Title: Heat Trap (Plumber’s Mate #3)
Author: J.L. Merrow
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Page Count: 255
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
The wrong secret could flush their love down the drain.
It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit with a shocking revelation about his family. His lover, P.I. Phil Morrison, is pushing this as an ideal opportunity for Tom to try to develop his psychic talent for finding things. Tom would prefer to avoid the subject altogether, but just as he decides to bite the bullet, worse problems come crawling out of the woodwork.
Marianne, a young barmaid at the Devil’s Dyke pub, has an ex who won’t accept things are over between them. Grant Carey is ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets between him and Marianne, including an old friend of Tom and Phil. Their eagerness to step in and help only makes them targets of Grant’s wrath themselves.
With Tom’s uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the revelation of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, suddenly Tom’s not sure whom he can trust.
The body in the Dyke’s cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.
This picks up right where Relief Valve left off. Tom is still reeling from discovering his paternal father is not who he thought it was. Now he’s faced with the decision to either ask his mother about her infidelity or ask Phil to do a bit of investigating on the side. Added to the current mental stress are his friend Gary’s pending nuptials, a creep harassing a waitress and owner of his favorite bar, and a series of arguments with Phil that are putting a serious damper on their relationship, if not cancelling it completely.
There is a heck of a lot going on in this book, and yet, Merrow makes it work. This isn’t a Big Misunderstanding plot, this is how real people argue and fight. It’s all those little comments, actions, and innuendos which accumulate until they bubble over during an unprecedented heat wave when everyone is cranky and irritable.
Heat Trap is a roller coaster of emotions that left me wanting to turn around and read the book again. I’ve enjoyed all of the Plumber’s Mate books to date, but this one really solidified the series.