Monday, June 23, 2008
MLM - The Hell You Say!
I should have known. I was warned. Everyone said that Jake Riordan would break my heart and it's true. *sniff* I may never get over this.
Oh hi there. Did you come to celebrate ManLove Monday? Yeah. I'm sorry, but I'm not in the festive mood. Let me tell you why. I fell in like (as in, plz be my BFF) with this guy named Adrien English. He's everything a BFF should be. Funny, witty. Wry and sarcastic. Good taste in books and movies and a thoughtful gift shopper. S'rsly. Every girl needs a good gay friend. And I want Adrien to be mine. But I can't stand watching him get his heart crushed by his erstwhile closeted boyfriend, Homicide Detective Jake Riordan. The rotten bastard!!!!
Lemme go back a bit. I'm clearly getting worked up. See, there is this mystery series written by the incomparable Mr. Josh Lanyon. The Adrien English Mystery Series. And this past week, I read book 3. Title: The Hell You Say. I think it's been reviewed very soundly and thoroughly by many other bloggers out there. So I'm not even going to try to do a proper review. This is my quickie review. But yeah, I'll attempt a brief summary.
Adrien finds himself in the middle of a mystery that includes young college-aged occultist wannabes, missing persons, pentagrams drawn in red blood and a university professor that may or may not be all that he seems. In the meantime, Adrien's mother is thinking of getting remarried and he has to negotiate the relationship with the new potential in-laws. And of course there is the police detective that he's been seeing secretly. Secretly because said policeman is totally in the closet and can't admit to himself let alone the world that he is teh gay! The plot moves along at a good pace. We're not sure who we can trust and the one person we ought to be able to trust (the rat bastard boyfriend) ends up pulling a whopper of a betrayal. But I'm not bitter. No. Uh uh. *ahem*
Anyways, back to the writing. It's good stuff. I've read short stories by Lanyon before and the elements I liked about his writing there stay true here. He has a deft touch with humor and takes the maxim of "show me don't tell me" to heart. The writing is tight, and we're treated to Adrien's take on events as they happen. Being inside Adrien's head is a great place to be. He's funny and sarcastic but also has an edge of vulnerability. It's the vulnerability, the ordinariness and realness of him that really gets me. Because unlike some heros in a murder mystery, Adrien acts like you might expect a normal person to react to finding things like dead bodies. Shock, fear, confusion but with a stubborn determination to feret out the truth behind the lies. It's this determination and ability to move beyond the knee-jerk reaction to horrible events that makes Adrien such a scrappy contender. He may not be a muscle-bound he-man, but he's got a brain and he's not afraid to use it.
I finished this book in a swirling mix of emotions. Happy that I had had the chance to meet Adrien. Satisfied with the denouement of the mystery. And absolutely spitting furious at Jake. Really. Angry. (just ask my buddy lisabea...I was sending her raging emails. lol) I think that it's a testament to Lanyon's writing skill that I feel so strongly about these fictional characters. I may not like what he's done with them, but I'm going to trust (fingers crossed) that it will all work out in the end...be that the next book or the one after it. I'm certainly going to be along for the ride.
Visit Josh Lanyon's official website here. Buy The Hell You Say here as an e-book or at Amazon in paperback.
Oh and be sure to visit my partner-in-crime lisabea for more MLM today.