Title: Pretty Pretty Boys (Hazard and Somerset, #1)
Author: Gregory Ashe
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Genre(s): Law Enforcement/Suspense/Murder Mystery/Contemporary/Gay Fiction
Page Count: 541
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
After Emery Hazard loses his job as a detective in Saint Louis, he heads back to his hometown–and to the local police force there. Home, though, brings no happy memories, and the ghosts of old pain are very much alive in Wahredua. Hazard’s new partner, John-Henry Somerset, had been one of the worst tormentors, and Hazard still wonders what Somerset’s role was in the death of Jeff Langham, Hazard’s first boyfriend.
When a severely burned body is discovered, Hazard finds himself drawn deeper into the case than he expects. Determining the identity of the dead man proves impossible, and solving the murder grows more and more unlikely. But as the city’s only gay police officer, Hazard is placed at the center of a growing battle between powerful political forces. To his surprise, Hazard finds an unlikely ally in his partner, the former bully. And as they spend more time together, something starts to happen between them, something that Hazard can’t–and doesn’t want–to explain.
The discovery of a second mutilated corpse, though, reveals clues that the two murders are linked, and as Hazard gets closer to answers, he uncovers a conspiracy of murder and betrayal that goes deeper–and closer to home–than he could ever expect.
I am truly blown away by the writing of this author. This story won’t be for everyone, but it rocked my socks thoroughly.
Mainly a police procedural with murder mystery suspense plot, these two very imperfect MCs stole the show.
Important points to note:
- there is little romance in this one. The UST is there, but there is clearly more development in the subsequent books.
there is a lot of hate speech, aimed at multiple minorities and privileged classes. The author does a great job showing how extremists of any nature can do damage. There are also flashbacks of severe bullying.
there are some editing issues
Re: the above. I couldn’t care less. The story is so well written that I am already fully invested in the outcome of the slooooooow burn going on here between these two detectives.