Disgraced detective turned private investigator, Ray Clancy, left the force with a case unsolved. Finding the killer was no longer his problem, but it still haunted him. How long would he survive the frustration of not knowing before he gave into the compulsion of his nature to solve the crime?
Server, Andrew Shay, existed where he didn’t feel he belonged, living behind the guise of a costume. Yet it paid the bills, and he refused to complain about the little things in life. One night he returned home from work to find his roommate dead and the killer still there. Afraid and alone, his life spiraled and he didn’t know what to do. Could a detective at his core and a scared young man join forces to bring down the killer in their midst?
Gay Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Release Date: 09.15.18
Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar
Rudy had given me a strange look when I’d walked in a few minutes earlier and didn’t take my usual spot at the counter. I was still mentally processing the call I’d received from one Andy Shay. I’d done a quick search for him and found several social media profiles from different Mr. Shays, but didn’t take the time to do a more thorough investigation.
When he’d stated he’d witnessed a murder, I’d resigned myself to dealing with another crazy person, but then after Andy had explained, my tired brain had quickly put the pieces together.
Andy sounded young and justifiably scared. His voice was soft with slightly husky notes. I didn’t know why out of everything the kid’s voice is what I remembered most.
I raised my mug to my mouth and downed half of it, hoping the caffeine would wake me up. I should’ve slept. I’d spent most of the morning researching and hadn’t come up with one mention of similar crimes. Even if there was only one detail the same, I’d grasped at hope, only to be disappointed when the suspect was dead or imprisoned. I don’t know how I felt about that, but I didn’t have time to think too much about it.
I curved my hands around the mug and stared into the dark liquid. The bell going off over the door had me lifting my head. A thin man walked in with clothes that hung on his frame. As soon as I’d looked up our eyes met. There was no doubt in my mind that he was the one I was waiting for, and I slid out of the booth. I sensed the young man’s fear, so I patiently stayed still as he prepared to approach me.
Andy’s first few steps were cautious, as if he hadn’t made up his mind on whether I was an ally or foe. I knew that expression, I’d lost count of how many times I’d seen it over the years. Two decades of dealing with terrified and reluctant witnesses prepared me for anything.
I was slightly taken aback by the sound of that voice in person and blamed it on my lack of sleep. The kid was young, maybe mid-twenties.
“Call me, Ray. Please, take a seat.” I motioned at the bench and waited for him to slide into it. “Coffee?”
“Rudy, refill for me and another for my friend here.” Rudy smirked at me from behind the counter, and I knew what he was thinking. That was the farthest thing from the truth. I was impatient to find out what happened the other night, but I waited for Rudy to approach with the coffeepot and an extra mug.
“Does your date need a menu, or are you planning on being cheap, Clancy?”
“Rudy, don’t fuck with me today.”
The words must have come out harsher than I’d thought because I caught the kid flinching in my peripheral. Skittish. I was going to have to temper my normally gruff nature.
“Cranky,” Rudy muttered, and I waited for him to drop off the menu, then return to the opposite side of the counter.
I watched in horror at the amount of sugar the kid doctored his coffee with and tried to hide my disgust behind my own mug of straight, black coffee. The way coffee was meant to be drank. Andy’s hands shook, and if I hadn’t paid closer attention, I would’ve missed that. I warred with the decision to let Andy take the lead and start the conversation or broach the subject myself.
My curiosity won. “Why did you contact me?”
“I researched the case. A crime reporter, I can’t remember his name right now, well, he did some stories and your name was mentioned. Your name came up in several articles.”
“But why are you here? I’m not a cop.”
Those four simple words still stung my pride. I should be on the case. Who’s to say that I wouldn’t have caught the guy sometime in the last six months.
Holy thriller, batman…. this one was a doozy!
Ok, now I’m a huge Dabney fan, so I knew this one was going to be a good one, but it’s so different from her other reads, I didn’t know what to expect when she collabed with someone I’d never read before. So, we started out with Ray, who was a good detective in a cesspool of shady people. Being framed for a crime that he didn’t commit, I’ve gotta say, wasn’t a good start for me…. If you read any of my reviews, you’ve gotta know my biggest pet peeve is terrible people getting away with being terrible people, and it seemed like this happened ….. keep reading!
After taking a deal and losing his spot on the force, he starts a PI practice…. It allowed him to stay in the type of work he was in before, I reckon. He got to keep his gun, and it kept him out of jail at least… but I kept my eye on Captain Green, I didn’t trust him from the very beginning and had you asked me if he had a hand in the business what was going on in the book, I’d have said definitely. I was really kept in suspense with the who-dun-it and the why.
See, Ray was smack in the middle of a serial case where young men were getting mutilated and murdered when he got fired. As one could imagine, it was hard to let go, but he didn’t have much choice. He did have a friend or two that let him in on some details, but enough to keep track of what the serial killer was up to…. Other than the killing of course. That’s when he meets Andy…..
Andy came home from work to witness his roommate, and best friend murdered and being mutilated. The police (Captain Green), wasn’t doing much about it, not even informing the public that a serial killer was in their hood. Why they kept denying it, I still have no idea… but, Andy was scared, and nobody seemed to care that he was on the killer’s radar….I mean, he did see the guy…. That irked me, another black mark against Green… seriously, how did he still have a job at the end?
Anyway, he called Ray, having gotten his name by doing a little digging himself, and Ray, attracted to Andy, but also needing to solve this case, agreed to help…. It’s a confusing runaround, trying to gather evidence and motive and any link at all that would give them a clue who was terrorizing the young men of New West City… Ray used some of his old contacts that he knew growing up, and I had to admit, even though they were criminals….well-known criminals, I kinda loved them anyway… Especially Bradford and Richie. I wouldn’t mind a book about either one of them!
And like I said, by the end of it, when everything came together, I was surprised and no longer confused, and I felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest. It’s a real page turner for sure and if you enjoy murder mysteries with some man on man love thrown in…. don’t pass this one up. There are some typical Dabney errors, like, no question marks when one is obviously needed, but if you’ve read any of her books at all, you’ll know she’s allergic to the question mark. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest… but I know it’ll be a common complaint. So heads up…Overall…I really, really enjoyed it! Sweet ending….would most definitely recommend.
5 stars from me!
J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.
When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.
If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.
Twitter: @DavidsonKing11 https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11
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