Title: The Slow Road to Hell
Author: Grant Atherton
Publisher: self published
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Page Count: 235
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Forensic Psychologist Michael MacGregor returns to his old home town when his estranged father, the local priest, is murdered in the first of a series of killings. Nathan Quarryman, the lover he walked out on years before and now the local Chief of Police, is tasked with investigating the crimes. The two men must find a way to settle their differences, repair their broken relationship, and work together to bring the killer to justice.
Mikey is a forensic psychologist. I have no idea what that is, but it does allow for an unusual approach to the story. In the wake of his messy divorce, Mikey is forced to return to the town where he grew up because his father, a local vicar, died suddenly.
His best friend still lives there but painful memories have kept Mikey away. One of those is his first love, a man Mikey still carries the torch for. Even with just a few hints it’s clear how important he was to Mikey and how painful his memory still is. The author’s descriptive voice is great, bringing both people and their surroundings to life, but the dialogue was a little stilted.
Once is clear that his father’s death was actually murder, Mikey is blindsided when the man in charge of investigation turns to be his lost love. Since they didn’t part on best terms, Nathan is cool toward Mikey. This is where I ran into first hurdle. I didn’t like how Mikey acted.
He is surprised and hurt when Nathan treats him as stranger, never mind that he is the one who left without saying goodbye and never contacted Nathan again. I can imagine him being pressured years ago, but the self-entitled attitude he was sporting now didn’t win him any points.
Despite issues they have, their chemistry is obvious. The mystery plot is compelling and Mikey’s character improves over time. The relationship plot is a bit contrived but the mystery one was great. The final showdown gathers all the pieces and reveals chilling truth.
The epilogue focuses on Nathan and Mikey so the story finished on upbeat note.
While the book had its problems, there were parts that really shone and it’s good choice for mystery lovers. I would definitely like to see sequel!