Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: Heat Trap by J.L Merrow

Heat Trap (The Plumber's Mate Mysteries #3) by JL Merrow
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 318pgs

3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Old flames can leave a nasty burn.

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit by a shocking revelation about his family, and he’s been avoiding dealing with it ever since. His lover, PI Phil Morrison, wants Tom to dig deeper into his history and try to develop his psychic talent for finding things, but Tom’s not nearly so keen. Just as he decides to bite the bullet, though, worse problems crawl out of the woodwork.

Young Devil’s Dyke barmaid Marianne has an ex, Grant Carey, who won’t accept that things are over between them, and he’s ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets in his way. When Carey threatens an old friend of theirs, Phil and Tom step in to help—but that makes them targets themselves.

What with his uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the uncovering of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, Tom’s not sure who he can trust—and the body he finds in the pub cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Here I go again with another book in the Plumber Mates series. While I enjoyed this one a lot more than the last I'm unsure if I will continue with the series. Once again, the mystery aspect was a letdown and I’m contemplating if Tom and Phil are still worth it. 

Heat Trap gives us Tom and Phil on another case, a most lukewarm case. When the owner of the Pub they usually frequent asks for their help in stopping a slithering stalker Carey Grant, they take the case. What they never expected was the slimy stalker to be so slinky and dangerous. Along with dealing with the case, Tom is also dealing with some personal issues and having a hard time coming to terms with everything. Things take a while to get to the point and when it does Tom finds Carey Grant in the cellar of the pub and thus begins the chase to catch a killer or so thought… 

I’m trying to get into this without giving too much away, but let’s say the story was quite interesting and fun up until the death of Grant Carey and then boom, bloody wilted lettuce. All the dryness none of the deliciousness. The big reveal of the actual killer I felt didn’t even have a connection to the story so instead of being surprised, I just felt let down. So many people going round and round and ending up nowhere. 

Let’s talk about Tom. I remember loving him in the first book and though he does have his charms and is on his way to crazy town with how he’s all in his head. I’m not here for him anymore. He doesn’t take things seriously enough, and the way he treated Phil in the end there was just too much. He learns something’s about Phil’s past and jumps the gun by overreacting leaving to do the whole begging thing when it was Tom who should have been apologizing. I lost all my love for him as a character with his woe is me attitude. Everything is Tom, Tom, Tom, he’s a special snowflake. 

I believe for me the series has lost its charms. While I remain curious of what will become of Tom and Phil my underlying need seems to be gone. Maybe in a while I’ll give it another go especially with that cliffi at the end there, Toms life is about to get a whole of interesting. But for now I’m calling it quits. While I liked this one significantly more than the last book, and did have some burst out laughing moments, I am quite done with being disappointed. These mysteries have become children Easter egg hunting.

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