Don’t Let Go by Harper Fox ~ Beverley and Ulysses Buddy Review

Ulysses and I both have Harper Fox as auto reads, so when she published her third ‘Tyack and Frayne Mystery’, rather than fisticuffs, we decided to review it together.image

Title: Don’t Let Go
Author: Harper Fox
Publisher: Fox Tales Publishing
Our Rating 5 of 5* Ulysses and 5 of 5* Beverley

Blurb

What’s haunting Lee Tyack? He’s moved in with Gideon Frayne, and they’re both loving their new lives. But the shadow is still there – a voice from hell that torments clairvoyant Lee, and which even the pragmatic copper Gideon can hear.

Gideon’s determined to protect his lover. But after a serious injury on duty, Gideon finds out the hard way that he needs protection too. His job’s on the line and he’s scared. Worst of all, he thinks he knows who that voice belongs to – and he can’t stop Lee from heading off to confront this most terrifying ghost from his past.

When the full spring moon rises over Cornwall’s rugged coast, and the veil between the worlds grows thin, Tyack and Frayne must join forces to solve a decades-old mystery that still has the power to tear their world apart.

Ulysses View
In book three of what I now think of as her Cornwall series, Ms. Fox has yet again given her devoted readers what they want. Gideon Frayne, big gentle-hearted copper from the village of Dark, and Lee Tyack, his psychic lover, are living together in a cozy old flat and exploring life as an established couple. Gideon’s once estranged family is back in his life, and in book three we are introduced to Lee’s family.

Well, that sounds dull, doesn’t it?

But, the joy of Harper Fox is that it isn’t, not remotely. A lot happens in this book, both in Gideon’s life as a small-town policeman and in Lee’s career as someone who can see beyond this world and into the next.

The central focus throughout remains this relationship, the evolving love of these two men for each other, and that sense of wide-eyed wonder they have at the idea of their love. Fox explores that relationship in the way she does best, by posing constant challenges to it and forcing her protagonists to deal with consequences of their own and other’s actions, past and present. Gideon has to deal with criminals; Lee has to deal with ghosts.

Sometimes the two overlap.

Fox’s beautiful writing (always perfectly edited) draws the reader into the world of Cornwall—the physical landscape, the weather, the seasonal shifts, and the sense of the people and the community. She not only brings it alive, but makes the reader part of it, so that one is always hovering on the edge of the action and silently participating in the conversations.

Fox creates characters so palpably real, with all their human flaws and fragility, that they become friends; folks we want to spend time with and get to know better. One of the many little joys of this volume is Gideon’s decade-older brother Ezekiel, a hawk-faced reminder of their father, the late pastor Frayne. With a gentle touch, Fox strips away stereotypes and the brothers’ own emotional defenses, unearthing a deep yearning for fraternal love long buried in the debris of two emotionally stunted childhoods.

And we learn, at last, Lee’s back story, the small-town saga of the Tyacks. Along with Gideon, we gradually understand who Lee is and, more importantly, why he is.

The beginning of understanding comes, strangely enough, in a dream in which Gideon and Lee meet as little boys, hiding under a bed from a monster. In that dream Lee takes Gideon’s hand and tells him, “Don’t let go.” In that simple moment, taken as the title of the book, the magic of a gifted author is loosed in all its touching, intimate splendor.

Harper Fox is always thanking Josh Lanyon as her guide and mentor. Here is one case, I think, of the student catching up with the teacher.

This book would be a perfectly fine way to end the Tyack and Frayne series. Whether Fox chooses to take them further or leave them here makes no difference. They have been realized in full, and all of us can be grateful.

Beverley’s View

Above, Ulysses has revealed many of my thoughts in his eloquent manner but I shall try to add a few observations of my own. We both admire Harper Fox for many of the same reasons, for me I would add her simple effective prose as a remarkable feature of her novels and novellas. The language is used in a deft and sophisticated way that enlightens the reader and entertains but never patronises or confuses. Her knowledge of her subject when writing is exemplary and the Cornishness, of these Mysteries, is added to in every volume right down to examples of the minority Cornish language and descriptions of ancient monuments. In this episode a ‘Fougou’ provides a suitably haunting location for a resolution between Lee’s beloved deceased Father and the masked monster, which has been haunting Gideon and Lee.

Whilst, novice driver, Lee drives the injured Gideon to the site of the ‘fougou’, Gideon has an opportunity to admire the scenery the way a driver, who is seldom passenger, does. This allows Harper Fox’s skill for description and love of the environment to shine through, as Gideon’s thoughts provide a description of St Michael’s Mount,

…the island was afloat today in particular splendour, foundations invisible in blazing sea light…

Harper adds her twist by allowing ‘Lee’ to see this view,

…I saw it through your eyes. I hope you don’t mind…
I don’t mind. Did I see it nicely? Incredible. Stunning.

The descriptions of the Cornish scenery and Lee’s psychic additions to their lives, envelope Gideon and Lee’s relationship giving it an additional intimacy. Harper’s environmental descriptions can also guide the reader adding a chill or dreamlike quality to any location as required,

…the Penwith stone-circle country, where moorlands dreamed in the sun and kept secrets entrusted to them thousands of years before.

Ulysses described the reason for the title and I would add that it could apply to many relationships in this episode and even Gideon’s devotion to the police force. The poignancy of the title best sits with the little boys hiding from a monster, where one protects the other while he grounds him to this earthly realm. It’s hard not to sound poetic when describing Harper’s work and if our reviews are a little elusive, it is that we don’t wish to ruin your enjoyment with ‘spoilers’.

The overriding storyline is the growing relationship between Gideon and Lee, the romance and any sex scenes are sensual and beautiful,

…Growing daylight shone through a latticework of raindrops on the glass, Gideon wished the softly breathing silence could go on forever…

As Ulysses mentioned this episode would be a wonderful way to end this series, although we always wish for more. Gideon’s words at the end sum up their love story,

…I’m not sure you’ll ever have an ordinary life, love- not with your gifts…But whatever sort of life it is – God, yes. Please come home and have it with me.

Buy Links
Amazon Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Let-Tyack-Frayne-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00IEO2ISG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392280757&sr=8-1&keywords=%22don%27t+let+go%22+harper+fox

We would like to thank Harper Fox for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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