Bitter Legacy (Crabbypatty’s review)

Bitter Legacy
Title: Bitter Legacy
Author: Dal Maclean
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
Release Date: October 3, 2016
Genre(s): Murder Mystery, Literary Fiction
Page Count: 350
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5

Detective Sergeant James Henderson of London’s Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation Team is no ordinary police officer. His remarkable gut instincts and relentless detective work have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. When the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, he finds himself drawn back into the insidious world of London’s privileged elite where men like James’s father possess wealth and power enough to hold the law in contempt. As James navigates the promiscuous, secretive and corrupt spheres of the rich, the murderer strikes again. Soon James begins to fear that these crimes lead dangerously close to his own heart and home. And now, he risks losing everything he’s made of his life unless he can expose the sordid truths that have bred this bitter legacy.”

I am stunned that “Bitter Legacy” is Dal Maclean’s first published work. This is a complex work involving a series of murders in London investigated by DS James Henderson, interwoven with James’ personal life as he navigates his first relationship since coming out as a gay man. There are no easy answers, no simple truths and nothing is as it seems.

If you are a fan of BBC police procedurals, this book is totally in your wheelhouse. DS Henderson is a young cop on a rapid trajectory within the South Kensington Murder Investigation Team. He has a quick mind and an intuitive grasp of police work and is heading up his first major investigation – the senseless murder of a young barrister. Through a weird coincidence, an address that comes up in their investigation solves James’ search for a new flat, and he becomes the roommate of Ben Morgan, a black-haired gorgeous gay photographer with an entourage of friends.

I can’t tell you more about the story or its impact as the plot unwinds … and twists … and leaves you feeling at one moment positive you know what is happening, and at the next completely stunned. James thinks at one point in the investigation:

But he couldn’t deny he’d sunk in deeper with these cases than he ever had before. […] And always in his quietest moments, something nagging at him—something he told himself he should be seeing, except it danced just outside the corner of his eye.

And that feeling holds true for his relationship with Ben as well.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5+ stars. Read this book …. stick with it when you are ready to give up … keep with it as it breaks your heart.

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Galley copy of Bitter Legacy provided by Blind Eye Books in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader