Title: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes and Moriarity #3)
Author: Josh Laynon
Publisher: Just Joshin
Release Date: October 5, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery
Page Count: 228
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s moving day at Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit’s better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a writing conference, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain either old books or new china. It doesn’t. Within the mounds of green Styrofoam popcorn is a dead body. A very dead body.
There goes the neighborhood.
Somebody Killed His Editor #1
All She Wrote #2
The Boy with the Painful Tattoo #3
Moving is stressful enough, compound that by moving across state to a house JX picked out in the unfamiliar city of San Francisco? To say Kit is a bundle of highly strung nerves, doubt, anxieties, insecurities and frustration would be an understatement.
This is what I liked about this installment – life isn’t perfect and relationships take work. Kit is struggling big time and all he has to go on is a previously failed relationship. The body, missing china, stolen coins, two stalkers, JX at a conference in Vegas, unfamiliar house, and a weird family convinced that he has an in with the police just compound any attempt to relate to JX. Bless JX, he’s trying, but harsh words still fly and Kit quickly realizes he’s made a serious mistake and it’s up to Kit to fix it.
In my opinion, Boy/Tattoo didn’t have the lighter, quirky undertones and characters that the previous installments had. I had the impression that a couple of characters were leaning in that direction, but with so many players on the stage, personalities never quite developed.
Which comes round to my concern with the book – too many characters made for a bit too much going on without really getting to know any one person. It made the plot feel hectic and rushed and I couldn’t settle into the mystery of who-done-it.
Now, this did emphasize Kit being uprooted and pushed out of his comfort zone, and perhaps that was the intent. But it didn’t quite work for me. Kit was trying to get a house set up, then off to San Diego, then back to pick up the china (and why couldn’t he get police support to reclaim his stolen/lost property without paying for it?), back to San Fran for a dinner engagement, then he’s talked into looking around the dead mans apartment… ieee!!
And I have to admit, after all was said and done, I didn’t care for the title of this book. It just didn’t fit.
Ultimately, this is a Josh Lanyon book. It is solidly written, engaging, thought-provoking and just a little bit uncomfortable. It pushes the boundaries between fiction and reality which doesn’t happen a lot in romance books and I appreciate that. Recommended if you’ve read the first two in the series.