REVIEW: Idyll Fears (Thomas Lynch novel #2 ) by Stephanie Gayle
It’s two weeks before Christmas 1997, and Chief Thomas Lynch faces a crisis when Cody Forrand, a six-year-old with a life-threatening medical condition, goes missing during a blizzard. The confusing case shines a national spotlight on the small, sleepy town of Idyll, Connecticut, where small-time crime is already on the rise and the police seem to be making mistakes left and right. Further complicating matters, Lynch, still new to town, finds himself the target of prank calls and hate speech that he worries is the work of a colleague, someone struggling to accept working with a gay chief of police. With time ticking away, Lynch is beginning to doubt whether he’ll be able to bring Cody home safely . . . and whether Idyll could ever really be home.
I GOT THE ARC PAPERBACK FROM AMAZON VINE.
Dear Stephanie Gayle,
I really enjoyed the first book in this duology/trilogy/series (since I have no idea how many more books will be coming up) and reviewed it here. When I saw the second one available on Amazon Vine I grabbed it.
I adored the narrator and the main character – police Chief Thomas Lynch who moved from New York to the small town of Idyll in the first book and who also happens to be gay. At the end of the first book Thomas comes out to his police force and to the whole town after leading the first investigation as Chief of Idyll Police.
We meet Thomas again in this book when he had been working in Idyll for almost a year now. As the blurb states, the main case he has to deal with here was kidnapping of a six year old boy, Cody. The additional complication is that Cody cannot feel pain in general and in particular he cannot feel when he is freezing. And it is very cold outside, which puts additional pressure on the police and everybody else since Cody is in danger by simply being outside.
To add more to his plate, somebody vandalized his car with homophobic writings and he also received some nasty phone calls.
I adored Thomas Lynch just as much as I did in the first book. I thought the author did a very good job of portraying a sympathetic, likeable guy who tried his best to do the right thing in his professional life and his personal life, but of course was not without faults.
The book is still written from the first person POV, we are in Thomas’ head all the time and I mostly really enjoyed his voice. The book is not humorous, in fact, due to the nature of the case they investigate I would argue the overall mood was even bleaker than the first one, but at times I did chuckle and I was really pleased with the ending.
I was also very happy with how the investigation unfolded. I am always happy to see fictional law enforcement officers actually doing the investigation on the pages of the book and here we have this in spades, but somehow the author actually managed (IMO) to portray the narrator as intelligent person AND not make him solve the case right away. Too often when I read m/m mysteries I want to yell at the detectives – here is the villain, please arrest him.
In this story the police and FBI (yes, since it is child kidnapping case at some point they call the FBI in. No, the interactions between two are not ridiculous) zero in on the villains slowly but surely. We hear the correct guess (and partially correct guess as well) as to who was responsible for the kidnapping more than once in the last quarter of the book. However they realize that they do not have enough evidence yet and keep digging and digging and eventually their efforts paid off.
“There is no such thing as the perfect crime. No matter how carefully someone plans, no matter how detailed the bank schematics or how trained the sniper, mistakes happen and evidence exists. A loose thread from a jacket, droplets of blood, an unexpected witness, or plain old bad luck. Detectives work hard, but sometimes it’s the little unexpected gift the universe throws at you that breaks a case open. That explodes a perfect crime, leaving bits of plans and better futures scattered like shrapnel.”
In this book we also learn that Thomas started seeing somebody and I am hoping that it may blossom in something romantic. Don’t get me wrong – romantic storyline is pretty brief and I am okay if it stays that way or even if it will disappear completely, but I thought that since we are in Thomas’ head all the time, he did let it slip couple of times that he was pretty lonely and he would not have minded seeing somebody on a more regular basis.
“Time for bed. My sheets were cold. Another person would help them, but what other person would I bring back here? Someone I never planned to see again, that’s for sure. I thumped my pillow, trying to work out the lumps. Someone I never planned to see again. My specialty.”
However the ending was pretty hopeful that things may change for Thomas on the personal front and I can’t help but be happy if it ends up being true.