Unnatural Selection by Ann Somerville is a worthy selection for your kindle.
Ann was the first author to provide me a copy of her book through Twitter. Very exciting! Constantly surrounded by this mist of STGRB flack that seems to be plaguing her and her reviewing friends, I wasn’t sure what to expect when picking up her book. When looking on GoodReads at the stats for this series I wasn’t impressed. A solid 3 star average didn’t leave me warming up to the idea, but I’m glad I persevered.
Synopsis: Four years ago, Nick Guthrie nearly died from a brain tumour until he received an experimental treatment that saved his life, even though the treatment brought bizarre and permanent side effects. Now he drinks fake blood to live, and has had to have his new long canines capped, but it’s a small price to pay to keep doing the job he loves. He’s a cop, part of a London Met Police Murder Investigation team.
His current case involves trying to find the person ritualistically killing gay ‘vees’. With no witnesses and no clues, the police are stymied, but Nick won’t give up until their killer is found.
Complicating his life is Dr Anton Marber, an attractive, gay minor celebrity Nick saves from being kicked to death one night. Nick doesn’t expect to see Anton again, but Anton is amazingly stubborn when it comes to things that are important to him, like Nick’s case, Nick’s diet and Nick’s determination never to fall in love again.
Thoughts: 95 pages. A very quick read, Ann delivers with smirk-worthy dialogue between characters, and flawless editing and grammar. What might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the M/M relationship, but if you’re a fence sitter, or even someone who doesn’t think they’d like M/M give this one a go, it’s a main aspect of the story, but it doesn’t overwhelm the plot or the characters.
Where to buy it: This book can be bought on its own from Smashwords for $2.99 or as part of the full collection of three stories for $5.99. The same options are available on Amazon – single for $3.99 or part of the collection for $6.99.
Review: Nick Guthrie is a likeable, unlikable character. I adored the fact that the main character is a gay ‘vee’ copper with issues, but he certainly did his best to push people away, the reader included!
The premise is strong, the murder mystery is twisted and complicated, but the overshadowing of appropriate footwork by the police and clear information helped the story along well. I was initially a little lost with all of the acronyms, there were a lot! This could be confusing for readers.
Pacing was good, you got some slower, softer scenes mixed in with the plodding police work and the speedy mystery and murder. All in all a good mix. I suspected the killer about half way through, but wasn’t 100% sure until it just about jumped out and bit me.
Easy to understand mostly plain English, this story will be easily digested by vampire fans, murder mystery fans and M/M fans. While the M/M relationship aspect is a focal point of the story, with a strong chaser of homophobic violence, but the sex isn’t graphic, in fact I think most readers would probably just find it like a M/F relationship with all its complications and emotional responses. If you are worried about the M/M side of the story, don’t be. It helped to develop the story, but doesn’t define it.
**Note: the author provided an electronic copy of the book in return for an honest review**