Fatal Shadows

Fatal Shadows - Josh Lanyon A couple of months ago on a loop chat, I asked Josh if the Adrien English mysteries were on Kindle. Josh responded in a sort of delighted surprise that, yes, they were, and he was always pleased when he found someone who hadn't read them yet.

I have to confess, it took me awhile to dive into Josh's work, and I came in sort of backwards, starting with A Vintage Affair rather than one of the more popular titles. Why did it take so long? A niggling intimidation factor, maybe. Josh is what every other indie author aspires to: successful, writing as a career, award winning, with an army of supportive fans and a lovely garden. (OK, so that last one's probably just me.)

Having begun, though, I am now officially hooked and continuing to avoid Adrien simply because everyone else talked about him began to be...silly. The nice thing about waiting to read a series, though, is not having to wait. Instead of chewing my nails over what came next, they were all there for me to snap up. Hooray!

This mystery isn't one of Josh's best, but then Josh has grown as a mystery writer since these novels. The reveal wasn't much of a surprise, the red herrings perhaps placed a bit too carefully to be taken seriously. But that's not the charm of this book. That would be Adrien himself, a strong character in so many ways despite and because of his physical limitations, Adrien is stubborn, impulsive and real. He has moments of abject fear, moments of crippling doubt, moments where the reader wants to scream at him "Adrien, no! Don't do that!" All these things, along with his quirks and his wit, weave a lastingly endearing character.

Jake, tough, overbearing, often arrogant, was a fascinating study as well. Right from the start, we know there's more to him than he reveals. It only leaves the reader wanting more.

While the romance doesn't have time to blossom before the end of the story, we know there's more, and with a Josh series, we expect that the romantic issues might not be resolved until the last book.

A thoroughly enjoyable read - I certainly understand now why this is one of the Fanyons' favorite series.