Closing Ranks (Flesh #4)

in the middle of somewhere
Title: Closing Ranks
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery, MM Romance
Page Count: 244
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Internal Affairs investigator Jeremy Ranklin is looking into corruption within the Reno Police Department when he’s ordered to examine the suspicious death of the Chief of Police. The assignment partners Jeremy with Detective Cristian Flesh. Though they spar at first, Jeremy earns Cristian’s trust, and they work well together.

Deeply closeted, Jeremy fights an attraction to fellow cop Kipp Mosely. The investigation brings Jeremy and Kipp together, but lies and secrets prevent things from going any further. Jeremy will need both Kipp’s and Cristian’s help to discover how deep the corruption runs—and to stay alive when the danger hits close to home.

I have too many conflicting thoughts and opposing feelings about this book. I both like it and dislike it, and, to tell the truth, I can’t remember, when I was such indecisive in my review about the book I read and liked disliked liked disliked.

But one after another:

Closing Ranks is the book #4 in the mystery [or is it more a police romance(?) or suspense erotica(?)] Flesh series. My hesitations begin already with the classifying of a genre- WHERE should I shelf this book?!

  • Being a passionate mystery reader I reject to see this book as a mystery. Yes, there is a murder, and homicide detectives and a criminal investigation, and dirty cops and undercover cops, but…*sigh* The mystery itself is not really present on the pages. The investigation happens somewhere somehow in the background. Every investigation’s step is not a matter of a well structured and skillfully performing analytic process, but a matter of accidental discoveries by amateurishly looking behaving cops.

  • Let’s talk about Detective Cristian Flesh, an eponymous of the series:

    The good news for those who haven’t yet read the series(like me) – you can read the book 4 as a standalone. While the first two books in the series were dedicated to Christian Flesh, in the book 4 Cristian Flesh plays only a guest role.

    Already in the book 3 he had to make place for a new character, FBI Agent Drew Bradley, and in the book 4 he did it again but for Jeremy Ranklin, a deeply closeted Internal Affairs investigator, who tries to fight his attraction to cop Kipp Mosely.

    The bad news – I didn’t feel that I needed to know more about Christian Flesh. His character didn’t impress me AT ALL. I found him totally uninteresting and in a way even a bit stupid.


  • Aside from Cristian Flesh, I enjoyed the development of a relationship between Jeremy and Kipp. Though I enjoyed it much more at the beginning then toward the end of the book. I got tired of their romance. Can someone read a romance book and be tired of a romance itself? Yep.

  • SEX. With this quantity of sex scenes one could imagine to classify this book as a gay erotica. Honestly. HOW COULD THESE GUYS BE ABLE TO CONCENTRATE ON THIS MURDER CASE AT ALL, when they are horny as hell 24/7?! AND the only thing that occupy their mind UTTERLY TOTALLY COMPLETELY, days and nights- 24/7- is FUCKING and SUCKING. They have continuously blue balls, hard-ons and all their conversations are about/around SEX.

    STILL it is NOT what I can name a great gay erotica. There are too many mechanical movements and some dirty talks, but all these are not deliciously deeply erotically mindblowingly HOT. If you know what I mean.


  • My first Ethan Stone. The writing was probably my biggest issue. It has this descriptive nature, that you can like if you enjoy the story. This author writes uncomplicated, simple and effective, but this kind of prose won’t let your heart beat faster of joy because of its beauty. It is very practical. Like a manual.

In spite of my complaining and a healthy dose of dissatisfaction – because it started very good and then went down hill – this book was entertaining enough to keep my attention up to the end, and I most likely will read the previous book, and probably the next book in the series too.

Author Link GoodReads

Advanced Review Copy

ARC of Closing Ranks provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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