Guest Reviewed by Trish
Title: The Next
Author: Rafe Haze
Heroes: Marzoli and …
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 315 Pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Release Date: April 23, 2014
Available at: Wilde City Press, Amazon & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: He never thought he’d become one of the agoraphobic sludges of New York City—trapped with one view of a courtyard and a head full of wrenching memories. Dumped, disconnected, and depressed, he surrenders to spying on the neighbors as his only entertainment.
Until one day, without warning, the lascivious and suspicious behavior of the closeted lawyer in the huge apartment across the courtyard leads him to a spine-tingling conclusion… his neighbor is a murderer.
Perhaps collaborating with the beautiful and fierce Detective Marzoli to catch the killer can finally breathe life back into a man suffocated by the stranglehold of a tragic past. Unless the killer across the way decides to make him… The Next.
Whoa, what a ride. From the first page to The Next 😛 and through to the very last. Let’s start with the setting. The majority of the story takes place at a New York City apartment building with a courtyard layout. The story is reminiscent of the basic plot used in the famous movie, The Rear Window, however, that is their only similarity. The characters… well, that one is a bit harder to tackle because I cannot give you the name for the MC.
This story is told from the MC’s POV and we never learn his name. It amazed me that a 300 page mystery, so heavily involved around the MC’s current and past life, can be told without giving the main character a name. But it happened. It did niggle me early on, and I went back through the beginning thinking I had skipped his name. Once I was enveloped in the story, I didn’t notice this niggle anymore. We learn his birthday and his age, and I can say with confidence that his name is not Phillip (you’ll need to read this great story to find out why I’m so confident). For clarity I will call him “MC”. Then we have his love interest, Detective Marzoli. Marzoli is a confident, smart, sexy wiseass who is investigating a missing person who lives in the apartment above the MC. These two characters are fantastic, their chemistry ignites as soon as the MC opens the door.
We learn very early on that MC has issues. Specifically, agoraphobia. His past has plenty to do with his illness, and the story bounces back and forth between past and present. But, be careful here. The author slips these in. You really need to be on your game and pay attention for when the MC falls into his past. And that leads me to the writing. It’s good. Really good. It’s crisp and sarcastic, and descriptive and enlightening, and the MC does not hold back with his critique of his neighbors. To the point where the MC can come off as quite an ass in my opinion. This feeling doesn’t last long after you learn his past. Marzoli, however, is onto him from their first introduction. I won’t go further into story details but there is a cast of characters that keep the story moving right along, and I will forever love Mrs. Abraham. That women rocks!
If you like your stories with more plot then sex, then this story will work for you. There is sweet lovin’ but it is necessary to the plot. And there is one love scene specifically that had my throat tightening and me wiping my eyes. So, if you like your stories with unique characters, if you like your mystery stories with a bit of action, and if you like your stories told well, then read this book.
p.s. I hope one day the author will reveal why he never gave this fantastic character a name.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*