Monday, August 22, 2016

In The Twist by LA Stockman

Title: In The Twist (The Wild Hunt Book 1)
Author: LA Stockman
Purchase at Amazon 
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: Paranormal
Length: 47800 words
Formats Mobi, Epub, PDF

Twelve dead children. An ex-priest with the faith to move mountains. A hunter out of the depths of legend. Together, they must find a way to overcome their pasts and become something entirely new if they are to defeat an ancient evil.

David Shaughnessy was content in his life as a police detective in Armata, California. It lacked the visceral, sick thrill that came with exorcising demons, but it was better for him, saner. Until the night he got called out to a vicious murder in the woods, and met Dallan Jaeger. The older man and Interpol agent is much more than he seems to be, and their connection is immediate, powerful. Trust blooms quickly as they learn to work together to pursue the evil fae responsible for the murders.

They must learn to do more than trust each other if David is to fulfill his birthright and claim what was so long denied him. Only then do they have a hope of catching the killer…in the Twist.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. The story starts off with a scene that made me queasy, and right away I knew this book would be going some dark places.

Horror readers (which is not me usually) will be right at home. LA Stockman gives us a damaged but still strong hero to take on this monster, and David finds an unlikely ally in his fight against the horror stalking the children. An Interpol agent with a larger scope than most, Dallan Jaeger is both attracted to David and willing to give him the space he needs to be ready for a relationship. Dallan’s almost too good to be true, between his skills, knowledge, his unexpected kindness, and a pack of really scary backup.

The Catholic church comes off very badly here: what’s happened to David at their hands is truly atrocious and comes with no apologies. It was pretty awful, and the sad part is that after all the recent real life scandals, it isn’t even that surprising. This is one of the very dark places the book goes, and I’m interested to see how the uneasy relationship with the church that was his everything progresses now that David’s come a long way from the scared child he was. I will read books two and beyond to find that out, no matter how dark it goes.

The series is titled The Wild Hunt, and while the band of spectral hunters does show up, only the leader has a large role here. This is book one, so a lot of things are being set up that I’m ready to follow into future books. I’m really anxious to see these guys kick ass and take names.

While I could only feel for David, and applaud for his triumphs and get queasy with his trials (it took me three days to finish reading his encounter with the Sluagh, because I’m kinda squeamish), Dallan had more issues for me. He’s very touchy-feely understanding, considering his other role. I’m not quite sure that works as characterization, but it was exactly what David needed. That and a few things that made me check who’s head we’re in, which always knocks me out of the story, were issues for me.

However, LA Stockman has created a world and characters that definitely intrigue me. This book is much darker than my usual reading preference, so extra win for pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me want more. 4.25 marbles

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