Erryn reviews ‘Triangulation (Borealis Investigations Book 2)’ by Gregory Ashe. This book was released on August 9, 2019, and is 446 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Charlie David. It was released on January 8, 2020, and is 12 hrs and 48 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I love Charlie David and wanted to try something different.
After a recent case with a treacherous client, North and Shaw are ready to go back to work building Borealis Investigations. They’re also ready to go back to dodging their feelings for each other, with neither man ready to deal with the powerful emotions the Matty Fennmore case stirred up.
Everything is getting back to normal when their secretary asks for help: her girlfriend’s boss has gone missing. Shep Collins runs a halfway house for LGBTQ kids and is a prominent figure in St. Louis’s gay community. When he disappears, however, dark truths begin to emerge about Shep’s past: his string of failed relationships, a problem with disappearing money, and his work, years before, as one of the foremost proponents of conversion therapy.
When Shep’s body turns up at the halfway house, the search for a missing person becomes the search for a murderer. As North and Shaw probe for answers, they find that they are not the only ones who have come looking for the truth about Shep Collins.
Their investigation puts them at odds with the police who are working the same case, and in that conflict, North and Shaw find threads leading back to the West End Slasher – the serial killer who almost took Shaw’s life in an alley, seven years before.
As the web of an ancient conspiracy comes to light, Shaw is driven to find answers, and North faces what might be his last chance to tell Shaw how he really feels.
At first glance, this book is a mystery. A detective agency, a missing person, mysterious surroundings, and all is not as it seems. North and Shaw own Borealis Investigations and although they’ve been through some tough times recently with their agency, they’re still open for business. When their receptionist comes to them asking for their help with a missing person, they’re intrigued. When they get the full history of the missing man, Shep Collins, things take a turn. Shep used to run a conversion camp and is now married and living with his husband. So, yeah, a complete one-eighty. Turns out he hurt a lot of young men during his time running the conversion camp, and although some have forgiven him, others are downright pissed.
Although this investigation is personal for the men – they do support their receptionist after all – the St. Louis police become involved and suddenly things are a lot more complicated. Several bodies later and it’s clear this has gone way beyond just a missing man.
And although the book centers around a mystery, it’s the relationship between North and Shaw that is the most interesting. The thing that kept me hanging on. Each man is involved with someone else. Shaw is in a relationship with a cop named Jadon. Their relationship is…interesting. North is married to Tucker and that relationship goes sideways. There’s a lot to unpack and the split might be a good thing, but these things are always messy. And since North was the one doing the leaving, he finds himself homeless. Shaw, of course, offers up his couch, but that creates a whole other pile of complications.
North and Shaw have history. They went to university together and there’s been a weird push and pull ever since. Will they or won’t they? Can they admit how they feel? Will the other reciprocate? How will it affect their work relationship? Add in Shaw’s obsession about the West End Slasher, and things become even murkier. Like I said, there’s a lot going on.
This book ends on a breathtaking cliff-hanger although the main story is resolved. Now, I didn’t get a chance to listen to book 1 and I fully intend to go back. Does this book stand on its own? Yes. Is it clearly the middle book of a structed trilogy? Yes to that as well. And I plan to jump on book 3 when it comes out on audio. Man, this was a good story with great characterization. I also want to quickly mention the dialogue. The banter back and forth between the two men had me laughing out loud. And Shaw’s obsession with food was also fodder for more laughter. The humor added more layers to the story which I appreciated.
I want to mention the narrator, Charlie David. He’s a fave of mine and I always enjoy his performances. He definitely did this story justice and I’m glad I listened. So, needless to say, I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the finale of this story.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
I’m a long-time Midwesterner. I’ve lived in Chicago, Bloomington (IN), and Saint Louis, my current home. Aside from reading and writing (which take up a lot of my time), I’m an educator.
While I enjoy reading across many genres, my two main loves are mystery and speculative fiction. I used to keep a list of favorite books, but it changes so frequently that I’ve given up. I’m always looking for recommendations, though, so please drop me a line if you have something in mind!
My big goal right now is one day to be responsible enough to get a dog.