by Elle Keaton
Michael Pauley (Narrator) ,
The Blurb: Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life…although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home—a place he knows he doesn’t belong.
Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly…all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.
Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.
Push apart, pull together, yes or no… The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?
MMy Thoughts and Review:
Matt and Niall
A murder, conspiracy theorists stirring their brew, while local live stock are attacked by what some say is a mad wolf. With loads of speculation tossed around this small Pacific Northwest coastal community, Sheriff Matt Dempsey wonders if everyone has gone crazy, or if maybe the universe is out to get him. He questions the latter especially after discovering a crush from his past, one who was bullied and never quite fit in, and the town’s dark horse, Niall Hamarsson has returned to the island.
This was really good, and an excellent series starter. It is a full on murder mystery/ thriller with the two MCs hammering all their adolescent kinks, and laying all their cards on the table while attempting to keep the town from imploding.
The town is a little like Twin Peaks meets Fargo, to me. There are plenty of quirky and eccentric townsfolk, some more “backwater” than others. Even though the place is hip and cool with its new green space laws and new younger people moving there making the commute by ferry to the mainland, it still has a lost in time feel to it. Like an amusement park left barren.
The world Keaton created was great, and the story has me hooked and ready for more. So many secrets, and skeletons reside in the closets of this town. I’m sure a few of those skeletons will be found by Niall and Matt before the series ends.
If murder mysteries and characters just strange and odd enough to remind you of people you know, light your fire, this book is the perfect tinder for you.
Michael Pauley narrated it, and knocked it out of the park! I hope he is signed on for the rest of the series. That voice, y’all…**sigh💕
**Warnings: mentions of past child abuse/ neglect/ abandonment, drug/ alcohol use, and of course…murder.
This is also a slow-burn HFN, as I imagine we will see the MCs relationship grow into something in the coming books.
The Story: 4 🌟
The Narration: 4.50 🌟
Sharonica Stars: 4.25 ✨✨✨✨•✨
I received a complimentary copy of this Audio book in exchange for an honest review.⛄