Somewhere over Lorain Road (Susan’s Review)

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Title: Somewhere over Lorain Road
Author: Bud Gundy
Publisher: Bold Strokes
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Genre(s): Gay mystery
Page Count: 266
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

For more than forty years, the stain of horrific allegations against their father has haunted the Esker sons. When three little boys were murdered in 1975, their dad was suspected of the crimes. The immense strain of the unsolved case shattered the family, sending the brothers reeling into destinies of death, flight, and, in the case of Don Esker, shame-filled silence.

Years later, Don returns to the family home in North Homestead, Ohio, to help care for his dying father in his final months. His dad longs for the peace that will only come with clearing his name. If Don can find the killer, he can heal his family—and himself. His own redemption begins when he becomes romantically involved with Bruce, who joins the hunt and forces Don to confront the unthinkable answer they’ve uncovered.

I don’t think I am the intended audience for this book, since I’m not a big fan of murder mysteries without much romance. I do have to admit that the mystery kept me interested, just not enough to really love this book.

This story is told through bits from the present, where 52 year old Don is taking care of his dying father, and parts of 1975 when Don was a 10 year old boy. I’m so not a fan of small towns in the 70s and 80s, and this book really made that clear for me. Don encountered so much bigotry and narrow-minded people. It was just such a harsh world back then.

I liked how Don found out more and more about the murders that took place in 1975 and I was kept engaged throughout this entire book. But I had 2 issues with this book that made me enjoy it a little less.

One is the romance, or the lack of romance I must say. Don meets Bruce, they basically say ‘wanna fuck?’ within 2 seconds of meeting each other and then start ‘dating’ (no sexy times on page). I say ‘dating’ because they don’t spend that much time on page together. And when they do, they talk about the murders. Interesting, but not that romantic. It would have liked it more if there had been no romance at all, because this was just unsatisfying. (I know this book is not supposed to be a romance, but if you put something in your book resembling a romance, at least make it somewhat believable)

And then the whodunnit conclusion. I figured out who did it a while back, but was still interested to see how things would play out, and more importantly, why. And then we get to my issue with it. The why. I thought the reason for the killings was VERY farfetched and very unrealistic. I didn’t buy it at all. (Don’t read this spoiler if you want to read the book.)

The chief killed two other boys to cover up his 10 year old son killing his 6 year old brother, but he did that because the chief didn’t want the police digging into their family because he lied about being a SEAL??? That was just ridiculous. I would have believed it better if the whole fake SEAL thing was left out and the Chief just wanted to cover up the murder of his own son.

A pretty decent murder mystery, but don’t read this because of the romance.

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Galley copy of Somewhere over Lorain Road provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.