M/M Romantic Suspense
Chris James is Fate’s favorite plaything. When She took his parents in a car crash, Chris narrowly escaped the grief with his life, and he has the scars on his wrists to prove it. Seven years later, just as his life is finally turning around, Fate smashes his universe once again, taking his partner and two-year-old daughter and leaving behind a bloodbath.
After nearly a year of investigation, with no bodies, no motive, and no clues, the police are giving up. Enter Jason Kingsley, a wickedly handsome private investigator with a troubled past and a disconnected puzzle piece he could never find a place for. Jason has his work cut out for him: his search leads down a road that was never meant to be traveled, where a ruthless and hidden enemy lurks and dark secrets await. With passion drawing them together and sinister forces threatening to tear them apart, Chris and Jason race against time to unravel the mystery and get to the shocking truth that lies behind it all: The Heart of the Jungle. (Publisher’s Book Blurb)
Chris James’ life is in a terrible mess. Fate does have it in for him as the police close the murder case of his partner and daughter as unresolved. He lives alone in the seat of the crime with memories wrapped around him in misery. Depression and mental instability wait to strike and take him down. Not even his best friend, George, can pull Chris out of the deep funk he has been swimming in for the past ten months.
The Heart of the Jungle is mostly an action packed murder mystery with the main characters following clues of Chris’ former partner, Michael Blake. Chris needs closure. He needs to confirm his partner, Michael, and his baby daughter are actually dead, as the police could never find the bodies.
Fate obviously loves Chris but not of the good kind. The first meeting he has with Jason Kingsley, private investigator, goes terribly wrong. Jason is antagonistic, a presumptuous jerk, assumes Chris knows things about Michael. The only thing positive about their meeting is that Jason’s visit actually sparks Chris back to life with indignation.
Jeremy Pack does a very good job packing in the suspense and keeping me reading along. Chris conversation with George, meetings with dubious characters, Jason getting beat up by a stranger, the attempted murders all build up into a suspenseful, tense story. Jason and Chris will travel from Seattle to Las Vegas keeping one-step ahead of a mysterious stalker tracking their movements. I love it when a book allows me to speculate on the whodunit.
Little active romancing is shown in the story. Too much time is spent internalizing, ruminating on the other guy’s physical attributes. You know the kind – the color of the eyes, the attractive body… Realistically, Chris isn’t at a place to be involved with someone. Then the mystery does take up space, getting in the way of natural romantic progression. When they do come together, the jerk factor returns, makes me question whether these guys are right for each other.
It’s natural to feel sympathy for Chris; after all, he suffered a great loss. I didn’t like Jason much. What I do love is how the author pulls Chris out of the doldrums to create a take-charge person. His decisions aren’t always smart. You can tell how naive Chris is and his choices beget unfavorable consequences, which add to the rising tension. The love Chris has for his daughter makes him strong. He wants answers. He wants closure. Chris will do anything to discover what happened to his baby girl.
Jeremy Pack makes his debut into the writing world of M/M Romance and Mystery genres, hence, I will refer to as M/M Romantic Suspense. He does a wonderful job keeping me engaged to the narrative, drawing me into the suspenseful, tensed world of murder. I hope he will continue writing M/M Romantic Suspense. He has the skills to improve on and I for one will be looking forward to more books from this author. Recommended for the mystery thriller and a touch of romance.
Book obtained from the publisher for an honest and fair review.
Title: The Heart of the Jungle
Author: Jeremy Pack
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: April 2012
EBook: ISBN-13: 978-1-61372-463-7
Page Count: 250