A BJ Review: The Mermaid Murders (The Art of Murder #1) by Josh Lanyon

Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

The Mermaid MurdersSpecial Agent Jason West is seconded from the FBI Art Crime Team to temporarily partner with disgraced, legendary “manhunter” Sam Kennedy when it appears that Kennedy’s most famous case, the capture and conviction of a serial killer known as The Huntsman, may actually have been a disastrous failure.

For The Huntsman is still out there…and the killing has begun again.

Lanyon’s writing was a excellent as ever, dragging me into plot, relationship and setting in no time flat. The mystery in this one was outstanding, and kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. The chemistry between the two guys also grabbed me by the throat early on. The snappy pace of the mystery and the slower pace of the attraction worked perfectly together and kept me completely enthralled.

Some of the things I enjoyed about this story included the vividly drawn small town setting and its population of characters. The super creepy Rexford ghost town. The spooky mystery woven with elements of not-quite paranormal, with psychos of various types side by side with everyday normal, not evil folks who just make mistakes. The whole atmosphere of the book was so rich and palpable that it gave me that delightfully creepy, unsettled feeling that a few of my favorite movies do. And then there’s not-all-that-handsome, but big, strong, forceful, smart, legend Sam Kennedy who starts out seeming like a total asshat but slowly reveals an absolutely irresistible vulnerable side beneath the gruff exterior. Yum with a cherry on top! Jason is a perfect match for him, very distinct, struggling with his recent past, described as a “pretty boy,” but tough in his own right.

While I adored the events at the end, it had me groaning and turning the page in hopes that it wasn’t really the end. Not a fade to black, not right then! I wanted more. And no more for over a year according to the afterward notation–*heavy sigh* Darn. Josh Lanyon has a bunch of series going right now and, unlike many m/m writers who keep going when they’re on a roll, she keep starting more new one to tantalize us with rather than finishing up the existing ones.

I do love the little tie ins we find in many of them. This one is a bit related to Winter Kill, well, actually according to the afterward, book two will cover that timeframe. I am eager to read on. But hate yet another long wait ahead… hence, the lack of a perfect five stars.

Although I like the guy’s eyes, the cover isn’t a particular favorite since to me it doesn’t convey much of anything about the story.

Sales Links:  ARe | Amazon 

Book Details:

Published February 29th 2016 by Smashwords Edition

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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