Melissa and MtSnow review Hidden Identity (Jimmy McSwain Files #1) by Adam Carpenter, Audible edition released April 11th, 2016 by Linden Corners Press, Length: 5 hours and 47 minutes.
NOTE: A copy of this audiobook was provided in exchange for an honest review.
When Jimmy McSwain is hired to find missing heir Harris Rothschild, he finds that identities can be altered and lives can be changed – or taken with the simple pull of the trigger. Jimmy McSwain is a New York City private detective, operating out of Hell’s Kitchen, the rough and tumble neighborhood he grew up in. At age 14, he watched as his NYPD father was gunned down. Now, at age 28, and gay, Jimmy has never given up pursuit of whoever killed him. But a PI must make a living, and so he’s taken on the case of missing heir Harris Rothschild, whose overbearing father doesn’t approve of his “alternate” lifestyle.
Tracking down Harris is easier than expected, but the carnage that follows isn’t. With a shocking murder on his hands, and a threat coming from some unforeseen person, Jimmy’s caseload is suddenly full, and very dangerous.
Why Mel read this book: I love a good mystery and I found the blurb intriguing.
The narrator did a wonderful job!! There are Irish accents and I thought they were perfect. I would listen to this narrator again, and hope he narrated book 2, Crime Wave, which has recently been released in audio.
I’ve never read anything by Adam Carpenter before (that I know of), and I found this to be a great start! I was not surprised with how everything unfolded (plot wasn’t deep, which isn’t a bad thing), but I loved reading about Private Eye Jimmy McSwain.
The story starts with Jimmy’s father being killed while off duty as a cop. Jimmy was 14, and his father died in his arms; the killer was never caught. This is why Jimmy is a PI; he’s not a cop because he felt they turned their backs on his dad and family. They didn’t look hard enough for the killer, and Jimmy has resentment towards the police.
This isn’t a romance, per se. Jimmy does meet a man, and they have sex – there is a connection between them – but it seems to be a lost cause before it really even starts. There is a lot against them, most of which is the fact that the man is only going to be in the US for a few months before going back home to England. Anywho, Jimmy is hired to find the missing son of a wealthy and important man.
Jimmy finds him alright, but he’s not in danger and is “hiding” of his own volition from his parents, whom he feels won’t accept him for who he really is. In the midst of all this is a murder, Jimmy being attacked and eventually almost killed. I had figured out what was going on pretty quickly, and I wasn’t disappointed when it all came to a close. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I can tell Jimmy’s life isn’t going to be easy, be that personal or professional. Things are only starting to get tough.
I was thoroughly entertained and eager for the next bit of information. I was sorry to see this book end, but truly look forward to the sequel (and the rest of the series). This is a hidden gem of a book and I am surprised it doesn’t have a much higher following. Highly recommend!!
9.5 pots of gold – 95% recommended out of 100% or equivalent to 4.75 of 5 stars
Why MtSnow read this book: Like Mel, I also like a good mystery, and this author is new to me. It also gave me a chance to finally listen to something by Joel Leslie, as I’ve heard good things about this narrator.
REVIEW – So, first off, let me say that this series is off to a very promising start. The author’s style is smooth and does hard-boiled, if young, detective rather well. The mystery element could be more fleshed out later, but it’s a good beginning to a series, laying the foundation to what is to follow.
We get introduced to Jimmy in the prologue at age 14, as he’s on the street with his father, a well known beat cop, when his off-duty dad is shot point blank in the street during a robbery gone wrong.
After that, the first chapter begins with the reader in adult Jimmy’s head years later. Jimmy’s ‘voice’ is quite dry and sarcastic, and almost bitter at times. There is an undercurrent of resentment between Jimmy and the police department as you definitely get the feeling he thinks things are ‘off’ when the police department dropped his Dad’s investigation, and it becomes an unsolved cold case. So Jimmy, well, he completes the police academy top of his class in memorium to his father, just to turn around and do an ‘F* you’ and becomes a private investigator instead.
The tone of this story is great for a mystery, and the author has drawn me in very well. I wouldn’t call this a romance, but more of a coming of age story, as Jimmy is definitely gay, but figures he doesn’t have time for relationships. He’s all for the quick and dirty hook up scene. And at this time in his life, I can see that’s all he can invest in, as his father’s unsolved murder still takes up a lot of his headspace.
I will say I didn’t feel emotionally invested in the main character except when he talked about or recalled memories of his father. He definitely loved his dad and that comes across very well in this initial installment. We do spend time getting to know his mom and sisters, but again, no real emotional connection to them. He just deals with being the man of the family now.
Joel Leslie’s narration pleasantly surprised me with his various accents, especially the Irish one of Jimmy’s mother and uncle who owns a pub in the neighborhood. and that of the other characters, making it very easy to tell when he was switching between the women in the family, the elderly, street thugs, the beat cops, and Jimmy’s character.
I will definitely continue on in this series, as there is no real resolution in this story, but it has peaked my interest, and there is foreshadowing of a possible relationship down the road. Recommended for mystery detective enthusiasts.
8 of 10 pots of gold – 80% recommended out of 100% equivalent to 4 of 5 stars
His current series features gay P.I. Jimmy McSwain, starting with HIDDEN IDENTITY, CRIME WAVE, STAGE FRIGHT. GUARDIAN ANGEL and the forthcoming FOREVER HAUNT. The first two titles are currently also available in audio.
In 2017, he will publish the sexy new trilogy, the Archer Chronicles.
He is also the author of the “Edenwood” trilogy, EDEN’S PAST, EDEN’S PRESENT, and EDEN’S FUTURE, available in eBook and audio.
His “European Flings” series includes the prequel short story, “Passport to a Fling,” then FRENCH MEN, ITALIAN GUYS, ENGLISH LADS and AMERICAN HUNKS.
His “Wonderland” trilogy includes DESPERATE HUSBANDS, DESPERATE LOVERS, and DESPERATE ENEMIES, co-written with Curtis C. Comer and Jeff Wilcox. His “White Pine” firefighter series includes SECRET FLAMES, HEAT OF THE MOMENT, A RAGING FIRE, and BURNING TRUTH, now in development for audio. Other novels are the Johnny Lee Captone-featured DUDE RANCH and the novella-length A YEARLY TRYST, SUMMER’S CHOICE, ISLAND DESIRES, and THAT PASSIONATE SEASON. His short fiction has been collected in the anthology, NOCTURNAL DELIGHTS.