Monday, June 18, 2012
Here's my review for the Adrien English series, a wonderfully witty mystery series! Don't expect reviews every Monday, I can barely blog every month!
Adrien English Series
By Josh Lanyon
I'm going to try to review this without any spoilers. There is a chance I may slip up though, you have been warned! The first thing I have to say is that this series was completely engrossing. Lanyon has written a series that pulls you in and makes you care about his characters. Adrien is a wonderfully witty protagonist who has an uncanny ability to find himself in trouble. Through five original novels Adrien not only plays the amateur sleuth but also weathers through a shaky relationship with closted LAPD officer Jake Riordan.
Jake was not a character I liked. I'm the first to admit it. I did not root for him through pretty much all of the series. It wasn't until I was about 70% through The Dark Tide that I finally started praying he and Adrien wound up together. I found him selfish, cruel, egotistical and a complete asshole. I didn't agree with any of Jake's motives throughout the series. That's the beauty of it though. Lanyon created such a dynamic character that you could disagree with him as a person and still enjoy a character. It was realistic.
Adrien and Jake meet in the first novel Fatal Shadows when Adrien is suspected of murder. In order to absolve himself of the tragic murder of his best friend, Adrien begins to investigate. Fatal Shadows was a splendid beginning to a great series. You fall in love instantly with Adrien and his hermit persona. I could definitely relate to him. As a former bookseller myself, I was tickled by his bookstore and side-career as a writer. There are moments in my life where I think 'man, I'd love to own my own bookstore'.
By the second novel A Dangerous Thing we get to see Adrien's relationship with Jake develop. This is where I started to dislike Jake. The sex scenes are scorching and definitely made me squirm and all my fun bits perk to attention. Lanyon has a way of creating a mystery that slowly unveils its self. I didn't see the ending coming until it hit me. I tried to piece it together but all my theories got tossed out the proverbial e-reader.
To Hell You Say gave the series a bit of a paranormal twist when Adrien's employee Angus winds up getting in hot water with a Satanic cult. When Adrien is pulled into the mess, he must sort through the clues to not only prove Angus's innocence but save his own hide. To Hell You Say introduces Guy and is a pivotal turning point for Adrien and Jake's relationship. This was where I hated Jake the most. Guy was a wonderfully witty character who I so wanted Adrien to shag.
Death of a Pirate King is the fourth Adrien English novel. The name its self is amazing. Set two years ahead, Adrien is in a long term relationship with Guy. His book is being optioned for a movie but while at a lunch to discuss its possibilities one of the guests wind up brunching in the big cafe in the sky. Adrien finds himself once again on the receiving end of an investigation with now ex-boyfriend Lieutenant Jake Riordan. Feels reignite as Adrien struggles with his cold relationship with Guy and his suddenly burning memories of Jake. But when truths start to surface about their previous relationship, Adrien isn't sure his heart is strong enough to take Jake back. Hell it may not even be strong enough to keep him going, especially with his doctor petitioning for open heart surgery.
The series comes to a perfect conclusion in The Dark Tide. Recovering from surgery and on bed rest, Adrien is taking things slow. When a body is dug up from the renovating side of his bookstore Cloak and Dagger, Adrien turns to his on-again-off-again ex-cop boyfriend Jake for some help. Jake, recently off the force and now working as a PI, is more than willing to jump at the chance to be with Adrien. While they try to unravel the mystery of the skeleton in the stairwell they both struggle to figure out if they're strong enough to finally make it work. Adrien's ex-boyfriend Mel showing up doesn't help the situation.
The Dark Tide was a perfect end to the series. I wish there was more, but Lanyon found a good place to wrap it up. Adrien and Jake grow significantly in this novel and by the end of it the entire series is summed up. It has an old noir vibe. While the mystery is less sinister as the others, I was definitely kept guessing on why Jay Stevens had been shoved in Adrien's stairwell. Jake made a turn around and by the end of it I had fallen in love and was more than happy to see him and Adrien finally together.
If anyone is looking for a mystery that keeps you on your toes and has a unique charm to it, the Adrien English series is definitely the one for you. Each book (even with my disdain for Jake) received five stars and I give the entire series a five star review! Kudos to you Josh for creating a wonderful world. I only wish there was more of Adrien and Jake we could read, especially now that they have finally found their happily ever after!