Saturday, February 1, 2014
The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Buy at Amber Allure
Buy at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Length: 85K / 246 pages
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, print
Detective Jamison Landry knew his job was never going to be easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.
The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing, both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.
Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, even learn his full name, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?
I had read the beginning of this story in it’s prior incarnation in separate sections. I was intrigued, but wanted all the story in one place. My wish was granted: this new version has the entire story arc.
Detective Jamison Landry has the strangest victim to assist, rescued from a cult intent on some strange kind of mayhem. Weird things happen around Mal, weirder things come out of his mouth. With circumstances twisting around Jamison to throw him into constant contact with Mal, he finds himself both drawn and repelled.
Mal’s pretty straightforward: he wants what he wants, when he wants it, and he’s not used to being thwarted. His offers are sincere if occasionally horrifying, and he’s almost hurt that Jamison keeps turning him down. Almost—he’s got quite the ego, and for good reason, although he does forget that a truly good man is going to have issues with such a one as he.
Mal’s much the more interesting character: Jamison’s just trying to cope, and he spends a goodly chunk of the book in a coma, and then hey, back to work and chase the suspects. I’m afraid this was a bit handwavy, even acknowledging that the doctors are going to be displeased. Mal spends a large portion of the book on an otherly plane, dealing with problems Jamison has no clue about. It’s an interesting take on good vs evil and evil as a greater good. Mal never does explain completely, though he does apologize.
Which is why, when Mal is once again in a position to express his interest in Jamison, (read “find new ways to behave like a creepy stalker”) and when Jamison has a different option for a love interest, who, really, looks like a much better prospect, the ending comes spiraling out of the blue. There’s a lot going on in Mal’s head, Jamison isn’t privy to it, and yet he reacts to achieve the ending as if he’s heard or seen or understands far more than he could possibly have. What he does know raises question about good, evil, and Mal, but I still found it an extreme stretch to get to “I love you.”
I applaud the unique take on the supernatural, and I like Mal, who veers between egotistical maniac, kind of sweet, and total pain in the ass. He does good for bad reasons and does bad for good reasons. He gets most of the character growth, and he’s much more complex than he seemed at first. I was glad to have followed his story. 3.5 marbles