Author: Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day
Cover Artist: Justin James
Publisher: The Empire Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M/ Murder Mystery/
Length: Novel/108K words/378 PDF pages/334 print pages
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5, DIK
Review Summary: A rollicking adventure that blew everything away in grand fashion.
Sex. Murder. Blackmail. Revenge. Life in the Big Easy can be a real bitch.
Meet Jon Fox, a sexy New Orleans private detective with more family secrets than even he knows about. But his latest case is about to bring more to the swampy surface than Fox himself could ever have guessed—
A polite old lady with a plot to murder a stranger;
A mother whose secret sent her insane;
An uncle with complete control over the family empire;
A father whose suicide might once again tear his family apart;
And a hot, handsome, clueless blond with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yes, meet Jon Fox. A New Orleans private detective whose complicated life…just got a little more complex
In To Catch A Fox the thrills and chills started off with a bang as Day and Knight wrote an adventure that wrestled me to the ground, and when I was wiped out it kicked me to the curb to make sure I could no longer breathe. 🙂
In the first scene Jon Fox faced off against Delta Deveraux, the unfaithful wife of his client who was determined not to lose her meal ticket, so Fox had to die. She was a marvelous character, a worthy challenger for Fox and it’s too bad she wasn’t around long enough for me to really get to know her. 😈 Here’s some of her dialogue:
“My only dilemma,” she said, her shiny red lips snaking into an even wider smile, “is where to put the first bullet.” Delta pointed her gun.“I could finish you off quickly with a single shot ….. But then again, I’m tempted to instantly gratify myself and put the first bullet right between your legs. In terms of size, it certainly looks like the easiest target.”
This set up the rest of the book beautifully as Jon Fox faced down not only the characters who wanted to kill him for their own nefarious reasons, but he also had to deal with the many demons in his dark past as he relived the horror of a major tragedy in his life, found love for the first time, and concluded that life was not always black and white but sometimes shades of grey. Jon is the star of the book, but like all the other characters he was very flawed – selfish, weak, and definitely not the most stable person as he had an almost uncontrollable temper which could have landed him in jail for a long time on many occasions. He escaped his due punishment because his uncle, Mason Wilkes, who managed his considerable fortune, always bailed him out of trouble.
Jon’s job as a private investigator provided him with a ready source of f**kbuddies who were only too willing to sell him information for sex, a delightful side benefit to any job. Enter Tucker Wilder. The first time Jon saw him he knew he was trouble. Tucker represented everything he couldn’t resist and the attraction was mutual, but Tucker was also very damaged from past events that affected his view of the world. He was a talented script writer and actor but he was out of work because his mouth always landed him in trouble. The many colorful characters in Tucker’s world and his interactions with his family and agent were priceless and showed off the writing talent of this team to great advantage. One stumbling block to an affair between Jon and Tucker was Betty Black, a little old lady with murder on her mind – they seemed to be on opposite sides of a case Jon was working. Was Tucker Betty’s accomplice or was he a pawn in her game? Unfortunately Jon didn’t have a lot of time to figure this out before he had to rescue Tucker from a vicious street gang determined to kill him because he had witnessed an execution style shooting.
Despite the intricate plot which kept me engrossed, in my view the strength of the book was in the wonderful well drawn, complex and very flawed characters. There were too many excellent supporting characters to mention here but one of the strongest was Virgil, former best friend of Jon’s deceased father who loves Jon and looks after his mother Savannah. He was an irascible and tough old coot on the surface but so kind and gentle with Miss Savannah who lived in her own world, that I fell in love with him. Another character that wasn’t even human but had a starring role in the book was Jon’s pet alligator Snowflake that operated on the principle that people were food. 🙂
To Catch A Fox is set in New Orleans and what better city to give it the history that made the world building so authentic, exciting and believable. The characters were unforgettable and they lifted To Catch A Fox from an exciting adventure flick to an emotional roller coaster with incredible thrills and chills that were extremely fast paced with gunfights, narrow escapes, and fires that seemed to have a life of their own. The action sequences alone would make this a memorable book but there were almost side splitting comedic turns at the most inappropriate moments. One such moment was a scene where Tucker was trying to find and extricate a bullet in Jon’s body, and in the middle of almost passing out from blood loss from a gunshot wound Jon asked Tucker
“Is that a hard on in your jeans? You do realize I’m in pain, don’t you? And that your chances of turning me on are less than—”
Tucker interrupted him by clearing his throat and pointing down at Fox’s bulging briefs. The shape of his hardening cock and swollen head were more than evident.
“That ain’t me, that’s the whiskey,” Fox shrugged innocently.
Tucker grabbed the pair of scissors out of the first aid kit and eyed Fox’s wound with terror. “I don’t wanna dig.” Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Fox’s hard-on straining in his briefs. “And could you please do something about that? It’s distracting me!”
“You started it! I can’t help it,” Fox said with a whiskey belch. “You look kinda sexy down there.”
The world building in this book is poignant as well as powerful. As settings go there’s none better than the De La Fontaine plantation in New Orleans. Not only was the old South brought to life and beautifully constructed through flashbacks as we see young Savannah, a vibrant woman on the cusp of her decadent life, but the prose and dialogue were authentic and an entertaining blend of old and new.
The mystery was well thought out and in the end the puzzle pieces fell into place in unexpected ways as the various secondary characters and sub plots provided many twists that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. As for the sex, the heat between Jon and Tucker was off the scale. Here’s a sample scene between these two hound dogs:
Tucker was getting dizzy, his eyes rolling back into his head. He squirmed and finally bit down on Fox’s bottom lip. Fox flinched and broke the kiss. Tuck gasped for air. Fox wiped his lip with the back of his hand, checking for blood and grinned.
“I didn’t know you played so rough,” Tucker panted.
“You want me to quit?” The question was not one of concern. It was a dare.
Tucker raised one eyebrow to the challenge and shook his head.
Ethan Day and Geoff Knight are awesome writers in their own right but I didn’t know whether they would be able to integrate their different styles seamlessly as a writing partnership, or if To Catch A Fox would seem like two different stories between the cover. Pairing these very successful authors seems like a no-brainer, but as is often said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and this was some incredible pudding as the writing turned out to be inspired. I don’t know which was more outstanding – the scary action sequences, the dirty prose, or the to-die-for dialogue that broke me up time and time again. 🙂 These authors are certifiably insane.
To Catch A Fox is full of wonderfully crafted characters many of whom you will love or hate, and some are such manipulative scumbags that you will want to kill them yourself. In this story the two MCs are seeking something they can’t define or articulate as their past and present converge, and I hope that future books will continue their romance as well as their adventures. Fox is the start of a wonderful series and if Day and Knight continue to give readers quality plots and characters, and adventures that are unadulterated on-the-edge-of-a-precipice fun, I will definitely be a fan. I didn’t think this pair could ever surprise me but Fox exceeded even my expectations. There is some scary violence which might be tough for a few readers (as if you couldn’t guess with an alligator in the mix) 🙂 so be warned.
Highly, highly recommended.