Sunday, October 27, 2019

ARC Review : Tallowwood by N.R. Walker

Blurb :

Cold cases, murder, lies, and an unimaginable truth.

Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone — and that’s exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he’s the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake’s new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August’s corner, they face one hurdle after another, even when more remains are found, they still can’t seem to gain ground.

But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can’t be ignored anymore. August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.

Christelle's rating:

NR Walker is among the authors I read the most. She’s very diverse in the subplot but the romance is always up front and center and there is a lot of sweetness, low to no angst, a lot of chemistry and some steam even hotness.

Well, it’s good to be a good way :-).

Tallowwood is a tiny bit different in that this time, even though the romance is still there with top notch characters, but the hotness is low-key with more angst than usual and the subplot, a well-done murder mystery, is as much present as the romance. No complaint from me: I enjoyed this new book a lot because the mystery was gripping.

For a long time, some gays are being murdered, making it look like suicides. August, a Sydney detective working on cold cases, is the only one willing to see the work of a serial killer but is unable to gather sufficient proof. Until another dead body is discovered in a small town, with so many similarities that August drives down there, eventually pleased to have to work the cases with Jacob, a young local cop, very professional and opened to August’s theory.

Their association will be the decisive element to expose what’s going on, despite blockages on the way fuelling mistrust, the difficulties finding evidences and the cases getting too personal to feel comfortable. What made the plot so interesting for me is there is a lot of focus on the victims and their family. Throughout all the read, I was praying for justice and closure.

August and Jacob are very different, and not only because of the age gap and one living in a big city and the other in a small town. August is a loner and still deeply affected by the loss of his husband. Jacob is full of life, surrounded by a great family and friendship.

Instead of a clash, there is chemistry between them and their working relationship soon evolves on a much more personal level. Jacob’s bossiness behind close doors is delicious and what August needs to overcome his grief. I wouldn’t have minded more steam, but the emotions were there. And the epilogue is very satisfying.

Another win from one of my favorite author.


ARC of “Tallowwood” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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