Title: Object of Desire
Author: Dal Maclean
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
Length: 396 Pages
Category: Murder Mystery, Suspense/Thriller
At a Glance: Dal Maclean comes out strong and delivers another outstanding whodunit with her second literary outing. This author excels at writing relationships that don’t conform to traditional genre tropes, all wrapped up in a fantastic murder mystery.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Tom Gray is one of the world’s top models–an effortless object of desire.
Self-contained, elusive and always in control, he’s accustomed to living life entirely on his own terms.
But when Tom comes under suspicion in the gory death of his employer, his world spirals into chaos.
Someone’s framing him. Someone’s stalking him.
And as old secrets come to light, Tom finds his adversary always one step ahead.
Will Foster is the only man Tom trusts to help. But Tom brutally burned all bridges between them two years before, and Will paid a bitter price.
If he wants to survive, Tom must prove his innocence to Will–and to the world.
Review: To look at Tom Grey, one might think he’s a man who has it all—devastatingly handsome, a modeling career that’s gaining him notice from some of the industry’s leading fashion houses, and never, ever a shortage of willing bed partners. But that’s only the surface, the tip of the proverbial iceberg that is Mr. Grey. There is so much that lies beneath what appears to be the shallower waters Tom treads, a lifetime of example that has caused him to be mistrustful of anything resembling an emotional connection, and it’s his cool sense of detachment that translates so well in front of the camera lens. It also has caused a broken heart or two for any man who has dared ignore Tom’s warning that he doesn’t do relationships. Tom doesn’t do monogamy. And he most certainly doesn’t do anything as pedestrian as love.
Author Dal Maclean comes out strong and delivers another outstanding whodunit with her second literary outing, Object of Desire. The emotional quotient in Maclean’s writing runs high, as much here as in Bitter Legacy, her first novel. One thing this author does, something she excels at, is to write genre non-conforming romance. And by that I mean that the relationship between her characters doesn’t run the traditional lines of meeting, falling in love, overcoming an obstacle or two, and then living happily ever after. As was the case with the relationship between James and Ben in Bitter Legacy, it’s now Tom and private investigator Will Foster that Maclean puts through their paces and, in turn, her readers along with them. Through the internal conflict of a relationship that ended badly two years earlier, leaving Will hurt and reeling, to the external conflict that brings he and Tom back into each other’s orbit—a murder case in which Tom is being eyed as a likely suspect—it’s Will being hired to clear Tom’s name that leads them, together, into a web of deceit and danger, with more than a few viable suspects and as many twists and turns as one would expect in the investigative process of a set of gruesome deaths.
The title of the book, of course, refers to Tom. The combination of his beauty and the fact that he keeps himself emotionally unattainable makes him all the more attractive to the men who each want Tom as their own. As the investigation of one murder turns to another and yet another, all seemingly related due to their grisly elements, the more entangled Tom becomes in all of it. Someone is working hard to prove him the murderer while he is trying to maintain his innocence and appease two of his would-be lovers as well as fending off the advances of a third, who may also be stalking him. The way Maclean constructs the investigation with plenty of gasp-worthy moments to tantalize readers into ‘just one more chapter’, and allowing that to run adjacent to Tom denying his true feelings for Will, makes for such a well-balanced reading experience—the romantic in me rooting for Tom and Will while the mystery lover side ooh’d and aah’d at each new morsel of information that kept me wrong-footed all the way to the final, thrilling revelation.
I loved this tour around the streets of London. Dal Maclean offers readers a glimpse into some of the neighborhoods that make up the city, giving the setting a place of its own among the story’s characters. Neither Tom nor Will are perfect (although I must say Will was close to, and I loved him), and what better than the flawed hero, Tom, to get a second chance, to have an epiphany (know thyself, Tom) and then work to right a past wrong. I don’t know if Object of Desire is the start of a new series, but if Tom and Will plan to join forces and solve murders, I want to go on the ride-along with them for each and every one.
You can buy Object of Desire here:
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