Rating: 4.75 stars rounded up to 5 out of 5
As a Metropolitan Police Officer Michael May has seen it all, including the worst people can do to each other, and it’s getting to him. When confronted by the monster who has tortured and murdered a number of young girls, Michael loses it and assaults him. The ramifications of an officer attacking “an alleged suspect” will be ignored only if Michael “retires”. It’s an act he agrees with even if it destroys a part of him.
The recent death of his brutal father gives Michael a place to disappear to, the small quaint town of Trowchester. He’s inherited his childhood home with all its damaging memories of his abusive father and frail mom, and the narrowboats moored at the shared dock behind the house. Beset by memories, afraid of his own rage, Michael is lost until a chance meeting with the town’s antique book seller changes everything.
Fintan Hulme is now an honest man. Five years ago that wasn’t the case. Then Finn was a happy high class London fence, specializing in rare books and object’s d’Art. But then everything changed and Finn turned his back on his old life and criminal associates to open a antique book shop in Trowchester where he became a model citizen.
Until the past finds him once more and embroils him in a crime with far reaching consequences.
For Finn, falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing, only he can’t seem to help himself. And Michael, unaware of Finn’s background, is just starting to trust his instincts and people once more.
When the past collides with the present, and criminals starting to appear around every corner, can an ex-cop and ex-con pull together to save not only their relationship but their lives as well?
Trowchester Blues by Alex Beecroft is such an amazing story. It hooked me in from the opening paragraphs and our heartbreaking introduction to burned out cop Michael May. He and his partner, Jenny Smith (another well done character), enter a basement that contains the mutilated corpse of a young girl. The descriptions are horrifying and the reactions of May and his partner human and unstandable. But for Michael May, its the final straw, the last act of a depraved monster that puts Michael’s rage at himself and society over the top. It’s impact is visceral, the memories of it on the reader and May lingers throughout the story.
We get May’s frustration and anger at his inability to keep something like this from happening as well as the possibility that the murderer will get off with a light sentence and do it again. But the years and Michael’s abusive past turns Michael into a vengeful attacker, something that no law enforcement agency can afford to have working for them. The scenes within the Metropoliton Police Station and its Captain give Michael an authentic background and an avenue for our empathy and feelings for this sad, lonely man. And the darkness follows May and the story as the location changes to the village of Trowchester.
This story has so many layers to it and all the characters you will meet. These are complicated people with varied pasts, intellect and skills. Michael, Finn, and all the rest lead lives that will fascinate, and compel you on through adventures, events both glorious and disastrous in nature. It’s sexy, and hot. Be prepared for a little kink but the reasoning and actions not only make sense but feel right for both men and their burgeoning relationship. It all works sublimely as a whole. Beecroft’s narrative is lively, magnetic in its ability to hold your attention, and gripping in its suspense and ability to surprise you. I hated to put this book down.
Confession time. I wanted Trowchester to be real even though I knew through the author’s notes it was fabricated for the story. Trowchester felt alive, its aged streets and canals so imaginatively described that I felt as though I could see them. And it was the perfect setting in which to meet Fintan Hulme, a beautifully realized former thief of intellectual and emotional depth. What a perfect character, not just in his personal qualities, the wonderful way in which the author constructed him. Fintan has such dimension, including his love of books. That is especially conveyed through the shop he owns and has lovingly decorated. It in his passionate tirade delivered to an unfortunate and all important book owner. Fintan is a puzzle, but one the reader will love to figure out. We take him to heart and fear for him when his past finds him again. And his matchup with a fireplug of an ex-cop who is his intellectual and emotional match is a true wonder.
I loved everything about this story, including learning about the narrowboats (more googling to my delight), and antique books. I enjoyed Beecroft’s creation of a village where the economical vicissitudes have wrought a revival that brings with it the world-weary sophisticates and gay tea shop owners but still has a dark side that exists along the docks. The suspense and pain of discovery, the desolate past that mixes with a hopeful but shaky present for all involved here. Even a “ghost” in need of help appears and grabs at our hearts. And I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was see the end of this story. I wanted Trowchester Blues to continue and enlarge, pulling in more of the characters we meet along the way to the resolution.
Lucky for us, we’re going to get it. Alex Beecroft is not done with Trowchester yet. Be still my heart. There is more to come. Alex Beecroft has at least 2 more stories planned for 2015 in the Trowchester series and I can’t wait. Until then, grab up this marvelous tale and make the acquaintance of two opposite yet equally compelling men and their journey towards love and a future together. It’s a book you won’t want to put down and one you will happily pick up again and again while waiting for the next in the series. It’s one of my highly recommended reads!
Cover Artist Lou Harper does an amazing job. It’s perfect.
ebook, 290 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
Books in the Trowchester series are:
- Trowchester Blues (Trowchester #1) to be published February 9th, 2015
- Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues #2) to be published April 6, 2015 by Riptide
- Blue Steel Chain (Trowchester Blues #3) to be published July 27, 2015 by Riptide