Erryn reviews A Friend in the Dark (Auden & O’Callaghan Mystery Book 1) by Gregory Ashe and C.S. Poe (Published by Emporium Press. Audio released Jan 8, 2021. 7 hrs and 54 mins in length. Narrated by Garret Kiesel. Ebook released Sept 8, 2020. 265 pages.) An audio code was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read: I was intrigued by this new writing duo.
Rufus O’Callaghan has eked out a living on the streets of New York City by helping the police put away criminals as a confidential informant. But when Rufus shows up for an arranged meeting and finds his handler dead, his already-uncertain life is thrown into a tailspin. Now someone is trying to kill Rufus too, and he’s determined to find out why.
After leaving the Army under less than desirable circumstances, Sam Auden has drifted from town to town, hitching rides and catching Greyhounds, until he learns that a former Army buddy, now a police detective in New York City, has died by suicide. Sam knows that’s not right, and he immediately sets out to get answers.
As Rufus and Sam work together to learn the truth of their friend’s death, they find themselves entangled in a web of lies, cover-ups, and accelerating danger. And when they witness a suspect killed in cold blood, they realize they’re running out of time.
To read Dana’s review click here.
Rufus has a problem. He’s a CI (confidential informant) for the NYC Police Department and his contact has just been killed and now he’s squarely a target.
Sam’s old buddy was Rufus’ handler, and upon hearing of his former army friend’s death, he heads to NYC to try to figure out what’s going on.
Sam and Rufus are an unlikely pair as they try to figure out what happened. They are attracted to each other – even sleep together – but both have mental health issues that they need to deal with. Oh yeah and crooked cops, human traffickers, and NYC in the summer. Made for an interesting ride.
I wasn’t thrilled with the ending, but I knew there would be more books to come and so held out hope and now that book 2 is out in audio, I’m heading there now.
Garrett Kiesel in a new narrator for me and he did a decent job. Can’t wait to see where Sam and Rufus go next.
8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 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.
C.S. Poe is a Lambda Literary and two-time EPIC award finalist, and a FAPA award-winning author of gay mystery, romance, and speculative fiction.
She resides in New York City, but has also called Key West and Ibaraki, Japan, home in the past. She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best to distract her from work on a daily basis.
C.S. is an alumna of the School of Visual Arts.
Her debut novel, The Mystery of Nevermore, was published 2016.