Book Review: Josh Lanyon’s Dark Tide

Posted November 4, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Josh Lanyon’s Dark Tide

Dark Tide


Josh Lanyon

amateur sleuth, erotica that was published by MLR Press on February 7, 2010 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Fatal Shadows, Death of a Pirate King, A Dangerous Thing, The Hell You Say, Somebody Killed His Editor, Fair Game, Fair Play

Fifth and last in the Adrien English gay mystery series revolving around Adrien, a writer of mysteries and the owner of a bookstore, Cloak and Dagger Books, specializing in mysteries in Southern California.

My Take

This is the last installment in this series. And I am miserable! Even if Lanyon does provide a Christmas interview with the two of them. I just adore Adrien and Jake and I will miss their adventures…hint, Lanyon, hint, hint…

Lanyon brings in the three major loves of Adrien’s life — Guy, Mel, and Jake — and provides an opportunity for each to battle for Adrien’s affections, to say good-bye. Lanyon is rather clever in how he presents everyone’s arguments, forcing Adrien to consider the qualities he’s looking for in a partner. Forcing him to realize who has those qualities in spite of everyone!

I am going to miss Adrien’s snark! I particularly enjoyed his responses to Dr. Shearing’s comments!

The scar looked perfectly normal — if you were a cadaver or related to Frankenstein’s monster.

Anyone who finds white support hose sexy needs to check in with…

It’s hard to go wrong with grilled cheese…but somehow they managed.

And they’re off! I kept a polite expression on my face while her mouth galloped along yards ahead of her brain.

Tip to anyone having remodeling done: Don’t trust the construction locks the contractor installs. They all use the same key!

There’s a sweet, erotic paragraph which plays right into the music sub-theme in Dark Tide. You’d think it would be hokey, but Lanyon plays it just right.

The Story

Adrien insisted on coming home early instead of staying on at his mom’s place after his open heart surgery. He’s pushing everyone away, wanting his privacy, and the chance to think. Only, the bad guys are just not cooperating. Someone keeps trying to break into his bookstore and being put on hold by 9-1-1 just isn’t working for Adrien.

Worse, he’s not allowed to work for six weeks and Natalie is swamped at the bookstore. Nor do any of the temp agencies want to send anyone…too many murders at Cloak and Dagger Books! Wait’ll you get a load of Ms. Pepper…eek!

When the skeleton is discovered under the floorboards of Adrien’s new acquisition…well, it’ll take more than a bad ticker to hold Adrien back from investigating.

The Characters

Adrien English suffered from rheumatic fever as a teen and after events in Death of a Pirate King, has had to undergo open heart surgery. Tomkins is his pushy cat. His overprotective mother, Lisa, married Councilman Bill Dauten, which brought three stepsisters into the family: Lauren is getting a divorce from her jerk of a husband; Natalie is the middle child and is working for Adrien at the bookstore; and, Emma is the youngest and horse mad. Especially for Adagio, a fourteen-and-a-half-hands-high Arabian. Warren is Natalie’s boyfriend whom she uses to threaten the family.

Former-LAPD Lieutenant Jake Riordan is hanging out his shingle as a private investigator. He’s realized that he has compromised his honor as a cop because he was hiding his sexual preferences and has quit the force. He also came out to his wife Kate, a fellow cop, and his family (Danny is his youngest brother). He is considering a job offer as a sheriff in Vermont.

Mel Davis is the boyfriend who dumped Adrien some years ago. He didn’t want to get too emotionally invested in “a cardiac cripple”. And Adrien’s life expectancy is much better now. Ted and Jean Finch are still shopping their mystery book featuring an Adrien-like detective. Paul Chan was Jake’s homicide partner; he’s still attending the writing critique group at Cloak and Dagger Books. Ms. Pepper is awful enough to make Angus look good.

Henry Harrison claims to be a tourist from Milwaukee interested in historic buildings. Fernando is the foreman of the construction crew rehabbing the space next door to Adrien’s bookstore. Dr. Shearing is the therapist on Adrien’s cardiac rehab team. A typical doctor. Doesn’t listen to a thing you say and simply assumes you’re like everyone else. Is it any wonder some of their patients slack off? I’d do it just to be pissy.

LAPD Homicide Detective Alonzo is a first-class jerk. Jay Stevens was the clarinetist and leader of the band, the Moonglows, back in the mid-1950s. Seems he had a lucrative sideline as well. Now he’s the skeleton under the floorboards. Nick Argyle was the detective interested in Stevens’ life back in the 50s. Dan Hale owned The Tides bar in Malibu, was rumored to be connected to the mob, and had a thing for Jinx, Jay’s sister. Professor Louise Reynard taught art history in the 50s. Guilliam Truffaut claimed to have been with the Resistance during the war. His daughter, Evelyn, didn’t think much of him. Chris Powers is the son of a senator with his own political plans. Jane Powers is his mother.

The Cover and Title

The cover is the night with a sliver of a moon with, I’m guessing *, a naked Jake pushing through the waves.

The title is perfect. It’s Jinx’s diatribe about fear, gut-wrenching fear, Paul Kane’s actions in Death of a Pirate King, the struggle Jake has had all his life, all the things that make people do what they do — The Dark Tide “dragging them like an undertow”.

* It’s a guess because the model just doesn’t look like Jake, but then he doesn’t have the scar from the surgery either, so he wouldn’t, technically, be Adrien either…?