Sunday 8 February 2009

A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon

The second Adrien English mystery and I think possibly my favourite in the series so far. So be warned this review may gush. A Dangerous Thing takes place a couple of months after Fatal Shadows.

Adrien is suffering from writer's block and frustrated by his relationship (or lack of relationship) with Jake Riordan he travels to his ranch in California to clear his head. Unfortunately life is never simple for Adrien and on his arrival he finds a dead body in his drive. A body which disappears. When events take a violent turn it will be to Jake that Adrien turns for help.

I think the reason I like this series so much is because of the character of Adrien. I love his inner voice that we as readers get to hear, I love his snarky outer voice (outer voice? lol) There's something about him that just makes you root for him. He is by no means a saint, but he is very human and very real and that is what makes him so appealing. I love the way Josh Lanyon can just put you (as the reader) in the moment with the characters. And I really enjoy the situations he gets his characters into. Jake's reaction to Kevin is priceless.

Maybe this book is my favourite (so far) because the relationship between Jake and Adrien (eventually) warms here. They are away from the constraints of their 'real' lives and are free to just be Jake and Adrien.
"I seem to remember you saying once that a good detective isn't afraid to use his imagination."
"Do you take notes on everything I say?"
I could quote and quote the banter between them in this book - especially their 'this is muscle not fat' conversation, which is an absolute joy to read.

We get to know Jake much better in this book and see that beneath his assured exterior he has some issues, not just with his sexuality but also with getting older. His life has not turned out how he expected. He can't make himself fit with what he thinks he needs, but it doesn't stop him trying. What's very interesting though - for those people who don't like Jake - is to note that he never lies to Adrien. He doesn't lead him on with false promises, he tells Adrien exactly how it is. And Adrien knows who Jake is:
...a homosexual cop buried so deep in the closet he didn't know where to look for himself.
But sometimes it's easy to forget when you find yourself falling.

Lol - and there's also a mystery to solve.

This series always leaves me wanting more, and I have book three ready to go. Only one more book left after that though. At one point in A Dangerous Thing Adrien says
I'm a thirty-something gay man with a dodgy heart. I sell books for a living. Who wants to read about that?
Hopefully more Adrien English books will be coming our way soon.


Mary M. said...

Nice review :). I love your analysis of Jack. But if you liked the first two books, I can't wait to hear your opinion about books 3 & 4 - especially Death of A Pirate King. On a scale of 10, I'd have given it a 12 :-DD

LesleyW said...

Mary - A 12! You've got me really looking forward to writing my review of that one.

Mary M. said...

To put it very simply, DOAPK was the bestest. In the first 3 books emphasis was on the mystery and the romance (maybe I should sayhe relationship instead) sort of happened on the side. But in book 4, they were on equal footing, the romance/relationship aspect coming across with much more force, without detracting from the mystery that was my favorite to date. A great work from Josh.

Jenre said...

I can't wait to hear your opinion of Jake after book 3. That's when everyone starts to take sides!

LesleyW said...

Jenre - I have book 3 ready to go, probably going to read it after my February TBR book if I don't read the Ghost Wore Yellow Socks first.