Title: David Lloyd Investigations #1-4
Author: Liz Strange
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Missing Daughter, Shattered Family
When a brutal homophobic attack ended David Lloyd’s career as a police officer, his life was changed forever. Five years later David is running his own private detective agency, where a missing person’s case comes to his attention. Digging into the circumstances of her disappearance forces David to realize he has not dealt with what happened to him, and that he can no loner deal with his long-time partner’s fear of being honest about their relationship.
Solving the case might not only bring peace to a shattered family, but could finally put David’s own demons to rest.
A Fresh Set of Eyes
A mother turns to David to help free her son and another young man from prison, where they have spent the last ten years for a double murder many feel they did not commit. The police investigation was spotty, the evidence non-existent, and yet someone had to pay for the vicious assault on two young brothers. Never one to shy away from a tough situation David agrees to look into the case, despite the tense situation with his partner’s family and the physical and emotional needs of the former-prostitute he’s taken under his wing.
With so many lives on the line, David must find a way to help them all without hurting the most important person – himself.
Tracking down the whereabouts of a girl last seen on a cruise ship takes David Lloyd far from the streets of Toronto and thrusts him into the seedy world of human trafficking.
Last seen departing a cruise ship in Newport, Curacao, Piper Falco is never heard from again. Though no body was found it seemed likely the brilliant Canadian university student had met a violent end. Her father asks David to look into the case when the investigation by the local authorities, and even the RCMP and Interpol, turns cold. What David finds opens his eyes to a world far from his comfortable life in urban Toronto, a world where young girls are subjected to sexual degradation, and human lives are nothing more than currency.
Behind Closed Doors
Ivan Holmes’ life is picture perfect to the public eye, but behind closed doors lies a web of deceit and exploitation.
A former client comes to David asking for help in finding a valuable painting that went missing in the wake of a sensationalized murder investigation. On the surface there is no clear connection between the two events, but the deeper David digs the clearer it becomes that the victim was not the charitable, moral man he seemed . The case has ties to international trade, local government officials, and the small mining town of Flin Flon, Manitoba. Yet most surprising is the link to a piece of David’s past for which he has never been able to find closure.
I am reviewing the four books in the David Lloyd Investigations series Liz Strange in one go. I have much the same things to say about each book. The books in the series are as follows:
- Missing Daughter Shattered Family
- A Fresh Set of Eyes
- Destination Unknown
- Behind Closed Doors
Strange offered us well thought out and intricate mysteries in each installment. Each story was unique and address an important and somewhat dark concept with maturity, respect, and delicacy. Some readers may be sensitive to some of the themes uncovered throughout the investigations, but I hope that Strange’s responsible handling of the topics will alleviate your concerns. Also most of the crimes, and certainly the darkest of them, take place off page.
The characters are likable, David and Jamie in particular, but also Jenny, Rhea, and the cast of supporting characters. The overarching villain, James Black, was just the right end of evil. I like that there was a subtle arc linking the four stories without leaving the reader feeling like they were shorted at the end of any installment.
I want to take a minute to address the sex in these stories. It is such a hot button in this genre. Strange gave us a good mix of explicit and implicit heat. In the first installment, the relationship between David and Jamie needed to be established. As such, there is a little more heat in that installment. As the series progresses, as well as the relationship between Jamie and David, the explicit heat turns implicit. It is increasingly left to the reader’s imagination. You are given the heat, but if it isn’t integral to the story, it is handled as such.
I did have a few issues with the execution of these stories. One was at the control of the author. One is one the publisher.
First of all, the characters. As I said before, I loved the ones I was supposed to love. However, I did get a little bit mired in the sheer number of characters involved in the execution of the stories. I found myself having to stop and remember who was who on many occasions. It wasn’t helped by the fact that so many characters in the series has similar names. Specifically the author has an apparent affinity for “J” names. Eventually, I got used to Jamie and Jenny, but in the first installment even their names took some time to cement in my mind.
My second negative is something on which I feel like I have become a broken record. These books needed a good line editor. There were missing words and articles on every single page. There were also a number in instances where the wrong word was used in place of a similar sounding word. Errors such as these just shouldn’t happen in a professionally published work. I felt like I could open any of the books and find a problem such as I described. I read quickly, so I usually can look past, or even miss, such mistakes, but when they are so prolific, I start to have a hard time overlooking them.
In short, if you enjoy a good PI mystery, pick up this series.
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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