Ms. Bramseth entices readers with her small town characters and big city drama. The mystery begins with sharp dialogue and smartly presented characters to guide the way.
I've seen people complain about this audiobook narrator, and it's true, he isn't anywhere near as good as Renee Raudman. But, BUT, he fits Derek's character as the authors and the audience is supposed to see him. Or more accurately, how he sees himself.
As for the story, it's a nice sidestep for the main series, and I kind of want to see more of these.
I almost never read the shorter works in between the main books of a series.
But, the third Kingkiller book is has had so many years of mythical release dates I'm not sure it's ever coming out. And this short work is about an intriguing character.
Probsbly the only necessary to series short work I ever read was the short story prequel to Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega books.
I knew what I was getting myself into when I clicked that buy button and yet I did it anyway.
If you haven't noticed, I've had issues with Lanyon's work ever since I stumbled on an old book that had the characters spouting that reverse racism is a thing. Or something like it. Thing is, Lanyon spins a good yarn, if you ignore the whitey lenses of privilege, and I keep hoping maybe I'm wrong. I'm not.
Yeah, this is a sweet four star novella of two adult men spending a non-explicit night together and possibly finding a new start while waiting for a escaped prisoner to get caught or come after them.
But Lanyon can't leave well enough alone and (s)he has to make a dig about police violence and young unarmed dead persons. Race isn't mentioned, but considering this novella is published in 2016, you have to be willfully blind and/or privileged not to see what (s)he's getting at. Sure, twelve thousand words in a romantic novella isn't going to solve police brutality and racism in America, but Lanyon didn't have to be as dismissive as this:
"'Are you serious? Do you really think the majority of cops approve of shooting unarmed civilians? Of shooting kids? Do you really think guys like me want to see a departmental cover-up?'
In the face of his quiet scorn, I felt a little ashamed. 'No. Of course not.'
'There are some bad actors. We all know it. And there are some guys and gals who would be better cops if they had better training. We all know that too. But most of the men and women I work with are out there cleaning up the human garbage the best they can with the tools they've been given—and putting their live on the line every single day to keep people like you safe to write the truth however you see fit.'"
And then the narrator muses how he was wrong but not completely, and how much he likes his police protector for being able to argue the subject dispassionately. And they agree it's a sore subject for the both of them.
Sore subject indeed.
It's good to know that white women have the equal opportunity to suck at writing and publishing as white men do.
If you ever feel tempted, my advice is that you should pick up the book from library, sit down to read the first short story of this collection, then put the book back on the shelf and walk away.
Just, walk away.