Tuesday 30 November 2010

DIK Challenge Review, M/M Challenge Review, The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

This is the third book in the Adrien English series and is my DIK pick for November (chosen by JesseWave and Lisabea). In this installment Adrien must contend with a mysterious Satanic cult who have their hooks into his bookstore assistant Angus. And his relationship with cop Jake Riordan is once more on the rocks. On a more positive note, Christmas is coming (so it's kind of an appropriate book for the time of year), his mother is getting married again and he's gaining three stepsisters. Life is never boring for Adrien.

I really like the Adrien English mysteries but this is not my favourite of the series so far - that's number two. Maybe it's the lack of Jake (please don't gang up on me, any Jake haters out there).

Whilst I found the mystery interesting, what I liked most about the story is how Adrien is thrust into his new family dynamic. He's now got three stepsisters who are something of a (telepathic) force of nature. Adrien is quietly overwhelmed. He's suffering through family get-together's and Christmas day with them, having to make the awkward transition from only child to sibling. They just won't take no for an answer.

Meanwhile his relationship with Jake slowly disintegrates, which is quite painful to read about. It has an almost unstoppable quality. There are little signs, little niggles leading up to the inevitable conclusion. The strain of being out whilst Jake is firmly in the closet.
...he asked, "What did you tell them?
"I told them we were friends. I lied. That's what you want, right?"
It's a book where things fall apart, whilst other things come together. Very good subjects for a middle book to tackle.

The main thing that keeps me reading this series is Adrien, possibly one of my favourite characters. He's sarcastic, speaks when he shouldn't, is vulnerable yet stands up for himself.
..."I'm not involved in a serious monogamous relationship."
I was, but it was apparently a solo effort.
He has a way of putting things, that cuts straight to the heart of them.

This is one series that I'm not waiting until next year to finish. DIK Challenge book for December will be another Adrien English mystery. :)


Jenre said...

Great review, Lesley. I have to admit that this book, along with the next - Death of a Pirate King - are my favourites of this series, precisely for the reasons you have given here. This book is a turning point for Adrien where he has to face up to many things he was trying to avoid leading to the inevitable crash - and it's in the next book where we turn a corner and see Adrien begin to build on his experiences from this book. Great stuff!

You make me want to go back for a re-read. If only I had the time :).

LesleyW said...

Jenre - I am very much looking forward to reading and reviewing DoaPK. I must admit to having had a sneaky look already.