Dana and Erryn review Redirection (Borealis: Without a Compass Book 3) by Gregory Ashe (This book was released on June 29, 2021, and is 294 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Charlie David. It was released on January 4, 2022, and is 11 hrs and 26 mins long.) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the review of Indirection (Borealis Without a Compass Book 1) click here.
To read the review of Misdirection (Borealis Without a Compass Book 2) click here.
When it comes to your ex, nothing is ever easy.
The Borealis boys are settling into their new normal, or at least into their new digs. But when North’s soon-to-be (please-let-it-be-soon) ex-husband, Tucker, is arrested and charged with murder, everything goes sideways.
Hired by Tucker’s parents, North and Shaw begin looking for proof that Tucker is innocent, in spite of the evidence against him. When they find seemingly incriminating photos hidden in Tucker’s BMW, North is convinced that someone is trying to frame Tucker—and might get away with it.
But the cast of alternate suspects presents its own challenges: an estranged son, a betrayed wife, and North and Shaw’s close-knit circle of friends from college—men who had their own connections to the victim, and who had their own reasons for wanting him dead. A threatening email suggests that the motive, whatever it might be, lies buried in the past, in a relationship gone wrong. The question is, which one?
When Tucker is poisoned, North and Shaw realize that the killer isn’t finished. Clearing Tucker’s name won’t be enough; they must find the killer before someone else dies. And to do so, they will have to unearth truths from their own pasts.
“Do you think one of my b@lls is bigger than the other?” Shaw glanced down at his American flag hotpants. Cowboy boots and a spangled cropped tank completed the outfit. He inspected himself for several long seconds. He wished he’d brought a ruler.
Okay, with an opening like that, you know you’re in for quite a ride. Normally Mr. Ashe’s Borealis books begin with the definition of the word in the title and then Shaw and North going back and forth about what it really means. I have to admit, I missed that. Of course picturing Shaw examining his, uh, junk, formed a whole new image in my mind.
At the end of the last book, Shaw and North were definitely finished as a couple. I think I even questioned how their professional relationship would survive. I knew there was another book coming, so I didn’t spend too much time obsessing over the couple. Of course the two long-time friends and short-time lovers were going to sort things out. That being said, I did get a little irritated in this book with how long it took them to sort out their, uh, stuff.
Then, naturally, there’s a murder. North’s a-hole and hopefully soon-to-be ex-husband is implicated and North’s in-laws beg him to help. Shaw’s not sure about this, but Borealis could use the money. So they embark into an examination of the life of the victim, the life of Tucker, the life of their friends, as well as some self-introspection.
I admit the crime had me stumped. Plenty of suspects. But I wasn’t completely surprised at the murderer. Then came the real twist. The one I didn’t see coming. The ultimate act of violence. Wow, I thought, okay.
Then I got to the end and realized there’s a major strand hanging loose. Therefore, there will, of course, be more books.
Totally fine with me. I’m happy to go wherever Mr. Ashe leads me. And as long as Charlie David narrates the books in such a fine manner, we’re golden.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
So at the end of the book 2 in this series, North and Shaw had broken up. After the wait for them to get together in the first series, I had thought for sure they would stay together, so I was shocked. I have said it in all my previous reviews, but the way these two hurt each other I wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t be for the best if they didn’t break up. Still, I came into this book hoping that they would find their way back together. These two might not always be healthy for each other’s sanity, but I can’t see them with anyone else, either. But it will take a bit for them to sort things out when North’s almost ex-husband gets arrested for murder and Tucker’s parents hire North and Shaw to prove he didn’t do it.
The victim is a former professor at the college North, Shaw, Tucker, and several of their other friends attended at the same time. It seems that the dead guy was not quite an innocent bystander. Cheating on his wife, and having affairs with men (including Tucker,) allegations of rape and blackmail during college and insider trading in his business life add to the reasons why the victim ended up how he did. Not to mention the surplus of potential suspects. The guy seemed like a total creep to me, so I was wasn’t really invested in seeing the killer brought to justice, but wanted to know the why and who for curiosity’s sake.
North and Shaw do somehow work well together to discover the killer even though their personal relationship is all over the place. At one point, my co-reviewer mentioned that the pair was going to make her lose her mind. She was a little ahead of me so I kept listening to try and figure out what she meant, but there were so many moments where they (well, mostly North) stunned me with their behavior and had me shaking my head. Again, the rational part of me said they should just stay apart, but my silly sentimental still held out hope that they could make amends and fix things.
As far as the mystery, I don’t think its too much of a spoiler to say that they two men did their job. While the killer wasn’t really apparent among the other suspects, it wasn’t Tucker. However knowing what happened after they cleared Tucker’s name, I really wish the frame job on him had stuck. I have not really met a more detestable character, not even North’s “uncle,” Ronnie who makes veiled threats during the book. Because you know from the start Ronnie is crooked and bad, but while Tucker was slimy, I thought there was some humanity in him, but by the end I was no longer sure.
With the first series featuring North and Shaw only lasting three books, I was worried that this was the end of this series, because there are several things I would still like to know. Luckily, I see there is another book out, and I hope it comes out on audio soon. These guys and their drama, and their love are so addicting. The narration by Charlie David is great and really works for these two. I definitely recommend.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 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.