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    REVIEW: Dead Reckoning by Pandora Pine

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    Cold Case Psychic: Dead Reckoning – Pandora Pine

    When the spirit of a young male prostitute comes to psychic Tennyson Grimm asking him to find the john who brutally murdered him, Tennyson can’t say no. Only able to communicate through the use of images, rather than words, getting any information out of the young man is frustrating and slow going.

    Cold Case Detective Ronan O’Mara has been on a roll solving cases since he and Tennyson last teamed up to solve the Michael Frye case. Unfortunately, the red-hot romance that had blossomed between them during that investigation is now off in a ditch, thanks to Ronan’s self-confessed pigheadedness.

    Agreeing to work together despite the rift in their relationship, Tennyson and Ronan discover they are in for more than they bargained for when more victims start to reveal themselves to Tennyson.

    Realizing they might have a serial killer on their hands, the two men work tirelessly to stop this madman from killing again, but when the killer targets the son of a prominent member of the Boston Police Department, can Ronan and Tennyson save him before it’s too late?

    It was Tenn’s turn to lose his cool with a case that hit close to home.

    Tennyson, always the calm and unruffled one, couldn’t help but be emotional and angry when a ghost of a dead gay teenager appeared to let him know he was murdered. This opened a can of worms long since present in the city but largely ignored. That of homeless teenagers peddling their bodies in order to survive. Most of these teenagers were gay boys thrown out of their houses. Tenn was would have been one of these teens living on the streets if not for his psychic gifts.

    Meanwhile Ronan manned up and finally admitted that he has a problem. He and Tenn had a huge blow up regarding how the previous case of his ex-husband turning out to be a child killer, was affecting him. This led to him walking away from Tenn.

    Ronan was more likable in this book, especially after they reconciled. He was happier and warmer. His connection with Tenn was stronger. He still had his moments but the temper tantrums were less frequent. He still blurted out details of the case to a journalist but that was because he needed the man’s help. Like Tenn said, we’re seeing the side of Ronan that was there before his dreaded ex ruined it.

    This installment also saw a more human Captain Kevin Fitzgibbon, Ronan’s boss. I liked how the captain fit right in Tenn and Ronan’s ever expanding family. I’m glad Fitz has his own book.

    Dead Reckoning is another serial killing case where teen prostitutes were the main target. The details of the crimes were harrowing but not too graphic. The killer was harder to guess compared to the first book. Although, I found that the story tried a little too hard in directing my attention to the other guy.

    IMHO, I think, it would have been more interesting if the killer was known early on and the story was more about trying to prove that he’s the guy. Kind of like what L.A. Witt & Cari Z. did in Suspicious Behavior. I rarely come across their kind of take on the serial killer trope.

    The author did a good job building up to the climax. However at the most critical point, things quickly went pear-shaped on different levels. A police officer who knew better forgot his training and came rushing half-cocked into a standoff. Shots were fired, he was hit on the chest. Then came more people, people who were supposedly severely injured, rushing in and crying. It was stupid and melodramatic. I expected better.

    Dead Reckoning may have some parts that could have been done differently, but overall, I enjoyed this book. I was hooked on the story for hours. There were definite improvements from the first book, Dead Speak. I liked how the ending set up expectations for the third book.

    Would Tenn enjoy the silence?


    review of book 1, Dead Speak, here
    review of Suspicious Behavior here

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: U (Man Like)
    Artist: Bon Iver
    Album: I,I