Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/20/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Mystery
Internal Affairs investigator Jeremy Ranklin is looking into corruption within the Reno Police Department when he’s ordered to examine the suspicious death of the Chief of Police. The assignment partners Jeremy with Detective Cristian Flesh. Though they spar at first, Jeremy earns Cristian’s trust, and they work well together.
Deeply closeted, Jeremy fights an attraction to fellow cop Kipp Mosely. The investigation brings Jeremy and Kipp together, but lies and secrets prevent things from going any further. Jeremy will need both Kipp’s and Cristian’s help to discover how deep the corruption runs—and to stay alive when the danger hits close to home.
Closing Ranks is the first new novel in the Flesh-verse in a few years. I adore this series. I have adored it since the first time I read it, long before I knew who this “Ethan Stone” dude was. Full disclosure, I am a beta reader for Mr. Stone. However, he doesn’t let me touch the Flesh books before they are ready for publication because he wants my honest opinion of the final versions. So here goes.
After reading the re-edited — and in the case of Blood & Tears, completely reworked — versions of the Flesh series as they were re-released by DSP Publications, I was ready for this new story. As a matter of fact, I have been asking Stone for it for a while. I am not usually “that” reader, but hey we all have our weaknesses.
So here is the deal, Flesh is not my normal fare. He is brash. He is lewd. He is a self-proclaimed slut. However, he is loyal, and you know anyone he takes into his confidence is good people. Closing Ranks is a story in the Flesh universe, however, Flesh is a minor character. Jeremy Ranklin is our protagonist in Closing Ranks. Who, you ask? Yeah, I didn’t know either.
Rank comes from a long line of cops. He is now an Internal Affairs investigator. In Closing Ranks, he teams up with Flesh to defy authorities and find the truth when one of their own takes their life.
Closing Ranks is an excellent example of Stone’s ability to keep the reader turning page after page in search of “who done it.” He is a master at dropping subtle, seemingly insignificant, hints throughout without giving away the plot from the beginning.
Bringing in two completely new characters at the forefront of a new book in a much-loved series is a risk. You have to balance what the series needs with what the readers will accept. You can’t make the new characters too convenient or transparent. You also can’t make them too much like the existing cast or too different.
The flesh series has a definite tone. Rank, while being completely different from Flesh, Colby, Drew, and Gabe, held the story and led the mystery solving well. We were able to understand his motivations without slowing the story too much. I did feel a little hit over the head with the “in the closet” thing a few times, however. Unlike Flesh, he doesn’t sleep with everything that moves along the way. He is actually a little skittish when it comes to taking a man to bed… but once he does it is pretty damn hot.
Oh and we also get a peek at Drew from Blood & Tears.
Okay Mr. Stone, I am ready for book five (which I hope stars are certain lab tech).
I would like to thank the author 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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