Author: Indra Vaughn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/17/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
Shadow Mountain: Book One
Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can’t ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he’s not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.
Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can’t help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant’s armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price.
Shadow Mountain: Book Two
The capture of the Tattoo Murderer has demanded a heavy price. Doctor Tobias Darwin is dead, Lieutenant Hart is back in Riverside licking his substantial wounds, and he needs to gather his courage and tell Isaac he made a mistake. Isaac will forgive him—he knows that—but he can’t promise Isaac an easy life. Being a cop comes with its own risks, after all.
When they finally reach the same wavelength, their idyllic reprieve is cut tragically short. Hart doesn’t know yet that Isaac is terminally ill, that he will take off to find the Phoenix to heal him as a last resort. This time, it will be Hart who pays the price.
In the meantime, a new killer roams the streets of Riverside. He kidnaps, tortures, and kills gay men in horrific ways, and he has the newly healed Isaac in his sights. Hart’s time is running out on every level.
I am reviewing Fated and Fragmented together, because they need to be read together. Fragmented picks up basically right where Fated leaves off. While they each have their own wholly contained mystery, the story arc of Hart (and Isaac) are far from finished. I can’t recommend you read one without the other. I also don’t recommend you read them without a few tissues at hand.
The mysteries are well written and well executed. You don’t have a complete picture of the who-done-it until the author is ready for you to have it. While, I found Fragmented to be a little more obvious on the mystery side of things, the heartbreak in the backstory far outweighed that mystery for me. There are enough twists and turns to keep you interested from beginning to end. There is also enough else going on, to build the characters of Hart and Isaac into three-dimensional adults that do more than pine for each other and solve a few murders.
The secondary cast of characters adds to the story each step of the way. They have a purpose beyond giving the main characters someone to talk to. Then, of course, there is the ultimate secondary character… the Mountain itself. It isn’t just a background prop to the people that live in the towns around it, and it plays a key role in both books.
Fated and Fragmented are the 3rd and 4th books I have read by Ms. Vaughn. I have yet to be disappointed. I can not recommend these two titles highly enough.
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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