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 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.


lisabea said...

Jake is so misunderstood!!! Ok he's a total idiot. But he's going to be that much better in the long run. He'll be that "reformed rake". RIGHT? RIGHT? omg. Please.

Josh Lanyon said...

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*

But it's a dry hate, right? *g*

Thanks very much for the review, Sula. Is it okay to laugh at your pain? *g* Glad you enj -- er -- glad you finally read the book!

lisabea said...

If you picture Jake as RC, it makes him that much more palatable!

sula said...

lb, thanks to you, I did picture Jake as RC. Which helped a little. Um, until he got all stupid n' stuff.

hi there josh. sorry to be hatin' on jake. i don't hate, i just...err..ok, i was/am pissed. but like i said, it must mean you're a pretty good writer if you can make me feel strong emotion about two made up guys, right?

I did enjoy the book tho. I like a good whodunnit. And I want to steal Adrien away from lisabea to be my BFF. lb, can we share we share blogs and stuff? pretty please????

lisabea said...

cricket. cricket.

Sarai said...

Okay so i just finished book 2 and now I DON"T want to read book 3 DAMN IT it was going so well in 2 (review next monday) Seriously WHAT THE HELL?
*drops head*
Fine I shall read book 3 this week OH THE PAIN.

Mary M. said...

*hands on ears and chanting* Lalala, I don't hear you! If I read the full post I know I'm never going to read the series. Which would be a pity since I just only bought FATAL SHADOWS. In print, at that. Nice little book.

I have to say I like the covers of the e-books better than the print ones. I like black and white and it fits so perfectly with the detective genre. In my opinion at least :D.

Sorry about your broken heart Sula. But I'm sure Josh is going to provide you with crazy glue one of these days. At least I hope so. When is the next book in this story due?

Katie(babs) said...

I really need to go get this book
*looks at tbr pile. sigh*

sula said...

sarai, I can't wait to read your review of book 2. Hell, I can't wait to read book 2 itself. *g* Regarding the upcoming pain, I say just get it over with. And then come be grumpy over here with me. heh.

MaryM, I agree with you on the covers. I almost posted the black and white cover on this post, but since the version I read was print...I figured I'd best stay true. And yes, here is hoping that Josh has a bucket of crazy glue. lol.

ah kb, the tbr pile grows ever higher doesn't it. so many books, so little time. But you really do need to make time for Adrien. :)

lisabea said...

Loose Id has been giving J. some m/m looking covers lately...but these are for a few different audiences, I'm a thinking: M/M, gay, mystery...

still those covers. Heh.

azteclady said...

Oh gah!

I have the three Adrian English right here in my hard drive. I gotta read them already *checking deadlines* ummm... soon-ish I hope.

Would some chocolate help, sula?

Tracy said...

Ok I love this post! I loved this whole series and am so glad you liked the book as much as I did. I have to say after reading the books one after another and then getting to the end of The Hell You Say I wanted to throw the book across the room and scream NO! I did scream but I refrained from the throwing since it was my ereader. I sooo want Jake to be with Adrien! I'm hoping, crossing my fingers and praying that it will happen eventually. Please? Please?

Christine said...

Great review, sula. I love hearing about books that draw out a full range of emotion in the reader.

Sarah said...

I loved this book. Even though I wanted to kick Jake in the ass.

Keep going back, and back to the bit from the Py-rate novel when Adrien could have so outed him and the look on Jake's face. *le sigh*
Bet he is saying, I wish I could squit yewww in his head to A. Ok, maybe that's just me projecting...heh. He so loves him, I refuse to believe otherwise...shan't I tell you!

emmiejaynies said...

When I read your review, it was like somebody articulating my own thoughts on the series. There's such a level of emotional involvement for the reader in these books. I literally shed tears when Adrien went to the hospital - such a very real mistake for him to have made. Josh Lanyon is my new favourite author! :)

jessewave said...

I have books 1 - 3 in my TBR pile and fully intend to read them in one sitting next week b/c I'm sick of everyone saying how good they are. That was a terrific non review :) of The Hell you Say Sula. Don't you wonder though about an author who would create two characters like Jake and Adrien? He knows what he's doing to us and doesn't care apparently. It's not as if he couldn't make Jake a better person!! Damn him I say LOL

lisabea said...

Conflict and tension keep us all coming back for more. That makes for the very best, most memorable of pairings in any good story. Jake's a good man but he's deeply conflicted about his sexuality, his job pressure, and his obvious love of Adrien. Although love by the end of The Hell You Say is difficult to support, surely. But the teasers for de Pie-rat? Oh yes. It's clear.

And Adrien is, of course, the bees knees. Just you wait, missy, Josh is very good at what he does.

jessewave said...

I'm going to have my very own Adrien English Mysteries marathon in about a week - I have to - DOAPK is coming out at the end of August and I'm way behind already.

However, I still think he's jerking our chain and I'm going to have a serious talk with him about that. Sexual tension, conflict, being in the closet (Jake), finding dead people (Adrien) etc., are all very good, but when he (Josh) has legions of women and men turning to drink (OK, a cocktail or two or three) because of these two characters I think it's time for a good talking to (is that grammatically correct? :)

Josh Lanyon said...

You guys! Gals. Esteemed readers.

It's a there's a story and a character arc. know, I'm a big believer that people (smart people) grow and evolve and change -- very often for the good -- as they mature. Not always, but I try and write about smart people who are basically good -- even if a bit screwed up.

Sula, you'll have to ask Lisabea about the BFF thing -- and Lisabea, we've had this talk about sharing, right? (This speech occasionally works with the nieces and nephews -- though not often.)

Sarai, Mary...maybe you should wait til book four.

Katie(babs), I'm thinking ditto -- hold off til book four.

Josh Lanyon said...

Sula, I love all my Loose Id covers. They really do a nice job. I've been happy with every single one of them.

(Of course I love the print ones too!)

Josh Lanyon said...

Azteclady, I'm giving you the same advice -- it's just a few months, how bout you hold off on reading any Adrien English stuff.

Tracy, Sarah, Emmiejaynies -- thank all three of you very much. thanks so much.

Jessewave, come on. I've read your reviews. You're a smart cookie. You know happy endings have to make sense and be believable to work. And no drinking on the job. (Unless you're using my cool new thermos.)

jessewave said...

"Jessewave, come on. I've read your reviews. You're a smart cookie. You know happy endings have to make sense and be believable to work. And no drinking on the job. (Unless you're using my cool new thermos.)"

OK so you outed me Josh. Damn! I was having such fun. It's hard in the trenches and I needed a break.

I love the new line of AE products. Are they available anywhere? I was thinking of getting some for Christmas although I don't know about drinking my cocktails from the thermos. The beauty of drinking is the expensive crystal. A Rum Runner wouldn't taste as good in a THYS thermos, would it?

I think your agent LB is doing a fine job and deserves a raise :D

Sarai said...

Okay, sadly enough I didn't take Josh's advice and wait until the next one came out I um jumped in and OMG I so don't want Jake in the hut any more BASTARD (oops am I allowed to say that on this blog?)
Seriously what an... OMG I'm going to... SERIOUSLY... what was he thinking.... OMG
*crosses arms and pouts* When does book 4 come out?

Anonymous said...

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