Misdirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 2) by Gregory Ashe #Audiobook #LGBT #DuoReview #MMRomance #Mystery #Contemporary

Erryn and Dana review ‘Misdirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 2)’ by Gregory Ashe. This book was released on May 14, 2021, and is 395 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Charlie David.  It was released on June 23, 2021, and is 11 hrs and 11 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

To read the review of Orientation (Borealis Investigations Book 1) click here.

To read the review of Triangulation (Borealis Investigations Book 2) click here.

To read the review of Declination (Borealis Investigations Book 3) click here.

To read the review of Indirection (Borealis Without a Compass Book 1) click here.

Why Erryn read this book: I love North and Shaw.

Why Dana read this book: I am a big fan of this author’s work and this series.


Finding a missing boy will be hard. Dinner with Shaw’s parents might be murder.

When a rising star in the state senate asks Shaw Aldrich and North McKinney to transport her son, Flip, to and from his drug testing appointments, they’re not happy – they don’t do babysitting jobs. Arriving at the boy’s dorm room, though, they discover that the door has been forced and that Flip has disappeared, and rumors of strange men on campus suggest that something seriously bad has happened. The students and staff at the ritzy private school have plenty to tell about Flip, but the deeper North and Shaw dig, the less they understand what might have happened to the boy.

Then one of Flip’s friends is found dead, and it’s clear that she was killed for coming too close to the truth. As North and Shaw search for answers, they meet resistance from every angle: from the school’s staff, from Flip’s friends, from the police, even from Flip’s family. Someone wants the boy to disappear – and is willing to kill to make sure it happens.

The home front has its share of trouble too. North’s ‘uncle’ Ronnie is back at his old games, drawing North and Shaw into a job that seems simple on the surface – find a missing man who might be in trouble – but they suspect that the request hides something sinister. Ronnie’s involvement, and the job itself, puts the detectives on a collision course with Shaw’s parents and a strain on their fledgling relationship.

As the days pass, North and Shaw realize time is running out for Flip and, maybe, for them as well. They have been misled from the very beginning – and they might be too late.


Buy Links: Audible  | Amazon  | Add to Goodreads 


Erryn’s Review:

Misdirection: the act of directing wrongly; the state of being lead in the wrong direction; in theatrical magic – a form of deception in which the performer draws the audience’s attention to one thing to distract if from another

Shaw’s note – for example, if you are at the State Fair for the first time in your life and your friend has a substance abuse disorder and he falls down a man hole while following the smell of friend cheese

North’s note – the real story: I tripped.  I am not a cartoon character.  Misdirection is more like the time Shaw disappeared for two days to research lady boys

Shaw’s correction – that was my private time.  I was doing research.  For a term paper.

North’s correction – yeah…well…you shot your research all the way up your wall and I had to clean it up because I sure as fuck was not going to lose my security deposit

Shaw’s reaction – Oof.  I hate you.

North’s reaction – I’m the one who had to borrow a ladder.

Erryn’s note: it’s going to be a bumpy ride

I love North and Shaw.  Friends in college and now boyfriends, they run a detective agency together.  And they are boyfriends…right?  They certainly act like an old married couple – bickering, nit-picking, never being in the mood at the same time…  Turns out, however, that each has a different perception of what the relationship is and is not.  When all gets revealed, it’s not pretty.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  There are mysteries to be solved.  Three, to be precise.  There is the guy North’s Uncle Ronnie wants them to help.  The guy is looking for his younger lover.  Second, there’s security at Shaw’s father’s company.  The company is the main client of the detective agency, so keeping Dad happy is important.  Finally, there’s this weird job where they’re expected to babysit a high school senior.  Except the senior goes missing and all hell breaks loose.

Just another day in the PI biz.

As things unravel, the cases collide and Shaw and North find they are being targeted.  So it’s a race to find out the truth before it’s too late.

Throw in a dinner party at Shaw’s parents’ place and the whole thing goes cock up.

As the book ended, I held my breath.  I mean, I know there is at least one more book, and I know this isn’t forever, but it kind of broke my heart.  Thank God the next book’ll be out soon.

As for the narrator, I only have praise for Charlie David.  He delivered an amazing performance and I just loved how he hit all the right notes with both Shaw and North.  Charlie brings the characters to life and I feel like I know them.  Can’t wait for the next instalment.

 Erryn’s Rating:

9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars

Dana’s Review: 

My first thoughts regarding this book are “Oh my God, this was so good and I can’t believe what happened at the end!!!” Yes, I need all that extra punctuation. I finished this 11 hour audio in one day staying up until 11pm to finish it. I was so engrossed in the story, the mystery, and the gut wrenching ways North and Shaw find to hurt each other, intentionally and unintentionally. I have so many feels after listening to this book and I will do my best to turn them into a coherent review.

A few things from the last book carried over into this book. For one, the man North has always called Uncle Ronnie is holding a threat over North’s head. He asks North and Shaw to help one of his acquaintances find his missing boyfriend, who he abused in the past, but he swears he just wants to make sure the guy is okay. North wants to reply with a big hell no, since his soon to be ex-husband was abusive and is still harassing him. Shaw takes the case anyway in fear of Ronnie’s threats. Soon they learn that taking this case might be more of a distraction than anything, while Ronnie attempts to sabotage Shaw’s family’s business. I can’t tell you how much I detest Ronnie but North has enough before the end of this and I can only hope that this threat is stopped, but Ronnie is crooked and slimy enough that he might get out of the trap North set for him.

Another thing that carried over is North and Shaw’s constant snipes at each other. Sometimes they are said in jest, or just to get the other’s attention, but at other times, it is obvious they are looking to hurt the other. I know Shaw is a lot to handle, his constantly changing diets and his devotion to his guru, Master Hermes. He comes off as so flaky but there is something innocent about him. North sees it too, and really he handles the mood changes and crazy antics pretty well. But when he doesn’t, he can be harsh and his avoidance of Shaw and conversation with Shaw in this book, particularly, had me so angry with him. How many times could Shaw try to seek forgiveness or understanding before giving up? At least, it is how I felt. I wanted to say just go, and North will realize his mistake in not communicating and if he doesn’t, Shaw would still be better off.

I have always been more sympathetic to Shaw because I identify with his optimistic nature, but in this book, he also had me wanting to scream. I don’t know if I have ever really thought deeply about North and his past. For the most part, I see how he gets annoyed and though I understand it, I do, I have thought of him as hard. In this book, I saw a much more vulnerable side to him. Without giving away details, Shaw hurts North, and I don’t think he meant to, but Shaw is frequently consumed by his own wants and needs and doesn’t give North the consideration he needs. And it’s not just Shaw, North has been used and taken for granted throughout his life and getting that treatment from Shaw was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Oh my goodness! I really could feel the hurts they both felt at different times in this book. I think that says something about the way the author writes.

Moving on from the relationship aspects, and from Ronnie the creep. North and Shaw are hired by a local political figure to chauffer her son to and from counseling appointments. It’s not something they do, and neither want to take the job, but when their business license is threatened they are unable to refuse. Only when they get to the private boarding school to pick up the teen, he is missing and his door kicked in. There are moments of wild goose chase with the school administrator blocking some of their attempts to investigate, and when friend of the boy ends up dead, the politician fires them and wants the police to take over. Out of all North and Shaw’s mysteries this was one of the most intriguing ones I thought they worked on. I didn’t expect the missing boy case to end the way it did and I was shocked.

Speaking of shocked, the ending of the book had me speechless. I am wavering on saying why but I also worry about giving too much away. I think I assumed that when the North and Shaw got together at the end of the first trilogy of books featuring them, I thought all would be well. Yes, they would have some problems, all couples do, but I wasn’t prepared for how broken they would be after their actions toward each other in this book. However, I don’t think it’s a hopeless situation. I guess that’s the optimist in me striking again. Besides my love for this series, the situation between North and Shaw at the end of this book only gives me more reason to want to read the next book in the series. I can’t end this review without mentioning the narration. Charlie David has become North and Shaw to me in my head. He brings the story to life and emotes very well. I really can’t wait for the next audiobook.

10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars


Website | Goodreads 

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.

2 thoughts on “Misdirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 2) by Gregory Ashe #Audiobook #LGBT #DuoReview #MMRomance #Mystery #Contemporary

  1. Pingback: Redirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 3) by Gregory Ashe #Audiobook #LGBT #DuoReview #MMRomance #Mystery #Contemporary | Rainbow Gold Reviews

  2. Pingback: Codirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 4) by Gregory Ashe #Audiobook #LGBT #DuoReview #MMRomance #Mystery #Contemporary | Rainbow Gold Reviews

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