Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
Dorran finds a dead body in his new apartment building. Turns out the lead detective on the case is his ex-boyfriend Eli whom he hasn’t seen since high school, more than ten years ago. The dead guy turns out to be John, the person Dorran bought the apartment from. John’s uncle Francis had owned the apartment before he died–not too long ago either. As Dorran is cleaning out Francis’ belongings so he can move in, he starts to feel a kinship with Francis. Suddenly things are out of place and he feels like he’s being touched, but no one is there. Then, there are his neighbors, all gossips and in everyone’s business. While they may not tell the police investigating John’s death everything, they seem to want to tell Dorran. As Dorran gets dragged into the case through no fault of his own while trying to do the right thing, his own curiosity gets engaged. Eli warns him to stay out of it as it’s police business. They also have their own personal issues that need to be resolved if Eli is going to keep coming around.
This story has a lot going for it, but it didn’t quite come together for me. I felt removed from the characters and not emotionally invested in their second chance romance. There is some contradictory information as Dorran thinks about Eli and their history. The reader is told Dorran loved Eli, but his thoughts about the Eli he knew aren’t very flattering. The reader is also told Eli runs from confrontation and his problems. Yet Dorran is the one who left Eli because he wouldn’t come out. Eli keeps saying he forgives Dorran, but Eli is still bitter about this even though he admitted it was his own fault. Dorran is still beating himself up over his decision. I think this conflict as a plot point could have been better written. There is also some repetition.
The neighbors are all somewhat interesting. There could have been more done to make them be creepy, invasive, and meddling in a way the audience could treat them all with suspicion. They are all supposed to be suspects. There was a murder in the building, possibly two, and yet this is not atmospheric at all. The reader is told Dorran is upset at finding the body, having nightmares, and feels uncomfortable as the neighbors all want to talk about it. The guy is having stuff move around in his apartment! Yet, I didn’t feel that fear at all. In fact, he decides having a ghost is just fine and no big deal. I did guess who was responsible for John’s death, but the details of why are revealed only at the end. This story didn’t grab my attention or emotions as much as I had hoped it would.
The cover art is by Angela Waters. I’m not sure this conveys anything about the story. It has a noirish quality in the background and this is a who-done-it. This is not how I pictured these guys.
Sales Links: Amazon
ebook, 168 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by eXtasy Books Inc
ISBN 1487419724 (ISBN13: 9781487419721)
Series Lost in Translation #1