Noir feeling. For a quite long time was I wondering who the 'other' guy, the future boyfriend or sexbuddy, would be. ‘He was probably selfish in the sack. Probably selfish and greedy and...unsophisticated. And hung like a horse.’ By now I know I probably will like MC #2 as well. ~ I have a soft part in my heart for big seedy macho men. Hunky police officers with drawling voices are perhaps the very best kind. - But is he really a future larger-than-life hero who will take Adrien to fabulous (steamy) adventures.., possibly? We'll see. I'm an very curious and impatient lady-smut-reader and must immediately continue and start to read (or actually listening to) part #2, A Dangerous Thing (my review). *********************************************** The audio book... The main character Adrien has surently his own strong narrative voice (this is constantly told in his POV, first person). But it was perhaps after all this excellent and accessible audiobook version that gave me that little extra this time. The "voiceover" artist Chris Patton, the man with the wonderfully raspy glorious audiobook voice (so whacking great and expressive), who has narrated this book made it itself quite amazing. I cross my fingers he will continue to read the rest of the series for me. Please!! [ I wholeheartedly recommend new readers to LISTEN to this book. Even if you're an hardcore romantic M/M romance book reader and require lots of love, steam and heat in your books, you will hardly be able to resist this. ~ Quickly done, just five and a half hours long. ] *********************************************** There wasn't much romantic love and steam parts in Fatal Shadows but I know I'm gonna love these 'crime' books. - Superb well written, witty and cheeky with that right humorous tone I love. I LIKE - Yep ... this is going to be wonderful reading **** Just $6.50 for both the ebook and the audio on Amazon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    Update Nov 14, 2019: Read #2 Really, the only thing that's surprising about me rereading this series 6 months later is that it took me so long. I've decided not to make any adjustments to my ratings, because I feel like I rated accurately based on my initial experience. But the second time is completely different, and I hung on every word of this reread. I'm dragging AE-virgin Hollis with me this time, and I'm excited to experience this couple with her! —————————— 3.5 stars for this volume, 5 stars Update Nov 14, 2019: Read #2 Really, the only thing that's surprising about me rereading this series 6 months later is that it took me so long. I've decided not to make any adjustments to my ratings, because I feel like I rated accurately based on my initial experience. But the second time is completely different, and I hung on every word of this reread. I'm dragging AE-virgin Hollis with me this time, and I'm excited to experience this couple with her! —————————— 3.5 stars for this volume, 5 stars for the series as a whole. My favorite thing about this book was Adrien's narrative. He's hilarious and nuanced, and getting to know his voice was what hooked me on the whole shebang. Non-spoiler review of The Adrien English Mysteries series: A Tale of Two Genres. And also a cautionary tale about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, from a reading perspective. Have I already exhausted my cliché limit for this review? It’s going to get worse, because original thought isn’t my niche after I’ve just found a couple for my favorite couples of all time list. They say Josh Lanyon is a mystery writer, but you aren’t going to be able to prove that by me. This woman is a relationship writer, and not just that — she’s among the BEST of those. I’m not much of a mystery reader. But I’ve read my share, and when they work, they really work. The mysteries in the first 3 of these books were just in my fucking way. I was not engaged in them, and if I hadn’t been immediately captivated by the relationship between Adrien and Jake, I might have been tempted to set the whole series aside. Baby, meet bathwater. However. Captivated is an understatement. Lanyon’s ability to create interpersonal tension — in every way except the predictable — is writing master class. I could c/p dozens of lines here to prove my point, but spoilers aren’t my style. Trust me or don’t. Or trust the bazillions of other people who’ve read this series in the last almost-20 years. ;) Flawed, nuanced characters that you’ll need your 3D glasses for. JL made me experience the entire damn spectrum of emotion, and often using only a handful of words to do so. I really don’t know what else to say, because if this isn’t already speaking your language, I can’t help. If we're friends, expect to be hearing things about this series for a long time. Both 1) while I try in vain to overcome the hangover that I'll have for at least a week, and 2) when I dive in for the scores of rereads that will happen in my lifetime. Lastly, shout-out to my AMAZING buddy read partners. This was an incredible experience, full of spirited discussion, and fortunately it's showing no signs of stopping. Elena, Linda, Rosa, Shile, Teal, and Xia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    4.25 big beautiful stars! Naturally, a home-run produced by my favorite author, Josh Lanyon. I've been meaning to read this book (series) for a while, and well, it started off with a bang. I'm a total sucker for the classic WHODUNIT's and Lanyon also produces great results. I laughed a lot, said "WHAT THE SHIT?" a lot, and squealed like a pig at some of the awkward conversations/situations, and I loved every second of it. (view spoiler)[Riordan as a master and into the BDSM scene? I also died laughi 4.25 big beautiful stars! Naturally, a home-run produced by my favorite author, Josh Lanyon. I've been meaning to read this book (series) for a while, and well, it started off with a bang. I'm a total sucker for the classic WHODUNIT's and Lanyon also produces great results. I laughed a lot, said "WHAT THE SHIT?" a lot, and squealed like a pig at some of the awkward conversations/situations, and I loved every second of it. (view spoiler)[Riordan as a master and into the BDSM scene? I also died laughing. (hide spoiler)] The mystery, IMO, isn't too hard to figure out, that's why this book is getting a 4.25 instead of a solid 5 from me. I do love Adrien.. he's a classic Lanyon MC. Loved Jake (now that I know his first name) also. Powerhouse neo-nazi looking guy. What's not to love? On to the next one!

  22. 4 out of 5

    annob

    The mystery more engaging than I expected, as I'm not normally a fan of suspense novels. The romantic development surprised me as well by not at all following the pattern I assumed it would. Both things were pleasant surprises, and I liked this book for those very reasons. And I admit Adrien English as a character had a certain rough charm that grew on me as well. If the rest of the books in the series are this good, I'll read them all.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Ummm...yeah...so this books was...surprisingly boring. Semi-interesting lead character Forgettable secondary characters Blah, blah, blah storyline And I skimmed almost the entire book until I got to the final 20% when the mystery arc finally reached it's pinnacle and I was forced to pay attention. With that being said, I'm still hopeful that since this is the first of a series, the author was just setting everything up for the sequels. I'm giving book 2 a try, but if it doesn't pick up the entertainm Ummm...yeah...so this books was...surprisingly boring. Semi-interesting lead character Forgettable secondary characters Blah, blah, blah storyline And I skimmed almost the entire book until I got to the final 20% when the mystery arc finally reached it's pinnacle and I was forced to pay attention. With that being said, I'm still hopeful that since this is the first of a series, the author was just setting everything up for the sequels. I'm giving book 2 a try, but if it doesn't pick up the entertainment value, I'm moving on. PS - is this supposed to be a M/M Romance? I'd say <1% of the book had anything to do with a romantic relationship. Disappointing. Adrien needs some lovin'! :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Lea

    What a great start to a series! I loved Adrien! I didn’t love Riordan! A bunch of people died. A bunch of other people lived. There was a mystery. And a Hollywood-esque HFN ending. And there was too sex in this book. I was sucked in and now I have to read the rest of the series. Like, right now. I feel sorry for all my other books that I have to read because they are just going to sit there until I’ve finished with the entire series. And possibly Josh Lanyon’s other series. And his stand-alones. What a great start to a series! I loved Adrien! I didn’t love Riordan! A bunch of people died. A bunch of other people lived. There was a mystery. And a Hollywood-esque HFN ending. And there was too sex in this book. I was sucked in and now I have to read the rest of the series. Like, right now. I feel sorry for all my other books that I have to read because they are just going to sit there until I’ve finished with the entire series. And possibly Josh Lanyon’s other series. And his stand-alones. And any freebies. And whatever is posted on his website.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katerina

    Re-read in October 2018 with Chris Patton. So great. Perfect audio. Perfect reading pleasure. Great humor. I love Adrien :) Re-read in October 2018 with Chris Patton. So great. Perfect audio. Perfect reading pleasure. Great humor. I love Adrien :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Literatures Movies

    Despite this series being one of the M/M book gods, I shall be skipping this one thanks to my darling Shile for letting me know that there will be no romance whatsoever in this book. So. Being a romance freak that I am, I refuse to put myself through hundreds of pages of no romance. And I was so excited to start this one too. *le sigh* -------------------------------------------- Pre-reading : There are only a handful of M/M books that has been recommended to me time and time again. These kinds of Despite this series being one of the M/M book gods, I shall be skipping this one thanks to my darling Shile for letting me know that there will be no romance whatsoever in this book. So. Being a romance freak that I am, I refuse to put myself through hundreds of pages of no romance. And I was so excited to start this one too. *le sigh* -------------------------------------------- Pre-reading : There are only a handful of M/M books that has been recommended to me time and time again. These kinds of books are basically the gods of M/M books and Adrien English series is one of them. I am finally here y'all. And I is very, extremely, excited to see what the hype is all about. Blog : Click here for more of me! (in the forms of writing of course)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    So pleased I finally picked this up (thanks for the push Anna) I finished it in one sitting, and was very tempted to start the next straight away. I’ll be honest and say I’m not reading this series for the murder mysteries thing, I’m reading (and reviewing) it for the (hopefully) romantic relationship development between Adrien English and Jake Riordaan. I find that these murder mysteries leave me confused and frowny faced (not good for the wrinkles ya know) distracted and bored. I’m about as la So pleased I finally picked this up (thanks for the push Anna) I finished it in one sitting, and was very tempted to start the next straight away. I’ll be honest and say I’m not reading this series for the murder mysteries thing, I’m reading (and reviewing) it for the (hopefully) romantic relationship development between Adrien English and Jake Riordaan. I find that these murder mysteries leave me confused and frowny faced (not good for the wrinkles ya know) distracted and bored. I’m about as laterally thinking as my local MP, with the attention span of a squirrel. So sadly the old whodunits are wasted on me. On the bright side I’m always surprised by who the villain turns out to be, and can fully appreciate the ‘eureka’ moment with an oh-wow-I-would-never-have-guessed (usually) or an, oh-wow-how-clever…it’s just the getting there that’s a drag. This book is written in the first person, present tense (Grrr…) from Adrien’s POV. The first thing that surprised me was that the writing (even in this format)it is superb! The voice of Adrien is commanding and hooked me from the first page. Adrien English: I’m not too sure what to make of Adrien as a protagonist. He is not the usual, that’s for sure. He comes across as self-depreciating and having suffered a long term heart condition renders him a little weak and prone to swooning passing out when shocked, kind of like a fainting goat I suppose. He is a crime novelist and bookstore owner, and a bit of a geek… okay, he’s a big geek. Someone describes Adrien's debut novel as being anemic and I can’t but help apply the same to him. He has a clever mind and a strong moral grounding, I like him but I can’t say I lurv him, or lust after him – NO WAY! I do feel a wary attachment to him though, it's not strong but it's there. He is a very real, very credible character, so much so that I wondered if Adrien’s voice was not the true voice of this author. Jake Riordan: Big, blonde sexy cop. He-man! Ha! No I shouldn't say 'Ha!' he is kinda scary and dominant in that I-can-see-your-every-thought-just-by-looking-at-you kind of way. I don't know him, but I’d like to. He is an enigma and all I know is what he's *into* and that just makes me sit up and pay even more attention. My compelling interest in Riordan is evidence of the author's writing skill, when a character has hardly any page time, yet he can become my focus and my distraction really impresses little ole me. With just two words, delivered so zealously, he has the power to change, shape or influence everything in Adrien’s future. This man is most certainly a character I can lust after, but I fear he is the kind of guy who could rip out my heart (and Adrien’s) put a tag on it and just add it to his collection of other ripped out hearts. I look forward to what’s next for these characters. Overall an entertaining, intriguing book, which for me, could have benefited from seeing Adrien from another perspective, learning more about Riordan, his POV would have been nice. Less of the crime solving stuff, but that’s just me and no I didn’t miss the point that the series is titled the Adrien English Mysteries, I’m just saying.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    It has only taken me years to finally get here. I admit the reviews who mention 'lack of romance' put me off, and I found myself shying away from Adrien English again and again. Well, it is true - there is no romance in book 1. There is a bit of static electricity between the two men, I would say, and an interest, an attraction on Adrien's side, but as for Mr. Riordan ... he remains a bit of an enigma, so when he kind of 'goes after' Adrien at the end, it seems to come out of (almost) nowhere. And It has only taken me years to finally get here. I admit the reviews who mention 'lack of romance' put me off, and I found myself shying away from Adrien English again and again. Well, it is true - there is no romance in book 1. There is a bit of static electricity between the two men, I would say, and an interest, an attraction on Adrien's side, but as for Mr. Riordan ... he remains a bit of an enigma, so when he kind of 'goes after' Adrien at the end, it seems to come out of (almost) nowhere. And still ... I really enjoyed the book. A gripping mystery plot kept me going and the knowledge there will be some sort of bonding between the MSc certainly helped, even if they don't even kiss in this book 1, or barely touch. Weird, but I am intrigued and not even vaguely put off. I really need to know how Adrien is going to get through to this deeply closeted cop whose first name we only get to know at the very end. It is clear that their love story will arc over the five books and I can't wait to find out more. (So glad though I waited until all books are available) Excellent writing!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    I like the start of this series. I liked Adrien and the fact that the overall story is probably a slow burner. I like slow burners and Lanyon can write, JL is not a showy writer, the writing is quiet, subtle but it creeps upon you and grabs you. At least she has gathered me into her web and I look forward to more and more of her stuff. There are hidden depths to Adrien. He's coasting along thinking his normal humdrum thoughts than all of a sudden these images come up in his mind and it's totally I like the start of this series. I liked Adrien and the fact that the overall story is probably a slow burner. I like slow burners and Lanyon can write, JL is not a showy writer, the writing is quiet, subtle but it creeps upon you and grabs you. At least she has gathered me into her web and I look forward to more and more of her stuff. There are hidden depths to Adrien. He's coasting along thinking his normal humdrum thoughts than all of a sudden these images come up in his mind and it's totally unexpected and totally hot. Talk about still waters run deep. I loved the ending but hope that the next book does not leave anything that happens with Riordan out. I do not want to miss a thing of Adrien and Jake's interactions. Will have to start the next book soon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Second read - Heard Audiobook 13.06.14 I enjoyed hearing Chris Patton telling me this story again. Different experience than reading. Mr Patton's voice added a noir feel to the story which I liked.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eli Easton

    I finally got around to reading this book that I've seen floating around the m/m community for ages. It's beautifully written, and I loved the setting and the characters. I guessed the killer very early on, but that didn't bother me. The book kept me reading by its sheer pull and easy readability. There's really no romance in it except a bit of dating with a guy who isn't the right guy. I'm more interested in seeing Adrien and Jake's relationship progress than I am in more mystery plotlines. But I finally got around to reading this book that I've seen floating around the m/m community for ages. It's beautifully written, and I loved the setting and the characters. I guessed the killer very early on, but that didn't bother me. The book kept me reading by its sheer pull and easy readability. There's really no romance in it except a bit of dating with a guy who isn't the right guy. I'm more interested in seeing Adrien and Jake's relationship progress than I am in more mystery plotlines. But clearly that's not Josh Lanyon's intention for this series. It's a mystery series first and foremost. From the reviews I've read of book #2, there's not much romance in it either, but I'll continue with the series anyone because its simply so well done.

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