REVIEW: Transposition by Gregory Ashe
Emery Hazard and his partner, John-Henry Somerset, have solved their first case together. The brutal murders that rocked the quiet town of Wahredua have been put to rest. Hazard, however, finds his life has only grown more complicated as he adjusts to his new home. Living with Somers, whom he has been drawn to since high school, makes ‘complicated’ the understatement of the year.
The turmoil of living together spills over when Hazard and Somers find themselves trapped by the weather in an old mansion and, against Hazard’s better judgment, sharing a bed. Strictly as friends, of course. Just when things can’t get any more confusing, the next morning brings a worsening storm–and a murder.
Cut off from the outside world, Hazard and Somers must face a clever, determined killer who is hiding among the mansion’s guests. Without backup, they can only rely on their wits–and on each other–to survive. And as the snow falls and the mansion’s guests continue to die one by one, solving the string of murders becomes secondary. First, Hazard and Somers have to survive
OMG, Emery Hazard is a giant tsundere!
“Go to sleep,” Somers said absently, his eyes fixed on the door.
“No,” Hazard said, struggling to enunciate. “I’m cold.”
Somers’s eyes darted towards Hazard and then back to the door. “You’re fine.”
Hazard squeezed Somers’s arm. Sleep was still rolling in, maybe a quartermile out, and Hazard was surprised at how easy it was to find the words he wanted to say, as if he really were going to board a train and this were goodbye, and you could say anything you wanted at a goodbye. “Please?
Never change, Ree!
Meanwhile, John-Henry Somerset is a miserable drunk…
“No,” Hazard said.
“You told me to make a choice,” Somers said, and that storm, that goddamn storm in his eyes had to be whipping at three hundred miles an hour. “Here it is: you.” He settled his weight against Hazard’s hand, pressing forward for the kiss.
“What the fuck do you mean, no? You want this, right? Well, here it is. All those fucking teenage wet dreams come to life. How many times have you jerked off to me? Five hundred? A thousand? God, how many gallons of cum have you dumped for me?”
You’re an ass, Somers!
Hazard & Somerset is a very character-driven series and the volatile relationships between the two MCs and also all the well-written secondary characters provided more than enough impetus to keep me coming back for more.
Like the first book, Transposition also comes with a chockful of trigger warnings: abuse, transphobia, misogynist language, cheating, etc. The murder victim was a vile man who treated people like shit, especially the transwoman, Columbia. In addition, there were so much hurt in this book and no uplifting resolutions for most characters and especially for Hazard and Somers, who, as always, ignored the ginormous neon elephant in the room. There is also an even bigger conspiracy afoot. People in high places wanted the two detectives dead, along with the rest of the people in the house. This part constitutes one of the overarching threads of the series and creates more trouble for our MCs to deal with.
The two detectives were stuck in a big house in the middle of a snow storm with a bunch of unlikable people who were all suspects. Tensions ran high as the forced proximity and murders brought out the worst in everybody. The mystery wasn’t very exciting, just convoluted but with Gregory Ashe’s deft hand and lyrical imagery, I hardly felt the drag. I was riveted, not only because of Hazard and Somers’ dynamics but also the author’s way with words that just flowed beautifully. The writing works well with the distinct cadence and timbre of Tristan James’ voice, who did a great job in bringing the book to life.
That ending tho…
Breaks the heart and leaves me cold. It’s frustrating as hell that I wanted to hurl the book but it got me where it wants me because I’m picking up that third book ASAP.
I have no idea why the title is Transposition. This is not a standalone so it’s best to start with Pretty Pretty Boys, review here
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: A Million Ways
Artist: Ok Go
Album: Oh No
MANGA: Midnight Radio
Midnight Radio – Iolanda Zanfardino
An intriguingly interwoven tale of four lives changed by a mysterious late-night radio broadcast that wakes them up from their mundane existences. Each tale speaks to different social issues without pandering to a political agenda: LGBT+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and the difficult decision between settling down versus following your dreams. Each tale is told in a vivid, polychromatic illustration style that flows from one character to another and back again in a uniquely identifiable fashion
Midnight Radio tackled social issues and tried to be meaningful but does not really say anything new. The delivery was flat. It was kind of predictable. I was bored.
On the upside, loved the polychromatic illustrations! It helped me follow the 4 interconnected stories and it’s nice to look at.
I received a copy of Midnight Radio from Lion Forge via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book