I'm on a little bit of an Adrien English kick at the moment, as you can probably tell from the sidebar (currently reading Book 2) :)
This is the first in the series and introduces us to Adrien English bookseller and author, who, following the murder of his friend and employee finds he may be next on the killer's list. Subsequent events bring suspicious cop Jake Riordan into his world. And so begins their on again, off again, never actually started relationship. One of the best character dynamics I've read in a long while.
"I re-revised my original opinion. Riordan was indeed an asshole."Catching up with Adrien is something of a comfort read, even though he's usually up to his ears in murder. He's witty, sarcastic and self-depracating, one of my favourite characters. And the fact is, there is an almost palpable chemistry between Jake and Adrien from their first meeting, even though very little happens between them in this book you are aware of the potential.
"You seem obsessed with my sexuality, Detective."The focus in this book is very much on Adrien and the mystery of who killed Robert and why. This gives us the chance to get to know Adrien as a character, the way he thinks, his quirks, his family and his problems.
Something dark and shadowy slid across his eyes. I decided I didn't want to piss him off too much.
It's not just Adrien and Jake though, the other secondary characters in the story are equally well written. I particularly like Angus, Adrien's strange new assistant at the book shop.
If I had any complaints at all it would be that at just over 200 pages the story is over far too quickly, but perhaps it is better to be left wanting more?
You may wonder given that I like the series and the characters so much why I've only given this book a B+. It's actually very difficult for me to judge this book on its own without thinking of the other books in the series - perhaps I should have written reviews after each book. Too late now though. As such it is possible I'm being overly harsh in wanting to be fair.
You have to like a first person protagonist, or at least want to know more about them and their world. I love reading about Adrien and can't wait to read the next book in the series. Hopefully there will be many more books to come. :)