Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Mermaid Murders
SERIES: The Art of Murder #1
AUTHOR: Josh Lanyon
PUBLISHER: Just Joshin Publishing
LENGTH: 242 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 29, 2016
Special Agent Jason West is seconded from the FBI Art Crime Team to temporarily partner with disgraced, legendary “manhunter” Sam Kennedy when it appears that Kennedy’s most famous case, the capture and conviction of a serial killer known as The Huntsman, may actually have been a disastrous failure.
For The Huntsman is still out there…and the killing has begun again.
When Special Agent Jason West is pulled into a murder investigation just minutes from the start of his vacation, he’s irritated but resigned to his fate. After all, if he wants to move up in the bureau he needs to prove himself amenable and being owed a favor by one of the higher ups can only help. Special Agent Sam Kennedy works best alone; he’s abrasive, prefers to keep things close to his chest and his respect for politicians is transient at best. Most of all, however, he doesn’t do partners. From the very first meeting, Jason and Sam are at odds; Jason thinks Sam is a prick and Sam thinks Jason is some snooty little federal stooge. Over the course of the book, the two men are constantly butting heads but while they argue over the case and lines of questioning, they slowly start to build an understanding with each other. Nothing is simple when it comes to these two men, however; not the case and not their relationship (such as it is) and with Jason and Sam closing in on the killer, they’ll need to rely on each other if they both want to make it out alive.
This book was just so, so good! Anyone that’s read Winter Kill may remember Sam Kennedy and I’m thrilled to see him again as one of the main characters in this book. The dynamic between him and Jason was great; there was this push/pull between them both throughout the entire book that kept me glued to the pages while I wondered if they’d ever find a way to work together. As the case progresses you start to see the men beneath the agents and I loved those shared moments as they were almost better than the intimate ones. The sexual aspect to their relationship does take a backseat to the overall mystery but it was still present and incorporated enough that it didn’t feel thrown in for the sake of just having sex. I spent the entire book either rooting for the two men to make a deeper connection or trying to figure out who the killer was and I wasn’t disappointed on either one. The story itself was fantastic and out of all the possibilities I came up with, both on the killer and the reason for it, I was completely mistaken and happy to be so. The relationship between Sam and Jason is more complicated but I never really expected anything else from these two characters; the book did leave off on a happy for now but with the next book already in the works, I’m excited to see where their story will go next. This is by far one of the best books I’ve read by this author and I can’t wait to read more about these characters in the future!