Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Monet Murders
SERIES: The Art of Murder #2
AUTHOR: Josh Lanyon
PUBLISHER: JustJoshin Publishing
LENGTH: 311 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2017
All those late night conversations when Sam had maybe a drink too many or Jason was half falling asleep. All those playful, provocative comments about what they’d do when they finally met up again.
Well, here they were.
The last thing Jason West, an ambitious young FBI Special Agent with the Art Crimes Team, wants–or needs–is his uncertain and unacknowledged romantic relationship with irascible legendary Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy.
And it’s starting to feel like Sam is not thrilled with the idea either.
But personal feelings must be put aside when Sam requests Jason’s help to catch a deranged killer targeting wealthy, upscale art collectors. A killer whose calling card is a series of grotesque paintings depicting the murders.
I have to admit that I was really looking forward to this book after reading The Mermaid Murders, which I’d really, really enjoyed. The Monet Murders takes place eight months after the end of the previous novel and, while just as enjoyable as that first book, wasn’t anything like I had been expecting. While Jason and Sam were the main characters in the first book and are, supposedly, the main characters in this one, it would honestly be more apt to say that the main characters in this book were actually Jason and his mangst. Seriously, and I will explain why. The vast majority of the book just features Jason (the book is from his point of view) and Sam doesn’t actually show up until like half of the book is over. In the time he’s alone, Jason does a lot of communing with his man pain as he angsts over his (non)relationship with Sam. When the two do meet up again and Jason gets a brush off from the other man (which is a shock seeing as how they’ve been calling each other and stuff for the entirety of the time they’ve been apart), he’s understandably thrown into a moment of WTF? So, cue more manpain. I will honestly say that I was torn between being understanding of Jason and his feelings and wanting to slap him upside his head a few times to snap him out of it.
The mystery itself wasn’t just one large mystery like the first book but was instead several smaller mysteries that end up connecting later in the story. While I didn’t mind that, I did have to keep track of what was going on and, to be honest, the end of everything wasn’t as satisfying as expected either. Truthfully, the book was more focused on the relationship between Jason and Sam than on the mystery so that wasn’t completely unexpected.
You do get more of a look at Jason’s personal life and you do get some insight into Sam’s past, as well, that also explains his unexpected brush off of Jason when they were face to face again, which was nice, but there was a lot of other stuff to go through to get those nice little nuggets. If you enjoyed the first book I definitely recommend picking this one up as well. For anyone else new to the series, however, you should start with The Mermaid Murders as it will give you context for this one and be prepared for a lot of slow burn with both books. While I may have found it a little irritating at times, both were well worth the read.