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Thursday, February 11, 2010

'The Hell You Say: Adrien English #3' by Josh LANYON

From the BLURB:

The long anticipated third novel in the Adrien English series finds the "ill-starred and bookish" mystery writer and bookseller battling demons--maybe literally.

After bookstore clerk Angus flees following terrifying death threats, Adrien must contend with a mysterious Satanic cult, a hot and handsome university professor, and his on-again/off-again relationship with closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan.

And, oh, yes, murder...

The third book in Josh Lanyon’s ‘Adrien English’ series proves to be just as good as its predecessors.

In this book Lanyon adds onto the cast of secondary characters by having Adrien’s society-belle mother marry a middle-aged councilman. The extended family make witty fodder for Adrien as he inherits three step sisters – all of whom are statuesque maidens Adrien coquettishly calls a ‘harem’.

Also joining the cast of secondary characters is University occult lecturer, Guy Snowden, who makes for sweet distraction when things between Adrien and Jake hit a serious roadblock.

From the first I feel like I’ve been holding my breath regarding Jake and Adrien. So all encompassing is Jake’s hatred of himself and the gay community, you just knew from the get-go that Adrien was going to get hurt in the midst of Jake’s denial. I feel sorry for Jake too, just as Adrien does – I mean, it can’t be easy hating yourself that much over something you have no control over. Regardless, I was vicariously hurt by Jake’s actions in ‘The Hell You Say’ and my heart goes out to Adrien. Their relationship is so intense that even when it turns depressing it’s still interesting and makes for addictive reading. I’m kind of going into the next 2 books with my heart in my throat though, because I can only imagine how much worse it can get for Adrien and Jake.

I was especially saddened by the events of ‘The Hell You Say’ because I love Adrien so much. I wish he were a real person I could call up and have a late-night chat with, or meet for cosmos in a fancy bar where we would proceed to quietly heckle those around us. He is all shades of awesome – and so (fictional character or not) I feel very precious and protective of him.

‘The Hell You Say’ has Adrien at his best, witty-saccharine self. Sure it becomes increasingly hard to believe that Adrien would bumble into these murder investigations, but the suspended belief is aided by Lanyon’s clever ‘story within a story’. Adrien is a murder-mystery novelist on the side, and he hosts a writers workshop with fellow mystery authors– who all poke fun at the absurdity of their own writing and the probability of their average-joe characters actually getting tangled in police investigations. The suspended belief is also aided by the fact that Adrien is just so darn charming and funny, so I don’t mind the ludicrousness:

So when the downstairs phone rang, I doubled back to pick it up, though I was already running late.
A pause followed my greeting. Then, “We’re watching you,” whispered the voice on the other end.
“Yeah? Did you see what I did with my keys?”
Silence. Then dial tone.
These younger demons. So easily discouraged.

I loved this book and I continue to adore the 'Adrien English' series.



  1. This series is looking to be not what I expected and I need to move a few things around so I can read these books now! Nice review.

  2. Oh..this series breaks my heart..but it repairs it so well. Jake kills me..KILLS ME!!!!!

  3. I freaking cried trhoughout 90% of this book!!! I totally agree Smexi... Jake KILLS me!

    I saved that same quote Danielle LOL I laughed so hard, I even went to my dad and told to get him laughing =P

    Loved the review!

  4. He is all shades of awesome – and so (fictional character or not) I feel very precious and protective of him.

    Aww you hit it right on the head, that's exactly how I feel about him.

    I had to admot to crying all the way through this book as well. It was just that GOOD!

    Man, I HAVE to put a re-read of these back on the list.


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