Title: Pill Bugs of Time (Off Beat Crimes #2)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: September 20, 2016 (2nd edition)
Page Count: 96
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Relationship and communication issues plague Officer Vikash Soren, but those are nothing compared to facing stick-throwing tumbleweeds, pill bugs and…time travel?
Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle as a lover, partner and friend.
But life in the 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues and…time travel? If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries’ worth.
Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.
Pre-order Date: 9th August 2016
Available exclusively to Pride Publishing: 23rd August 2016
General Release Date: 20th September 2016
The Pill Bugs of Time picks up right where Lime Gelatin and other Monsters leaves off. Not meant to be read as a standalone.
Kyle and Vikash are navigating a new relationship that could very well get them both in trouble at work, or so Vikash believes. Vikash insists he and Kyle keep work and relationship completely compartmentalized to the point of not even mentioning anything remotely related to a relationship at work – no ‘what do you want for dinner?’, driving separately, no PDA’s of any kind because this might be misinterpreted. Vikash consciously knows this is his subtle way of sabotaging a relationship, but he doesn’t know how to stop.
When the Paranormal Unit is called to investigate a rouge ball of sticks, Vikash finds himself suddenly transported to the future – a future without Kyle – Vikash realizes he’s problem and decides to break things off with his partner because Vikash knows he’s not going to change.
This was a bit more serious than book one as the reader gets a deeper look into what makes Vikash tick. I enjoyed seeing the book from his POV, as a relative newcomer to the special unit and how he interacts with everyone. I thought the use of time travel to drive home the point that he can’t be afraid of what others think was well done. Watching him break Kyle’s heart again and again, knowing he was doing yet unable to stop kinda broke my heart too.
The seriousness of Vikash’s inability to tell Kyle his feelings was balanced by Tim and Leather Jacket. I LOVED that the author brought back Leather Jacket! Would the Martinez consider making Tim and LJ a permanent pair on the force? Oh I do hope so!
Ultimately, another very enjoyable paranormal read from Ms. Martinez. A great cast of characters, a nicely written emotional tug and pull between Kyle and Vikash, all balanced out with just a touch of suspense.