Review: Arthropoda (Arthropoda #1) by Xenia Melzer
An Andi Hayes Murder Mystery
Detective George Donavon doesn’t plan to stay in Charleston long. Skeptical and by-the-book, he’s on the fast track to the top, and he won’t let anything derail his career. Especially not Andrew Hayes, his grumpy, awkward new partner—and not the chief’s secret order to find out how said partner solves even the most difficult cases.
George and Andi can’t agree on anything except their mutual dislike, but when three dead girls turn up at a storage unit, they must put their differences aside before the suspected trafficking ring claims another victim.
There is no crime without witnesses. Andi knows George suspects his always-right “hunches” point to corruption, but he doesn’t care. All that matters is catching a killer… and keeping his secret. But with leads on this sprawling conspiracy drying up, he has no choice. He just can’t let his partner find out how he’s getting the information.
Andi’s on the verge of losing his life, his mind, and his career. He could take George down with him…
If the violent criminals who are always one step ahead don’t get to them first.
Dear Xenia Melzer,
A book buddy at Good reads group recommended this trilogy to me and judging on the first book I am very happy that she did. I am also not sure how to write this review, because Andi’s talent (this ability to solve more cases and solve them faster than his colleagues do) is the biggest spoiler in this story and something I should be completely quiet about. I will just say this. Off the top of my head I never read a book with this exact plot twist. The book deserves big kudos for Andi’s ability alone.
It is kind of unique in a specific way. Sorry, I have to be that vague. But the blurb does tell you that Andi’s secret helps him to solve cases and it truly does, so much that Andi’s boss suspects him of doing something unsavory and when George arrives, the precinct assigns him as Andi’s temporary partner and basically asks George to spy on him to determine if Andi’s doing things in a clean way or not.
George is a good detective, and he is a very ambitious one, he wants to move up on the ladder and he wants to do it by the book. He feels that he has to at least keep an eye on Andi as a favor to his boss, so when he wants to move up, she won’t do anything to stop him.
Very quickly however, George realizes that while Andi may be a grumpy bastard who keeps people at the arm length, he is also a talented detective, who does not do anything illegal and gives his very best and more to do his work well. He realizes all of that before he learns Andi’s secret and he wants to help him as much as possible, because he sees that Andi’s secret often makes him very tired to the point of exhaustion and the man kind of needs somebody to watch his back.
Both men begin to investigate a case mentioned in the blurb and of course the investigation turns into something even worse very fast. I did not like the case at all (how can one like a murder investigation? But some are bleaker than others and to me this one was very bleak), but I really liked how the relationship between the two leads grew and changed as the story unfolded. Mind you nothing sexual happened between them, not even remotely close, but the mutual distrust and suspicion changing to great supportive friendship was lovely to see. I really liked both of them and will happily read the next book in the trilogy.
Lastly, based on her bio I do not believe the author is a native English speaker. Some reviews mention the sometimes awkward English and as an ESL speaker myself, I did catch some awkward phrasing too so as always I could have missed some, but it did not keep me from enjoying the story at all.
This sounds appealing though I’m not a fan of gruesome/grim murder mysteries. I’ll give it a try and see if the partnership dynamic outweighs the serial killer like aspect.
I wish I can describe the spoiler . For me ewww aspect did not come from gruesome description of the murders I don’t believe it was ever described in details . There were couple descriptions of the corpses and there were definitely murders but at its core they were investigating sex trafficking not a serial killer . If you want me to email you the spoiler let me know and yes for me partnership dynamics were great .
Knowing that the deaths aren’t gruesome helps a lot. I’ll definitely try this one.
@MaryK: Hope the book works. I am planning to read the second one soon.