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2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Idyll Threats by Stephanie Gayle

I was contacted by one of my favorite publishing houses about the third in this series, which is new this Fall. I was intrigued by the description, but have long-standing rule against reading series books out of order – particularly when they appear to be character-driven, as this one did. So I put the first on my TBR list – and was promptly offered a review copy by same publisher (see why they’re one of my favorites?), who recognized the strength of the series and knew it would lure me in.

It is and it did.

Thomas Lynch is a great character, and the world that Gayle has crafted for and around him is an engaging, surprising, and well-thought-out one. It’s a bit of a throwback to an earlier time (the late 1990s), when the fact of newly-minted small-town Chief of Police Lynch’s homosexuality would have been a major issue (rather than the minor one it would, sadly but frankly, likely still be in many similar positions). Gayle plays the politics of his sexuality out with a velvet sledgehammer, working backstory and current mystery together into a finely interwoven whole that kept me interested in both from the get-go. Lynch is a great character – a maverick with secrets is always a great character – and his supporting cast is full of just the right mix of stereotypes and surprises (much like real life). The mystery was well plotted and the pacing was spot-on.

I am definitely intrigued by the series now, and strongly suspect I won’t have any problems making my way to book three!

My review copy was provided by the good folks at Seventh Street Books. Check them out. They have a fabulous catalog, full of an exceptionally talented set of authors who create great mysteries and thrillers that you may not yet have heard of – but that you should definitely look up.

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