The Hell You Say: The Third Adrien English Mystery

The Hell You Say - Josh Lanyon This has to be the low point of the series for me. It's well-written and well-researched, as always, hence saving the book from a 2 rating, but...but...

I've read a lot of Lanyon by now and though I sometimes grouse about abrupt endings and the occasional one-note character, I always come away feeling satisfied in every sense that matters. Not this time. This book left me drained. By the end, I was weary and angry. Only the fact that I knew there would be more and that this bleak episode had to pass kept me going.

My initial concerns were with the introduction of witchcraft. (Oh, no, I thought, not another book that paints all pagans as Satanists, please.) But in that respect, I should have had more faith. Josh explores a number of branches and possibilities of earth-based faiths and satanic philosophy in a relatively even-handed way. OK, the ladies from Dragonwyck were perhaps a bit caricaturized, but I was willing to forgive that. Adrien's exploration of the stereotypes and misconceptions was one of the most interesting parts of the story.

But this is a dark story. The nature of the crimes, the people involved, the swift and horrible dissolution of Adrien's love life, the rather cliche evil character, the rather absurd final confrontation...the threads didn't fall together well, the plot fell into a too-well-worn Illuminati conspiracy like miasma and Jake...

I wanted to kick the man. Hard. Where it hurts. The last scene between him and Adrien is just...awful. And while I understand that everything can't always be sunshine and chocolates in these series arcs, it seemed out of character for him to lose control in such a spectacular fashion.

The advantage I have over readers who read this some time ago, is that I can take a deep breath and move on to the next book immediately, because I have faith in the author. Because I know this isn't the end.