Erryn reviews Backlast (Don’t… Book 4) by Jack L. Pyke. The second edition of the book was released by Men in Ink Press on July 28, 2019 and is 441 pages. The audiobook was released November 21, 2019 is narrated by Dan Calley and is 14 hours and 8 minutes. An audio book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I’m addicted to this series.
“Those five months away. Where were you, mukka?” (Jack Harrison)
In the aftermath of Jack Harrison’s release from the psychiatric unit, Gray Raoul’s innate “born this bastard way” instinct is to brutally repay the one responsible for financing Jack and Jan’s torturous psychological reconditioning. But that person is a professional player in their own right, one who knows exactly how to manipulate everyone in Gray’s life. To help negotiate this delicate situation, Gray seeks to contract Trace and his ex-Diadem Dom, Gabriel Hunter. But the more Gray seems to regain control, the clearer it becomes that there’s something not quite right about Jan Richards.
As Jan’s world unravels, taking Jack and Gray with it and bringing out one particular deadly player, Gray’s left with one last defence: Break Jack down in order to partner up with Martin. But once freed, Martin’s out for retribution of his own, and he wants to get downright personal with Gray.
Complete trust between Master, sub, and lover, between Gray, Jack, and Jan – is about to be tested to the absolute limit.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 1 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 2 here.
Read Erryn’s review of the audio of book 3 here.
There was a lot going on this book and putting down my thoughts is going to be a challenge. I am still impacted when I think of Jan and Jack’s capture and subsequent torture and rape. Over and over they’d been abused and the psychological was as bad as the physical – although the physical was horrendous (Jack required surgery, for example). This all happened in Book 2 and Book 3 was the two men dealing with the aftermath. Gray is right there with them, of course, because he’s not only the third man in their triad, but often the backbone. Jan is ‘soft lad’ and Jack is ‘mukka’. Gray is the MI5 operative who holds everything together.
This book gives us a real insight into Jan and how he is – or is not – coping with the lingering effects of the captivity. Although he’d been mistreated, it was watching the horrific abuse heaped on Jack that has been truly eating away at his soul. He’s chosen an unproductive way of dealing with the memories and I could hardly blame him. But he’s about to come crashing down with Gray there to help. Jack’s there as well, but he’s got his own demons.
Jack has an alternate personality – Martin. Martin appeared briefly in the last book but is back big time in this story. His appearance always hurts me because I have an affinity for Jack and when Martin comes out, it’s usually to protect Jack in some way. Martin has vengeance on his mind – actions Jack would likely never partake in (which is saying something because he also has violence simmering just below the surface). As a warning, this is, again, a very violent book. There are also many many many different characters whose morality is often ambiguous. Even the clean and wholesome Jan isn’t all he appears to be.
There is a claiming in this story, showing just how serious the men are becoming in their relationship. I wonder sometimes if it’s so healthy for them to become so enmeshed. Is Jack really going to heal surrounded by violence? And his renunciation of the Master’s Circle was, I though, his way of stepping back from BDSM. This book proves otherwise.
Dare, Trace, and Gabe are visiting London from the States, there to try to help the triad of Jack, Jan, and Gray sort themselves out. Also for a bit of comic levity, which I appreciated. This book might not be quite as dark as Book 2, but there were definitely moments when I felt the weight. The description of desperate rats was enough to turn my stomach.
All that being said, I’m addicted to this series. This book ends with some things resolved and others up in the air. In other words, I can’t wait for the next book to come out on audio.
This is a mammoth story, clocking in at over 14 hours. Occasionally I felt it drag, but I enjoyed the pacing most of the time. There is a lot going on and none of the descriptions are scrimped upon. Dan Calley narrates this series and he’s perfect. His deep voice resonates yet he’s able to provide different voices for all the characters. His American accents are unique, to say the least. I am enjoying this series am waiting with bated breath for the next book.
9/10 pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Jack blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is Jack’s drive.
Jack’s also a contract editor, working with Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications, and Harmony Ink. She’s also had the absolute pleasure of editing exceedingly talented indie authors like Adrienne Wilder and Joseph Lance Tonlet.
Basically this all means Jack finds herself incredibly humbled to write, edit, and read solely in the M/M romance genre, with a particular love of psychological thrillers, BDSM, and crime.