Erryn reviews Wayward (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 4) by Gregory Ashe (Published by Hodgkin and Blount, May 29, 2020, 427 pages. Audiobook released August 10, 2020. Narrated by Tristan James. 12 hours 28 minutes in length.) An audio code was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I listened to this: I am loving this series.
To read Dana’s review of the audiobook click here.
Emery Hazard is trying to plan his wedding, even though his fiancé, John-Henry Somerset, isn’t exactly making things easy for him. To be fair, Somers has been distracted lately; his father is running for mayor in a hotly contested election, and their hometown is splintering under the weight of divisive politics.
In a matter of hours, those poisonous politics invade Hazard’s life in a way he couldn’t have imagined. Glenn Somerset, Somers’s father, shows up on their doorstep, and he wants two things: first, for Hazard to neutralize a blackmail threat; and second, for Somers temporarily to move out of the house he shares with Hazard, part of public relations stunt to win the election. To Hazard’s shock, Somers agrees.
Determined to lose himself in his work, Hazard takes on a missing person’s case, but his investigation only leads him deeper into the tangled web of small-town politics. To find the truth, he must face off with the viciously rich who rule Wahredua — and with the poor, desperate, and marginalized, who fight just as viciously in their own way.
When Hazard’s investigation uncovers a murder, he is forced to work with Somers to bring the killer to justice, despite their fractured relationship. But the sudden news that Hazard’s father is failing fast threatens to put an untimely end to the case — and, in doing so, jeopardize Somers’s last-ditch effort to repair his relationship with his own father.
The killer, though, has an accelerating timeline, and in a world of wayward children, every relationship is fraught with hidden dangers.
I am relatively new to the whole Hazard and Somerset pairing, and I’m pretty sure John-Henry’s father has been in previous books. Well, frankly, I don’t like the guy. He’s running for mayor and is convinced he’ll only win if his gay son moves out of the home he shares with his gay lover. I understood why John-Henry moved out, but it took him down a notch or two in my estimation. In Emery Hazard’s as well. There’s more going on than he knows about, but he also knows he doesn’t function well without his other half. Then rumours start that John-Henry is getting back together with his ex-wife and all hell breaks loose. I also have to say there’s a lot of dysfunction in the relationship and it breaks my heart how often the men hurt each other – whether intentionally or not.
Oh yeah, and the men are still working. Somerset’s father has asked Emery to look into a case of blackmail – an interesting backdrop to the real mystery. Emery is approached by a woman who wants him to track down her sister. The wayward sister. The irresponsible sister. This responsible woman and her parents have cared for the errant sister’s daughter for years – through the woman’ flights of fancy – but now that the woman appears gone for good, the ne’er do well father of the child has taken custody. And isn’t he just a piece of work. Between him and his parents, I really did wonder for the little girl’s safety.
But as missing person turns to a murder investigation, Hazard needs Somerset the cop. And as Somerset is a step behind, he needs Hazard the PI. So the men are forced to work together and, to top it off, there are political machinations at the office as well. Add to that the fact Hazard’s father is dying, and the men have a lot going on.
I enjoyed this book. I was surprised at the end to see who the real killer was. That always ranks high in my estimation. Tristan James did a brilliant job narrating the story – as he has with the entire series. There’s one more book to go when all will be revealed – I can’t wait.
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.
To read Dana’s review of The Rational Faculty (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 1) click here.
To read Dana’s review of Police Brutality (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 2) click here.
To read Dana’s review of Transactional Dynamics (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 3) click here.
To read Dana’s review of Wayward (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 4) click here.
To read Dana’s review of The Keeper of Bees (Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords Book 5) click here.