Author: Charli Coty
Publisher: NineStar Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Colin Page, eighteen-year-old community college student, apple polisher and all-around goody-goody, has a secret. He sees things that aren’t there. Unfortunately, the Doc Martens on the floor of the mail vestibule in his apartment building really are there and attached to a dead body. Hunkered over the body is someone Colin had barely noticed before, Private Investigator Al Green. Most people scare Colin, but for some reason, Al doesn’t, even after he reveals that he knows about the hidden reality of their world.
Alonzo Green, despite his low-power mind, is determined to help right the wrongs he unknowingly contributed to. He’s also hopelessly smitten. He knows it’s wrong—probably even dangerous—to enlist Colin’s help with the investigation. And that’s before considering all Al has to fear from Colin’s fiercely protective and powerful mother.
Colin and Al put some of the pieces together, but as soon as one thing becomes clear, the picture changes. The search for the Big Bad takes them from Portland to Tacoma and Seattle, and eventually to San Francisco, but their journey into each other’s arms is much shorter.
Review: Colin Page sees things that other people don’t. The dead body in the foyer of his apartment building has tattoos that may tell Colin about the murder. Colin meets a man investigating the murder. Colin can’t get him out of his mind. Colin decides to help with the investigation. It helps that he really, really likes the man investigating, Al Green. Colin and Al find themselves in a relationship. Colin’s mother doesn’t approve, but Colin is actually a grown adult, even if he’s quite a bit younger than Al. Al is a private investigator and Colin is a student. Being with Al endangers Colin and puts him on the radar of powerful people. Every time they think they’ve caught the bad guy they find another who was pulling the strings. Unfortunately for all of them, the person holding all the strings wants Colin, and has wanted him for a long time.
I read this book in as close to one sitting as I could manage. It was very engaging. It was also a little drawn out and a touch repetitive. There were a lot of hurt/comfort moments, and both Colin and Al had a turn at taking care of the man they loved. There were also multiple instances of each guy doing the right thing and saving the day with his sacrifice. All without telling his partner, therefore robbing them of agency and the chance to give consent. Yeah, the idea of an alpha male rescuing you from your problems is wonderful, but the reality is a relationship is a partnership. Thankfully, in a couple instances there was a bit of guilt over riding roughshod over each other.
There was an age gap between Colin and Al, but it wasn’t that extreme. Mostly it translated to a life experience gap. Colin had been remarkably sheltered by his mother. Because reasons. Al had to grow up quickly and didn’t really do the best job at it along the way. Al had learned how to live a difficult life and get by with his wits. In many ways this created a power imbalance between Colin and Al. Interestingly there was another very real power imbalance. Colin was simply much more powerful in terms of psychic powers. As were the people who cared for Colin. It was as if there was balance between the imbalances. Al had all the knowledge experience while Colin had all the raw power and potential.
I enjoyed this story. There were good spooky aspects with the creepy tattoos and zombies as well as suspense. I did have issues with some things, but I’m a firm believer having fun reading a story is the most important factor in a book. I had fun reading this story.