White Bone, Red Sky
Title : White Bone, Red Sky
Series : Theo Bourne, Book 3
Author : Evelyn Shepherd
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal
Length : 221 pages (e-book)
Published : July 9, 2013
Rating : ★★1/2
Theo and Carlos are called out of vacation when a madman called the Bogeyman begins to butcher small children. It’s a race against more than the clock as a third victim is abducted. The FBI has stepped in to put an end to the terror that has seized Columbus, but with very few clues to go on, Theo and Carlos are left scrambling for answers. Rhett Bishop just might be the help they’ve been looking for, but it comes with a price – one Theo isn’t sure is worth paying.
The deeper they delve into the bloody massacre rocking Columbus, the more things spin out of control. Theo struggles with his own crippling fears and tries to build the courage to ask Carlos one of the most important questions of his life. But things can never go easy for the two detectives, and as they sort through their case, Carlos begins a battle of his own. A contender has stepped up to take Carlos’s place as Alpha of the local werecoyote pack. If Carlos isn’t careful, he may lose more than his position as pack leader.
In the third installment of the Theo Bourne mysteries, White Bone,Red Sky, Theo and Carlos are two years into their relationship and have just returned from a vacation in Madrid. While still at the airport the Chief calls them to a crime scene. A young girl was found dead with her hands severed. Previously, a young boy had been found with his legs severed at the knees. PTF gets the case because the young girl was a Phantom. While dealing with this case Theo is also trying to figure out how to ask Carlos to marry him. Theo is terrified Carlos is going to say no. Because a horrible case with virtually no leads isn’t bad enough, Carlos is dealing with a threat to his pack from within. He is being challenged by Casper for the role of Alpha. Theo wants to help him but can’t. Theo isn’t Alpha. That it’s Carlos’ job to deal with this is driving him crazy. Enter the feds to co-opt the case and Theo’s ex, Rhett. Both are there because of the killer the press has dubbed “The Bogeyman.” Rhett confirms what Theo suspected. The Bogeyman is a very powerful phantom. His name is Sal Morelli. What Theo didn’t suspect was Sal Morelli’s past as an FBI agent. Theo also didn’t expect to be over his hatred of Rhett.
Frustratingly, Theo and Carlos know they’re looking for Sal Morelli but still can’t find him. Another child goes missing. It’s frighteningly close to home as it’s a friend of Carlos’ niece, Selena. While Carlos leaves home to pick up some beer Theo is attacked, inside their home, by one of the wolves in league with Casper. Theo makes some threats of his own. Once that gets back to Carlos it goes over about as well as a lead balloon. On top of this Theo learns more about being a phantom, possible phantom powers, and the Council that rules over the phantoms from Rhett. Rhett is actually a pretty good guy and can see Theo is happy. He warns Theo to stay away and forget what he has learned unless he wants to find himself sucked into a world he won’t be able to easily escape. The call comes that Selena has been kidnapped. Carlos is taken off the case, Theo finds the identity of the kidnapper but may be too late to do anything as he gets taken himself. It’s up to Carlos to rescue him. Then, the problem of Sal Morelli has to be solved.
I’m not going to be around the bush, I had some issues with this book. I found the use of similes to be excessive. I find it hard to believe the Theo to which we’re introduced in the first book, the Theo who was a grouchy misanthrope and couldn’t be bothered by hysterical people, has become so poetic in his thoughts. There was a lot I found to be credible in Theo’s behavior, especially given he’s had two years of a stable and loving relationship in which to grow and feel safe. Poetry in thought wasn’t credible to me. On top of it there were some instances of bad phrases or wrong word choices. There was repetitious use of the word coo. Even a child’s giggle was described as a coo. I do not think that word means what you think it means. I would also encourage any author to study the dentition of the real animal of which they’ve created a were counterpart. Coyotes have four canines and one row of teeth per jaw bone.
There were a lot of things I think this book did right. I was really happy with the relationship aspects of this book. Theo was at the right place to both let go of his anger at Rhett and move on to a marriage with Carlos. Theo’s need to butt into pack politics and protect Carlos was not only believable, but perfectly in keeping with the grouch he was in the first book. Theo’s contentious relationship with FBI Agent Rose was also perfectly in keeping with Theo’s nastier side. He really didn’t like the FBI muscling in on his territory. I liked the continuation of Theo and Carlos having to deal with two separate issues that threaten both them as a couple and Columbus or the world. Unfortunately, I thought the less appealing aspects of the book overtook the parts I did like. The copy I had also had some formatting errors. Every few pages random letters would appear inside other words. In some instances parts of sentences seemed to be missing. In an odd bit of coincidental serendipity, the letters WTF appeared in the middle of one word. I had to agree.
Rated 2.5 stars by Faye