Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: The Hell You Say (Adrien English Mysteries, Book 3) by Josh Lanyon

Demons, death threats...
and Christmas shopping.
It's gonna be one Hell of a Holiday.

In the third in the popular Adrien English series, the "ill-starred and bookish" mystery writer has to contend with a Satanic cult, a handsome university professor and his on-again/off-again relationship with the eternally conflicted LAPD Detective Jake Riordan.

And, oh, yes, murder...
Oh my! After I finished reading The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon, the third book in the Adrien English Mysteries, all I have to say is that I loved this book! I was exhausted by the end.

The mystery was excellent and quite involved; there is a whole sect of Satanists, curses and ritualistic murders. When it seems as if Angus, Adrien's assistant (and resident warlock) at the Cloak and Dagger bookstore is the main suspect, of course Adrien must get in the middle of it all.

The investigation progresses at a slow pace with multiple characters and threads introduced. As opposed to the investigation, the action is quick paced and doesn't slow down from beginning to end. Lanyon again integrates Jake and Adrien's ongoing relationship into his storyline so that the mystery flows and keeps the reader involved, while the personal conflict between the two main characters becomes more complex making The Hell You Say a suspense on both fronts.

Jake and Adrien's relationship was a bit of a roller coaster ride, with a slow, tentative beginning building to a highly emotional end. Their relationship took the expected turn in this book, but I found the journey to be both emotional and quite gripping. There's a definite turning point for Jake's character in this book and in turn one for Adrien.

Jake's decisions, his actions and reactions fit him and I think Lanyon took a risk with this character -- an excellent risk. In my opinion, anything else would not have been believable and whatever happens in future books, The Hell You Say had the perfect ending. However, I can't help but hope we get more Jake in the next book and see the consequences to his actions.

There are other factors I didn't mention previously that also make this series an outstanding one. Adrien's quick wit and amusing internal debates lighten up tense moments at the most unexpected of times. There are also unforgettable secondary characters that make the series feel complete. Their interactions with Adrien provide some unforgettable moments. My favorite so far? The often hilarious exchanges between Adrien and his interfering, overprotective and relentlessly manipulative mother Lisa.

The Hell You Say was a beautifully written book that provided a thrill on all fronts. I'm thoroughly hooked and going on to read Death of a Pirate King!

Genre: LGBT Suspense/Mystery
Series: Adrien English Mysteries, Book 3
Release Date: 2007 Revised Edition
Grade: A

Visit Josh Lanyon here.

Anesthezea's M/M Romance Challenge 2010


  1. I can't say it often enough.. I love Adrien and Jake. This was my favorite of the series... although the last is superb as well.

    Adrien's mother is a HOOT! I'd probably kill her by now, but she's so completely believable as a person. I love how they relate to each other.

    I'm glad you're enjoying them...

  2. Didn't read the review, because I'm going to read it soon. Yes, I swear, soon! LOL.

    But so glad this was an A for you! Wow :D

  3. I just knew you would love this one! It is my favourite book in the series and the best mystery story as well. I agree with your observation about Lanyon taking a risk with Jake not only in this book but with the character overall. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Incidentally, The Pirate King for me is really about Adrien and although not as intense in respect of the mystery it is very dramatic. Looking forward to your impressions of Book 4.

  4. Mariana, this book is a favorite in the series so far. I loove Lisa! Actually I love the interactions between Adrien and Lisa (she would drive me crazy too). I don't know who cracks me up more, Lisa or Adrien. I love his sarcastic thoughts every time he has to deal with her.

    Nath! Yes! Read it... now... read it! LOL!

    Indigene, I loved what Lanyon did with Jake's character in this book... he didn't take the easy (popular) way out with him and it worked, it fit, it was perfect. The mystery part of the book was just as engaging as the rest of the book, definitely my favorite so far. I can see why this series is loved.

  5. I haven't read this series, but having read your review I think I'm going to now! This sounds great.

  6. Oh ames! I think you're going to love Adrien! Well and the mysteries and Jake and... the whole series. Can't wait to read your thoughts. :D

  7. This sounds like a good series to start my venture into m/m. Plus, I've heard such wonderful things about Lanyon's books.

    B&N has Fatal Shadows and A Dangerous Thing in one ebook so I got that. :)

  8. Oh Leslie! Yay! This is a great series to begin that m/m venture... I can't wait to read your thoughts. I just can't! :D

  9. So glad you loved this one!

    I'm really enjoying your reviews of this series. It's like vicarious reading.

    Can't wait for your reviews of DoaPK and TDT!

  10. Am so glad you're enjoying this! I just devoured this series when I started reading it. I had no will power and delved into the fourth and fifth books straight after reading this one :)

    And yes, Lisa is a hoot, and Adrien's side comments about her are hilarious! Adrien just leaps off the page, doesn't he?

    And I'm so interested to know what you think about Jake...I know he inspires some strong feelings *grin*

  11. Renee, I really loved this book! The whole of it had me at the edge of my seat and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I'm going to have to go back and re-read it slowly at some point, but I WAS really exhausted when I finished it, lol! I wrote the skeleton for this review right after I finished the book, so you really have my first impressions in there. I'm glad you're enjoying revisiting this series. :D

    Orannia, these books are a treat I didn't expect. Adrien is definitely a 3 dimentional character, and his side comments about Lisa make me laugh out loud.

    Jake is a different matter. I do have strong feelngs about him, but he's a complex character that rings out complex feelings. I "feel" for him and for the tough road that he has chosen for himself. At the same time, it's such a selfish road... there are so many people he'll hurt on the way, that it's hard not to judge him at times. Yet, I can't judge him... it's obviously his road to travel. Let's see how he gets there. :D


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