Title : High Concept
Author : Whitley Gray
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 329 pages (e-book)
Published : September 10, 2013
Rating : ★★★1/2
Denver homicide cop and shooting survivor Beck Stryker lives to solve the case that left him with PTSD, chronic pain, and killed his co-investigator four months previous. Now his career hinges on his ability to work with the man who shut down his advances two years ago.
After last parting ways with Beck, psychiatrist-turned-FBI profiler Zach Littman never anticipated seeing the detective again. Being sent to Denver to work on a series of killings that have continued after the only suspect died is bad enough. Discovering the detective in charge is Beck leaves Zach gritting his teeth and girding his loins.
The last thing either of them needs is romantic entanglement with a fellow investigator, but danger is a powerful aphrodisiac. The case heats up, and friction between them ignites a fire neither can ignore, first at work and then in the bedroom. As they zero in on the plot behind the murders, the crosshairs zero in on Beck and Zach.
I’m so torn on how I feel about this book. I liked most of it. There were things that were glaringly obvious in the book that honestly took away from the overall enjoyment. I prefer subtle foreshadowing and figuring out the bad guy by myself. The story is told from multiple POVs, including the bad guys. Who was a bit OTT IMO. Basically, on one hand he’s trying to win an election, so he has to keep up appearances, on the other hand he does some really impulsive and evil things that just didn’t fit. I guess you CAN make the case he was crazy.
I liked most of this book. The characters were likable with traumatic pasts. Beck recently lost his partner to a fatal gunshot wound. His ex-lover, whom he works with, left him because he’s too in closet to spend time with a recuperating Beck, and people might suspect something. He’s just getting back on active duty when FBI profiler, Zach, is assigned to his case. The two shared a hot kiss years back which apparently creates some serious animosity between the guys.
Zach has his own issues to deal with. A serial killer is obsessed with him and attacked him during an interview, leaving him in the hospital. His ex is an addict and is still in love with Zach. Zach cares for him but there’s nothing there for him anymore. I often felt bad for his ex. He’s sent on another assignment and partnered up with Beck. Zach remembers the kiss they shared a two years before but then he was with Dean, the ex. There’s nothing stopping him now except some kind of don’t screw your coworkers oath. That doesn’t last and they give into their lust. Both guys are closeted and hiding things. Their attraction is intense and feelings are involved almost from the start. Neither wants to ruin what’s going on with bringing their pasts into it just yet. Then there’s the murders they’re trying to solve.
Pretty good murder mystery. Nice tension between the MCs. So, I should have loved it but I can’t say I did. At times I found it too descriptive and it really slowed the pacing of the story. I felt there were things thrown out there at times that were just never followed up on. For example, the janitor, what was the point of that? We knew something was wrong and so did both MCs but it was just never followed up on. The dirty warden. The intruder at Beck’s place. Seemed like there were just too many ideas floating around and they all made it in the book. But for me the book went downhill at Zach’s blow up. Zach’s frustrations are understandable but rash and that’s what it felt like to me. After that I just never really got back into it. Manufactured drama rarely works for me. Some people love it.
I do feel like the author has some good potential. It’s a first work and until the end would have given it 4 stars. The tension between the MCs was pretty good. I liked them dancing around their attraction and the hot sex that followed. They were also very sweet in regards to their wanting to be together as much as possible while not working on the case. Basically there was just so much going on it was hard to focus on the romantic storyline. I could have done without about 20% of the book. I’ve read some raving reviews of this book, so maybe it’s just me. It’s worth checking out. I did like it. Sadly it just had some glaring mistakes that seemed to overshadowed all the good stuff. 😦
Rated 3.5 stars by Whit