Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
When Judge Andrew Phillips’s life is threatened by a criminal who escaped while being transported to prison, Sheriff’s Deputy Clay Brown steps up to protect Andrew 24/7 and each man learns the other is not who he thought he was. Neither man previously thought highly of the other, having been across the bench in the courtroom many times through the years. Andrew is not the cold hard persona he presents. And Clay is more than the stern-faced deputy with no personality Andrew perceived he was.
Harper, the criminal who escaped, is Clay’s cousin, not a close connection, but nevertheless, Clay has some insight into their family situation that helps with the case. In the meantime, just as Andrew finds his house has been ransacked by Harper, he receives a call telling him his sister’s depression is so severe she’s been hospitalized, and she’s named him guardian of her children. Though upset about his own situation, he rushes to her side.
And there is the basis for most of the story. As the men try to hide from Harper and both attempt to comfort the children, they stay with Clay, and both men discover they have feelings for one another. The ups and downs and dramatic turns in the story are mostly centered around Harper and his threatening texts to Andrew and Clay’s attempts to track him down. There is a small overlap with a few characters from the Carlisle Cops series as Clay works with Red and Carter and Andrew’s niece and nephew play with Carter and Donald’s little boy. I always enjoy seeing where other characters are in their lives when some time has passed.
One of the major issues that troubled me, however, is that Andrew revealed to Clay that he’d seen Harper in a park known to be a gay men’s hookup area prior to the trial, but he didn’t recuse himself from being judge. He stressed that he maintained impartiality but it seems to me that would have been a violation of ethics. The explanation didn’t sit well with me, especially since the convict was convinced Andrew had treated him poorly because of seeing him at the park.
The ending was as sweet as one would expect from an Andrew Grey story and all worked out well. Narrator Greg Tremblay was as outstanding as usual and gave me several lovely hours of listening pleasure. He doesn’t just read a story—he lives the story, adding drama and humor to the vocalizations where indicated, making his narration top notch.
The cover by Kanaka features a muscular man wearing a flak jacket with the word police emblazoned at the top. It fits the story nicely.
Listening length: 6 hours and 40 minutes
Audiobook, 7 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 10th 2018)
Original Title Fire and Granite
Edition Language English
Series Carlisle Deputies #2