The Monet Murders (Maya’s Review)

Title: The Monet Murders
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher:JustJoshin Publishing Inc
Release Date: May 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery
Page Count: 311
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5

The last thing Jason West, ambitious FBI special agent with the Art Crimes Team wants — or needs — is his uncertain and unacknowledged romantic relationship with legendary Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy.

And it seems like Sam is unsold on the idea as well.

But personal feelings must be put aside when Sam requests Jason’s help in order to catch a deranged killer targeting wealthy, upscale art collectors.

Second book in series. This book hit the spot like cool glass of water on hot day. It has a well-developed story, interesting characters and just the right amount of tension in romantic relationship. The writing was brisk, with some excellent wording. The details provided were so exquisite they practically made the picture jump out of the book for me.

I couldn’t help by drawing parallels between this and the first book, but my guess is that it can be read as a standalone. The case is completely different, but it will take time to build connection with characters if you haven’t read the first book. ( I have – did a quick reread before delving into second one, and it’s equally good.)They had HFN on the end of first book, which was really just a promise for more. In the second book, the relationship starts again from the scratch.

After months of dwindling phone calls, Jason finally gets to see Sam, but it is in professional capacity. Sam needs his help on a case. The resulting conversation throws him in turmoil. He likes Sam and came to enjoy their friendship, but their connection was tenuous and now Sam seems set to sever it. Added to his personal troubles, the case on which he has worked for months is now on shaky ground and he struggles to salvage it. Whether his relationship with Sam can be saved is debatable.

I found it rather interesting that Jason refers to Sam by his last name through most of the book – only after they finally bridge gulf between them he becomes Sam for Jason. It’s truly masterfully done.

There is only one sex scene-but my, is it hot.

Correction: there is only one sex scene between main characters, but there is a sexual encounter between Jason and someone else . I was very tempted to skip this part, because I don’t like my heroes expressing interest in a third-party but it’s important to the plot and to be fair, at that point Sam and Jason were broken up.

The plot moves slowly, but every detail is accounted for, and the relationship simmers quietly along. We see a lot of Jason in this one, while Sam is both emotionally and physical absent. For me, it added to the impact when he does appear. We don’t know how their relationship deepened during previous months, but Sam’s actions when he shows up give us a glimpse.

The ending was incredibly sweet, a moving gesture from the guy who was emotionally distant for most of the book.

The Art of Murder

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Galley copy of The Monet Murders provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.