Author: Marco Carocari
Publisher: Level Best Books
Published: 30 March 2021
I received an ARC ebook copy of the book from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review.
To start off, if you’re looking for a fun, beach read for the upcoming summer break, I’d definitely keep this one in mind. Carocari’s debut book was an interesting book for the genre of mystery, murder, and crooked cops. I read it in 2 sittings (would’ve been one, but I had a class to get to), so it definitely kept me hooked enough to keep me reading.
Franco saw someone being murdered across the street from his apartment…or did he? There’s no body nor crime scene and Franco was not exactly in the right mind. He was having a one-night-stand and his “date” offered him a joint laced with drugs, so Franco’s memory is a bit spotty. As the protagonist, Franco is a relatable character and really fleshed out. He makes mistakes, still hooking up on dating apps, but he tries to do right by his friends and family.
A few days after the supposed murder, there is a body found in an alley down the street. Not only does Franco know the dead man, but all of this connects back to the murder of Franco’s dad, 40 years ago.
As I said, it’s definitely a fun and easy read. I definitely wanted to keep reading but it wasn’t a book that I completely lost myself in. I absolutely loved Franco’s friends, they were all so supportive of him and also fleshed out like Franco. The scenes of the back and forth between all of them was well-written as well.
I was a bit surprised by one of the twists at the end, but I was also not that surprised. I also felt that the plot was a bit reminiscent of the TV show Castle (if anyone has watched the show and know what happens to Kate’s mom, then you’ll probably figure out the ending of all of this). The only difference between the two was more Italian and a straight couple instead.
The red herring in the book, O’Shea (Franco’s dad’s old partner), was super annoying and not as fleshed out as I would’ve wanted, as well as some other side characters. Most of the less fleshed out characters were the bad guys. They all seemed a bit one-dimensional and the motives were unclear at the end, besides saving their owns skins and money. Which are good motives, but they can be a bit boring and over-used. By the end, everything with the case is wrapped up, but it felt a little rushed and slapped together. I also didn’t understand the last chapter; I felt like there was supposed to be another chapter or two to really finish strong.
There was a romance sub-plot between Franco and one of the other lead detectives on the case Aidan Torrance, which I’m all for Queer romance in any book.
Again, overall a good weekend or beach read book for anyone who wants something light and fun to read!
Happy Reading Darlings!