Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review: Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade

From The Blurb:
When a string of young queer men turn up dead in grisly murders, all signs point to the ex-boyfriend—but what should be an open-and-shut case is fraught with tension when BPD homicide detective Malcolm Khalaji joins up with a partner he never wanted. Rigid, ice-cold, and a stickler for the rules, Seong-Jae Yoon is a watchful presence whose obstinacy and unpredictability constantly remind Malcolm why he prefers to work alone. Seong-Jae may be stunningly attractive, a man who moves like a graceful, lethal bird of prey...but he's as impossible to decipher as this case. 
And if Malcolm doesn't find the key to unravel both in time, another vulnerable young victim may end up dead. 
Baltimore homicide detective Malcolm Khalaji has his own way of doing things: quiet, methodical, logical, effective, not always particularly legal. He’s used to working alone—and the last thing he needs is a new partner ten years his junior. 
Especially one like Seong-Jae Yoon. 
Icy. Willful. Detached. Stubborn. Seong-Jae is all that and more, impossible to work with and headstrong enough to get them both killed…if they don’t kill each other first. Foxlike and sullen, Seong-Jae’s disdainful beauty conceals a smoldering and ferocious temper, and as he and Malcolm clash the sparks between them build until neither can tell the difference between loathing and desire. 
But as bodies pile up at their feet a string of strange, seemingly unrelated murders takes a bizarre turn, leading them deeper and deeper into Baltimore’s criminal underworld. Every death carries a dangerous message, another in a trail of breadcrumbs that can only end in blood. 
Malcolm and Seong-Jae must combine their wits against an unseen killer and trace the unsettling murders to their source. Together, they’ll descend the darkest pathways of a twisted mind—and discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. And if they can’t learn to trust each other? 
Neither will make it out alive.

Karen's rating:

Sometimes stepping outside of the box can be murder...

While I love a good mystery or thriller...I'll be the first to admit when it comes to murder and especially if it's of a more graphic nature, I'm usually one of the first ones to shy having said that I am more than a little glad that I didn't do that in this case.

While 'Criminal Intentions' isn't quite what I would normally choose to read it wasn't wildly outside of the box for me either. There was a lot about this one that I really, really liked first off the writing. It worked for me. I had no problem getting into this story the author's writing drew me into things effortlessly and each time real like got in the way and I had to set the story aside was not a happy event for me.

Before I go any further I really feel that I should add for those of you who are lovers of romance...while there is one it's very, very, very early stages here we're talking more concept than construct but if you're really patient and I can be when needs require it, I think it's going to be worth the wait in the romance department. This story is by far more mystery/thriller/police procedural than romance...seriously the romance is very back burner so don't say you haven't been warned.

The other thing you need to be prepared for is the fact that the violence in this story is there it's front and center but having said this I didn't find it to be excessive either. When it came to the crime scenes we were given enough to create the visual but not in the extreme.

Baltimore Homicide Detective Malcolm Khalaji prefers to work along but when his boss orders him to work alongside of Seong-Jae Yoon who outranks him despite being his junior by 10 years. Malcolm complies...perhaps not overly willingly at first but as the two men begrudgingly join forces to stop a killer and keep more young gay men from being murdered a tentative and not quite willing but less than reluctant partnership begins to form.

I honestly can't even begin to explain how much I like these two men. The dynamics between them are off the chart. Without a doubt 'the word insta-love will not be usable where they are concerned. Don't get me wrong I'm pretty sure they've noticed each other but they're loners. Malcolm's likes to work along and Seong-Jae has his walls up and defenses firmly re-enforced as well. Along with this both men seem to have things that they're not willing to share with the world. They've got secrets wrapped in secrets and they're both enigmas and of course I want to know it all...all of it I tell you!

I'm happy to say that I had to work for the who in 'who done it' with this one and given that this story is very crime oriented as opposed to the criminal aspect being there to facilitate the romance this is a good thing. I don't want to read a crime story where I've got it nailed down by the end of chapter one or even half way through the book...I want to be kept guessing until the last minute and I pretty much was.

'Criminal Intentions' is in and of itself a self contained story in that the crime is solved within the pages of this story but as with any good crime drama, which is what the author is laying out here for us just like...say 'Criminal Minds' (a personal favorite of mine) we're left with small teasers about the characters and little nibbles that keep us wanting to come back for more. I know I'm totally on board for the next episode of this 'crime drama' not only do I want to work alongside of Malcolm and Seong-Jae to solve whatever case comes next but I want to be there as they each try to solve that mystery that is their partner and to see where this very new, barely acknowledged attraction takes them.

Bottom line if you enjoy a good crime drama and can handle things being graphic when they need to be...because let's face it crimes of passion aren't tidy. If you have the patience to wait and see where and when the potential romance will go and strong, independent, slightly flawed alpha males appeal to you...than I strongly suggest that you give this one a try.


A copy of "Criminal Intentions" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.,13984940

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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

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