My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson’s way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack’s people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don’t solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg’s suicide.
Ryan Halloran’s cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick’s suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.
Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick’s lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they’ve both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment
So what did I think?
I really enjoyed this book and the wonderful characters!
The first 20% of this book had me a bit confused, introducing characters at a rapid rate and delving into the world of crime scene clean up. But as Jack’s company’s logo says “Life is not a fairytale.” I guess I was a little surprised at the depth of information provided (not for the squeamish but if you can stand watching CSI you should be ok!).
By this point of the book I would also expect to have a clear understanding of the two main characters and started to see them interacting. However at this point, Jack is having casual hook-ups with his in-the-closet cop friend Dave and Ryan isn’t very much in the picture.
Jack is part-owner of the clean-up company and the plot revolves around him gaining closure by personally cleaning up the scene of his ex-boyfriend’s suicide. The ex happens to be Ryan’s cousin and the deed occurred in Ryan’s home. Ryan also wants closure by assisting in the cleanup. I must say this all seemed a bit odd but anyway, it got Jack and Ryan together.
Jack has been severely hurt in the past, both emotionally and physically. He still bears scars and has never allowed himself to trust and have a proper relationship. Ryan seems to attract people who need help, such as his cousin Nick. They both need to overcome their issues if they are to have their happy ending.
Jack’s friends are concerned about the relationship, worried that Jack’s attraction to Ryan is based on his likeness to Nick. Luckily this is not a problem for Jack who clearly sees Ryan as his own man. “Ryan was so like Nick. Yet…they were as individual as snowflakes.”. He just needs to convince Ryan of this. “He was going to have to prove it was Ryan’s heart, and not his face, that mattered.”
This book had wonderful characters including a cute cat, and although filled with gory crime scenes, contained lots of humour. The only downsides were minor – I didn’t understand what attracted Ryan to Jack, it was maybe a bit too insta-love and I wanted to know more about Dave’s background to understand him better.
To find out more about Z.A. Maxfield and her books, visit her website.