Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Full Nelson: Book One
Detective Chris Nelson and his husband Ethan are about to go on a weekend getaway to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Instead, a case comes in for Chris. The brutally murdered body of a swim coach at the local military academy was found in the pool. Seventeen-year-old cadet Alex has already confessed. It looks like an open and shut case.
However, when Chris interviews Alex and reviews the forensics, he becomes convinced Alex is innocent. Searching for the truth behind the actual murderer and why Alex would take the fall, Chris follows a trail through a series of students. He discovers they all experienced sexual abuse at the hands of the murdered swim coach. Digging deep, Chris finds further links between the school administration and the district attorney’s office covering up the allegations. When he finally solves the case, it will blow the conspiracy wide open.
Some books blow me away. That could be a good thing or a WTF? thing. However, most books I read and review fall into the middle somewhere, neither epically good or horrendously bad. Those are the 3 and 4 star range books, and they are the hardest to review. Secrets by Jeff Erno falls into this category for me.
Secrets is not a romance. So if you are looking for a romance, look elsewhere. It is a mystery, wrapped up in a scandal, and tied with a politics bow. The main character of this tale is Chris Nelson, an out an proud detective with a flamboyant and loving husband of three years. They get up to some interested antics in the “bedroom”, but those scenes didn’t add anything to the story for me. I am not entirely sure why they were included, to be honest, as they seemed to stall the story rather than move it forward.
The mystery surrounds the murder of the swim coach at an all male military academy. It is well-done, if not a bit transparent and trite. The prime suspect is a student, and from the beginning, you know there is more to the story. Everyone is against Chris trying to find out exactly what happened, and he is the only good guy in the investigation. Or at least that is how it is portrayed, because no one had any depth. In short, he is surrounded by idiots and caricatures. Not that he doesn’t have his own idiot moments, like his refusal to trust his new partner.
I could probably go into more depth in this review, but I will refrain. Instead I will simply say that I do not regret reading this book, and I will likely be continuing the series in the future, but it didn’t blow me away, either.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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,
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