LA Heat by P.A. Brown

LA HEAT by PA Brown

Blurb:

In-the-closet detective, David Eric Laine has kept his desires secret. Until he meets Christopher Bellamere, proud and openly gay. When a series of horrific torture/murders of gay men leads the police to Chris David is torn between his attraction for the most beautiful man he’s ever met and his fears that he’s a vicious killer.

 

Review:

A classic by-the-book cop falling for the chief suspect theme story that shines in the practical aspects but falls a little flat in the emotion. Coming in at almost 400 pages, this may seem a bit of a daunting book but don’t let that turn you away as the dialogue is quick and the book reads surprisingly fast. The mystery is absorbing and while not especially complex with the clues are easily laid out, the story is well written and enthralling, keeping you reading long after the outcome may be obvious. Although the writing tends to be dry and flat with a marked lack of vitality to the characters and actions, the story is nonetheless entertaining. The mystery was well crafted from the gruesome murders to the suspected killers and enough clues to guess the outcome but a few twists thrown in to keep you wondering.

David as a “straight laced” cop and not so straight as he’s deeply in the closet is a classic stereotype but he is well crafted and fully three-dimensional. His dogged pursuit of Chris first as a suspect and then as an object of desire highlights his steadfast and directed personality. His hints of personality come from his love of restoring old objects from cars to phonographs. He is the classic blue collar, no frills man afraid of living openly as a gay man under the scorn of his blue brethren. His unwilling desire for Chris cause him quite a few problems from his own internal struggles to potential problems with his career, but each of these is presented as part of a complex but realistic setting.

Polar opposite to David is Chris, the almost flamboyantly gay, wealthy younger man that parties entirely too much and sleeps around with little care. He’s openly gay and has a good job that allows him to work hard and play hard. The character of Chris is also a stereotype as the author goes too far in depicting the opposite personalities of David and Chris. Chris’ partying behavior and sleeping around is shown as typical of the bar scene, which may be true, but ran a little long and empty. As conscientious as Chris is shown at his job, his nightly partying, excessive drinking and random sex are at odds with the initial observations of a workaholic. Later actions are also contradictory as if the author can’t quite decide exactly how she wants Chris to be portrayed. However, he was still a likable character and very interesting to read.

The main romance between David and Chris was nice to read but definitely a backseat to the mystery. Part of this is due to the dry telling which lacks raw emotion and urgency within the relationship, more so giving a languid and easy feel to what can only be a partnership potentially fraught with problems. However, there is very little angst between the men and considering the opposite standpoints, they are accepting and easy going of their circumstances. This lack of drama blends well with the procedural aspects of the mystery, focusing on the day-to-day details of an investigation without getting too dull or monotonous.

The actual mystery was the strength of the book with solid writing, clever crafting and a clear outcome that could be guessed or could be a surprise. The resolution is neither over the top or outlandish, satisfying with its connection through diligent police work and a realistic aspect that shows the less exciting elements of an investigation but never getting dull. The mystery is the majority of the story, with the romance not really even heating up until almost 200 pages into the book, so be sure to want to absorb yourself in the mystery aspect first and foremost.

Overall this was an enjoyable story to read with some interesting characters and a good mystery. Although the story wasn’t heart pounding with racing action and drama filled pairing, you will likely enjoy the well-constructed world and characters that Brown has developed and be easily brought along for the ride.  Don’t let the length turn you away as the story reads fast and the interactions gripping from the beginning to the end. If you enjoy a well-written take on a classic mystery/cop theme, I easily recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.

 Get it HERE!

 


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