Thursday, September 9, 2021

Gregory Ashe - Paternity Case

It’s almost Christmas, and Emery Hazard finds himself face to face with his own personal nightmare: going on a double date with his partner—and boyhood crush—John-Henry Somerset. Hazard brings his boyfriend; Somers brings his estranged wife. Things aren’t going to end well.
When a strange call interrupts dinner, however, Hazard and his partner become witnesses to a shooting. The victims: Somers’s father, and the daughter of a high school friend. The crime is inexplicable. There is no apparent motive, no connection between the victims, and no explanation for how the shooter reached his targets.
Determined to get answers, Hazard and Somers move forward with their investigation in spite of mounting pressure to stop. Their search for the truth draws them into a dark web of conspiracy and into an even darker tangle of twisted love and illicit desire. And as the two men come face to face with the passions and madness behind the crime, they must confront their own feelings for each other—and the hard truths that neither man is ready to accept.

Comment: This is the third installment in the Hazard and Somerset series, which I'm continuing to go through in the following months since the first two books were appealing enough to make me curious.

In this third story, Hazard and Somerset are in a double date at a restaurant with their respective partners when a phone call makes them run to Somerset's parents' house, where some sort of trouble is happening. When they arrive things are a chaos and they witness a shooting, Somerset's father is hit as well as a girl who wasn't behaving very properly. As the investigating begins, they are shocked the prime suspect is also killed by one of their colleagues for, apparently, resisting detention. It seems something shady is going on but who could be the real killer and the one who planned the whole thing? Besides this, Hazard also has to worry about his relationship with younger boyfriend Nico and how, despite his best efforts, he still can't get over his crush on Somerset... will there be any way to make things be well?

I believe I've said in my previous post on this series but this is definitely a series to read in order. Structurally, the plot has a beginning, middle and end which can be satisfying for the police/investigation POV and the reader can have closure on that but the personal relationships of all the characters, mainly the protagonists, is another issue. It has been frustrating but I keep hoping the emotional investment will pay off in the end.

Hazard and Somerset have history and Hazard was bullied by Somerset and his buddies while in high school. He is now more confident on his abilities and his personality but he still can't let go of his memories, especially since he actually has a crush on Somerset and always had. We are obviously aware he more than likes Somerset but he thinks the other man doesn't think of him that way and would see him only as another experiment. He is conflicted by the innuendos and flirting but feels nothing could come out of it.

Somerset is a man with issues. Well, both are but to me Somerset is in a more difficult position now, for he still struggles a little with who he was in his youth, he has a child, he has a problem with drinking and he thinks Hazard has rejected him after a very silly encounter neither truly understood. I'm eager for the moment they not only get over their prejudices over one another but that they embrace their feelings. I mean, obviously they will be together at some point, they will become a couple, but I'm more interested in seeing them steady, happy and stable in being a couple. That seems to be far yet...

As for the plot of this book, it was quite clever in a way... the motives and such were quite well thought but to be honest, the investigation itself isn't as smooth as I'd have liked. In a way, I'd have preferred the police procedures to be more traditionally described or for the group of police officers to be more united... often it feels as if everyone has problems, everyone has hidden agendas or everyone conveniently shares something only at the moment it benefits the plot. I understand this tactic but it makes things a little too staged, not as one would imagine a real investigation might go on.

The characters, including the secondary ones, are quite complex. The reasons why they act and why they hide things... I like the fact we get to see so much depth and intricacies in how they act and interact. Still, the fascinating part in these books has to be the romance and all its evolution. Probably, one of the best elements is the tension between the protagonists and the little things we learn as they get closer. It does feel promising to imagine how they will eventually get along and defend/love each other.

However, it does seem that there are too many obstacles and after so long creating this animosity, could it really be believable when they finally decide they can be a couple? I sure hope this pays off.
Grade: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment