REVIEW: Idyll Hands (Thomas Lynch novel #3 ) by Stephanie Gayle
I obtained the ARC paperback of this book from Amazon Vine same as the first two books in this series that I reviewed previously.
Book is available September 4.
Dear Stephanie Gayle,
Thomas Lynch, the title character of these series, charmed me from the very first book in the series. I really liked the guy, his flaws and all, and wanted him to be happy in his personal and professional life. More importantly, I really liked his voice, sprinkled with occasional sarcasm and this book did not disappoint in this regard.
I love how Thomas is slowly, very slowly feeling more comfortable as a police chef in the tiny town of Idyll, how he is slowly getting respect of his detectives, even if initially they were not eager to work under a police chief who happens to be gay.
Both mysteries in this book are cold cases and both are missing person cases. In fact initially I was not too excited about the resolutions for both cases. It is hard to explain, but I think it is because especially in the case of Michael Finnigan’s missing sister. I did not really expect anything surprising. I expected them to find out that his sister was dead because after so many years it was impossible to hope for the better outcome and it was hard for me to imagine that anybody who so far had been presented as an interesting and important character would be implicated in the murder.
As far as the second case was concerned (and unless I majorly misunderstood the story, the second case was also a cold one – it was just a much earlier cold case. The bones were found several years ago, not in 1999 contrary to what blurb states.) I was more interested in the outcome and I am not sure I can explain why.
The narrative, however, quickly won me over. Neither of the two investigations were moving fast. In fact, they were moving quite slowly for the most of the book, but the work detectives did feel real to me, even if calling people, visiting people, talking to people, talking to people did not feel very exciting, but I felt it was very necessary.
The main reason why the narrative won me over though was because of the human factor. The relationship between Thomas and his two main detectives Michael Finnigan and Lewis Wright grows by leaps and bounds by the time the book ends and it was not always hearts and flowers.
Even at the beginning of the book Lewis and several other men are not too eager to invite their chief to play in the annual baseball competition and Lewis still does not show too much eagerness to investigate the case with Thomas, but we do hear him admitting closer to the end that Thomas is many times better than their previous chief. Hey maybe one day Lewis will get in his thick head that homophobic comments are not okay to make to anybody, not just to the chief whom you now appear to like and respect.
Since the older case is about Michael Finnigan’s sister, we do learn a lot about him, but the blurb talks about his secrets in such an ominous way that I thought it would be something terrible. I was not sure what terrible things we were supposed to discover, because I have not noticed one.
In this book Michael Finnigan also narrates some chapters and I was glad that the chapters are marked accordingly because I honestly did not notice that much difference between Michael and Thomas’ voice and I thought I should have noticed that.
We also get to observe Thomas’ attempts to have a romantic life and I felt for the guy so very much. I have faith in him eventually finding someone :).