Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Two Feet Under
SERIES: Lindenshaw Mysteries #3
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochrane
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 333 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 8, 2018
Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.
When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.
While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.
I’m doing real well this week on the mystery front, as Cochrane‘s newest addition to the Lindenshaw Mysteries series knocks it right out the park. I’ve yet to grow tired of Robin and Adam’s ridiculously sweet relationship, or the many-twisted mysteries that surround them. Focusing more on Robin this time around, this book gives us a closer look at his job as a Chief Inspector, as he struggles to solve the case of a dead woman dug up at a local archeological dig. He is not helped by the fact that they can’t seem to even pin a name on the victim–let alone the killer(s?). Add to that a new job with less than helpful coworkers who seem more intent on seeing him go down in flames, than finding a killer.
I really liked that this book changed things up a bit with the characters–and in a way that didn’t require the couple to have a completely stupid fight so the book could be all about Robin and Adam getting back together (by far my biggest pet peeve about series centered around a single couple). Having Robin and Adam change jobs (or at least job locations) gave them both new people to interact with, as well as giving the book an air of uncertainty. Was sad to see that Robin and Anderson had to split up (professionally) since Robin got moved to a new precinct (or whatever the English equivalent is), but since Anderson basically spends the book sharing space with Robin and Adam, I didn’t feel the loss too badly.
The new cast of characters–both those I assume will stay around for a bit, and the tertiary characters needed for this plot alone–were just great. Pru and Ben–officers working under Robin at his new position–were good sounding boards for Robin. I really hope they come into play in later books because I really enjoyed them.
And all the various suspects and witnesses that were involved in the mystery aspect of the plot were what really made this book. While I still think book one was my favorite story overall, this one has my favorite mystery. You could never know what was really going on with everyone involved in this case, and I could never really predict where the story was going. And I was really glad that this story did not involve a certain event near the end that would have made me roll my eyes a bit at the predictability.
This was just on the whole an entirely enjoyable story. The chemistry between Robin and Adam is a bit low-key, but it is still very real. They are comfortable in their relationship, and while there are bumps in the road, they are nothing that doesn’t happen in real-life couples. And the fade-to-black aspect (or the fact that the book is set up to keep them temporarily cock-blocked by Anderson) might bug others, but it is probably one of the big sells for me. These books tend to focus on the mystery more than the relationships, anyways, and so it wasn’t anything I went in expecting to find. I do like the ingenious way the plot contrived to keep them apart though. I thought Adam’s reaction to not wanting to have sex with Anderson in the house to be rather adorable, and completely in character.
What else can I say? I loved it, and can’t wait till we can get a fourth story in the series.