Title: The Serpent’s Tongue: Dick Hardesty Mystery, Volume 15
Author: Dorien Grey
Narrator: Jeff Frez-Albrecht
Publisher: Zumaya Boundless
eBook Release Date:
Audiobook Release Date: 11/14/2014
Story Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
When Dick Hardesty is hired to look into threats against former priest Dan Stabile, possibly from someone whose confession Dan heard while still in the priesthood, it’s just another case. Then, on a stormy Sunday, on a rain-slick road, Dan is killed, Dick’s partner Jonathan is severely injured, and suddenly, it’s personal. Was the accident really an accident…or murder? Dick learns Dan’s secret could involve a child murderer, and now it seems the man is stalking Joshua and tormenting Jonathan. The objectivity so vital to Dick’s role as a private investigator goes out the window as he pursues one lead after another, and it begins to look like Dan wasn’t the target after all.
This may be the fifteenth book of the Dick Hardesty series, but it was my first. I was pleasantly surprised by the engaging tale and realistic characters.
The story starts with private investigator Dick Hardesty in a happy relationship with his long-term partner Jonathan. Dick is also a step-father to Jonathan’s nephew, Joshua. Though I haven’t read the books where Dick and Jonathan met and fell in love, I could still sense the love they felt for each other. They have sex often and apparently like to engage in roleplay. The sex scenes were mild compared to a lot of what I’ve read in the M/M genre but still managed to express the fact that Dick and Jonathan are deeply in love.
And, of course, that’s when shit happens.
Jonathan, Joshua, and a friend are in a car accident. Joshua suffers minor injuries, but the friend is killed and Jonathan lands in a coma. Dick is forced into a hard spot when he has to deal with taking care of Joshua, visiting the man he loves and investigating the accident that wasn’t an accident.
Though published in 2014 Serpent’s Tongue doesn’t take place then. It’s never stated in the book but assume it takes place in the 80’s, and that makes it different than contemporary mysteries. He doesn’t have a cell phone that allows him to reach whoever he wants, whenever he wants. He uses landlines at his office and his home and sometimes has to play phone tag with his contacts. He doesn’t have a computer to do searches on people, for that he has to depend on a friend at the police department.
Serpent’s Tongue isn’t a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute novel. It’s a slow burn, and that point frustrated me at times, but it made it a much more realistic investigation, especially the time in which it’s set. My mind is set in 2015, so I kept wishing for Dick to have a cell phone to reach someone or for him to use the Internet to dig up secrets. The mystery have been solved quicker if that’s the case, but the different tone and setting made me enjoy that much more.
Not every story can have the main character finding a clue every day. Sometimes it’s just a matter of prodding and digging until the truth is uncovered. Dick takes on other cases while still looking into the crash as well as dealing with Jonathan’s issues when he comes home.
I love mysteries. It can take a lot to impress me truly because I’ve read so many. This was a great story with enough twists and turns that it kept me entertained the entire time. I loved Dick and Jonathan’s relationship, and Dorien Grey’s writing has a unique and engaging style that makes me want to read more.
Serpent’s Tongue may have been my first Dick Hardesty novel, but it won’t be my last.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook 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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