Title: High Time (The Solomon Mysteries #2)
Author: Keelan Ellis
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 10th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Page Count: 164
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When skeletal remains turn up in Baltimore’s Leakin Park, Detective Paul Solomon is pessimistic about their chances of solving the case. But a clue discovered near the bones soon leaves his partner, Tim Cullen, in little doubt as to their identity. As the case leads him close to home, Tim struggles to find a balance between professional responsibility and family, testing Paul’s patience and loyalty in the process.
In his personal life, Paul wrestles with his own increasingly precarious balancing act. His friendship with David Haygood threatens his new relationship with Owen, and he finds himself questioning not only his own judgment but his motivations as well. When Paul makes a choice that may irreparably damage his budding romance, the only person he can think to turn to is his ex-lover and friend Andy.
As Paul and Tim sift through details of the short life of a young woman who died over a quarter of a century ago, what eventually emerges from the web of connections and coincidence is a story that’s both shocking and sadly familiar to the seasoned detectives.
In the first book in The Solomon Mysteries, we got a lot of character development and humorous give-and-take between Detective Paul Solomon and his partner Tim Cullen and the mystery, while interesting, was definitely secondary. Here in “High Time,” the mystery is front-and-center and it is particularly compelling because Tim Cullen’s sister Kathleen and her husband Jordan are involved in the mystery.
The plot kept my interest throughout and I like the way the mystery slowly unfolds and deepens as new clues are unearthed and new interpretation is given to the known facts of the case. It seems everyone had a different idea of what the victim Penny was like, and I find it poignant we think we know what is going on in someone’s life, but we only see the surface and are often unaware of their true situation. I would give the murder/mystery aspect of “High Times” 5 stars.
Where the story works less successfully for me is in the relationship between Paul and his boyfriend of four months, Owen. There is an attraction between the two (FYI – there is no on-page sex) but they are still in the uncertain stage. They haven’t met each other’s friends, Paul is still keeping Owen at arm’s length from his life, there is conflict about Paul’s friendship with David and Andy, and the miscommunication between the two seems a bit manufactured and hastily added onto the mystery component. Finally, the ending is a bit hurried, in connection with the murder/mystery as well as Paul and Owen, but I look forward to the next book in the series, seeing how the relationship deepens and grows and what mystery awaits Detectives Solomon and Cullen. 4 stars.