Past Sins (Tosha’s Review)

Title: Past Sins
Author: Thomas Grant Bruso
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: August 10, 2019
Genre(s): Gay mystery
Page Count: 110 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Officer Jack Ballinger receives a phone call from the chief of police in the early morning hours regarding a dead body at an apartment building in a quiet neighborhood in the small upstate New York town of Black Falls. A female student lies in a pentagram outlined in her own blood, clutching a rosary. Ballinger and his former partner Officer Cory Ryan interview tenants in the building about the girl’s death, but are met with more questions than answers.

When another body is found in the same apartment building a few hours later, Jack knows something is wrong. As he ciphers through a patchwork of unexplainable clues, the investigation detours when Ryan disappears from the case and cannot be found.

With his future as an officer in question, will Ballinger be able to deal with the truth of these crimes once he dscovers everything he thought he knew was a lie?

I have to be honest when I say that I was disappointed in this read. From the description I was expecting a really good mystery/love story but that is just not how I felt this book played out. I honestly felt like this was a rushed job. Everything that happened in this book either felt the scenario was rushed or I felt like there was a lead up to something good only to be left wondering what the heck happened. Overall this could have been a good read but it was missing some major plot that left the book feeling as though it was unfinished or rushed.

Ballinger is a police detective. Overall he enjoys his job but he does question why he does this job sometimes. The night this book starts out, Ballinger is home and gets a call in the wee hours of the morning for a homicide. Not expecting to be called in, Ballinger has company over so he has to get them out before he can get to the scene. The guy that Ballinger picked up for a one night stand is a guy named Steve.

Steve is not happy about being kicked out so early in the morning. Especially since he felt the two of them had a real connection. But that is not what Ballinger felt. He made it very clear that it is nothing more then a hook up.

Once at the scene of the gruesome murder, Ballinger is left with more questions than answers. The fact that his ex-partner is on the scene as well does not make the situation any less tense either. When Ballinger is given the go ahead to head back home, he gets the feeling of being watched even though no one is around. When he gets to his car, he finds a note for him saying “I miss you.”

Ballinger automatically thinks Steve is the one who left the note for him. But before he can get in contact with him, his ex-boyfriend, Sheridan, shows up out of the blue. With Sheridan showing up, nothing good could happen.

So now Ballinger has a possible more than a one night stand to deal with, a murder, and an ex-boy friend. How will he handle all the unknowns being thrown his way? Will he be able to solve the murder before another one happens? Is Steve actually more then a one night stand? What does Sheridan really want?

Most or I should say some of these questions will be answered when you read the book. As for the others, well let’s just say I would file those questions under, never really got the answers. This was an okay read but definitely could have been a lot better. It had potential but instead I felt this was a rushed book instead of adding in the information that could have made this an incredible read.

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Galley copy of Past Sins provided by JMS Books in exchange of an honest review.


Hello, I am an avid reader of male/male books. I do not have a favorite genre when it comes to male/male books because I love all of them from romance, dark reads, paranormal, shifter, threesome, whatever I see that catches my eye at the time. I read books about rock stars, CEOs, military, cops, and just the original plain old good boy types of books. Basically when it comes to a book, I read whatever I am in the mood for at the time. So my tastes varies from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour.