Swings & Roundabouts (The Power of Zero #4)

Author: Jackie Keswick

Publisher: Self

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links:  Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb:Jack Horwood. Vigilante, hacker, security specialist. Partner to Gareth Flynn. Adoptive father to their two teenage boys. Happily juggling long days and short nights.

Gareth Flynn. Ex-army officer. Ace negotiator. Righter of wrongs. Family man. Away from home more often than he likes.

Desperate for a relationship reset, Jack treats Gareth to a romantic getaway and Sweden’s frigid peace gives them the break they both need. But Jack’s a trouble magnet and the next dead body just a wild skidoo ride away.

Can love, teamwork, and trust survive the troubles that follow them around? Can Jack save what’s become so important to him?

Expect action, drama, and hot romance in book 4 of the Power of Zero series.

Review: Jack Horwood and Gareth Flynn are in something of a rut. Gareth is busy doing work all over Europe and Jack is busy doing work at home. To compound their problems they’ve done enough of a good job providing a safe and stable home for Daniel and Nico that Nico is starting to deal with his emotional problems. All together it’s a lot. Things don’t crash down around them but there are cracks. Jack doesn’t want cracks. Jack plans a quick vacation for them. It’s wonderful. Things get resolved and both men feel confident in their relationship then Jack finds a dead body.

I had misgivings about reading a fourth book in a series about a stable couple. In my experience this has always ended with me feeling like the characters are simply rehashing old arguments, their conflict feeling manufactured, or there’s no conflict and character growth and it’s just a couple of people doing some stuff. I’m not a person who can read beloved characters for the sake of reading beloved characters. In spite of my misgivings I really enjoyed this book. The conflict felt new and plausible.

The Nancarrow family is still a hot mess. Mostly this is alluded to in this installment. It’s being kept on the back burner so it can stay hot for later. There’s also some loose strings that may never be picked up again. Each installment of the series is a bit like a snapshot of their lives at the time. If we don’t see their various investigations resolved by the end we may simply never know. Next time there will be new things. Honestly, I don’t know if I love that or hate it.

One aspect of this book I really enjoyed is it shows serious jobs take serious work that takes a long time to accomplish. Too frequently characters are portrayed in books as having a demanding job yet they still have time to look like a model or a bodybuilder and on top of that they have time to have a deep and meaningful relationship with lots of time to stare into their partner’s eyes. That’s simply not realistic. Information gathering takes time. Jack’s hacking and Gareth’s in person diplomacy style require hours of dedication. Hours spent not with each other. TL;DR it was the realism that made this book work for me.

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