Review: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3)The Boy with the Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Move over Mrs. Fletcher

Mrs. Jessica Fletcher, Kit is not.  In the third in the series, trouble finds Kit again and it tests his relationship with J.X.  Full disclosure.  I've not read the first two books.  This book was still fine to read without reading the first two.

Christopher Holmes aka Kit is questioning his decision to move with his lover J.X.  Perhaps it is because I didn't read the first two books which makes me not like him at all.  He is self-centered, bitter and a terrible boyfriend.  I honestly felt bad for J.X. and wished he would find a new boyfriend.  Kit is cruel and uses words as daggers to slice J.X.'s heart open.  It's painful to watch.

The sexual chemistry between Kit and J.X. is hot and cold similar to how Kit treats J.X.  Still, it's interesting to see how a conflicted character can be bribed with good sex and dirty talk.   This book is nicely erotic and the descriptions are vivid and beautiful.  I do like the way Mr. Lanyon uses his words - elegant.  After reading the following, I feel energized!

"I got so lost in it, in the rhythm of it, in J.X.’s reactions to it, my own orgasm seemed to, well, come out of nowhere. Like a cloudburst. That buzz of electricity, the crackle of lightning, the roll of thunder and suddenly the whole sky opening up, stars, planets, suns and moons yanked from their moorings, everything tearing loose and spilling out of the heavens in a hot, wet flood. (pg. 111)

The mystery did keep me guessing and wondering what else would happen.  Mr. Lanyon does a nice job of building up the suspense, providing clues, throwing in red herrings and then bringing a satisfying ending. What I really enjoyed about this book is Mr. Lanyon's writing style.  The dialog is witty and sharp.  Mr. Lanyon's command of language is better than most authors I've read.  It gives the book a more polished feeling and is stimulating for me.  It also makes me think.  I like when books prompts me to ponder points made. 

“You know how people get into trouble, Kit?” J.X. asked.

It was rhetorical. We’d had this discussion before in the context of writing realistic crime fiction, but I answered anyway.  “They ignore their instincts.”

“Correct. When the average citizen is confronted with a dangerous situation, he ignores the instinct telling him to flee or fight. He doesn’t want to overreact and look foolish or make a scene and be embarrassed or be rude. He takes too long to process what’s happening. The predator already has a plan. The victim is running to catch up from the very beginning.” (pg. 116)

This made me stop and think.  In some ways this is clear as a bell and in other ways, I feel it is profound and not everyone realizes this point.  They need to be told.  It also makes me wonder if people consider me a predator.  Overall, this is a smooth and enjoyable read.  This mystery is a series I recommend read in chronological order.  It's recommended for m/m reader who enjoy anti-heroes who are too smart for their own good.

* Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

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