Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Murder Once Seen
Author: J.T. Hall
Series: The Oddities #1
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 352 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: December 12, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.
Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.
Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.
Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.
Review: I love being pulled into a new world with interesting characters and adventures. This one grabbed me from the start. Here, there are people with “Oddities” or super human abilities, but most people try to hide them for fear of the government recruiting them to use their “skills” in somewhat evil ways, such as interrogation and torture, or experiment on them. Derwin and Elliot are two guys who have managed to keep theirs hidden.
Derwin has not gotten over the loss of his boyfriend and even though the police labeled it a random break in gone wrong, he believes it was more personal. Unfortunately, he has run out of leads. He spends his time bounty hunting bail jumpers and demons. His oddity requires him to feed off of pain, which would make him an ideal interrogator. However, he prefers his pain to come willingly and with pleasure. When he is out one night looking for a hookup, he runs into Elliot.
Elliot is a sweet boy who was kicked out by his parents at the age of 14 for being gay and because of his oddity, which allows him to see visions through touch. To survive, he has been a rentboy, and though he has plans to a better life, for the time being, he is beholden to his Madame and must continue with his profession.
Derwin and Elliot hook up but things quickly become more than that when Derwin realizes the connection they have. Elliot is perfect for him. He enjoys being dominated and a little pain with his play, which works out perfectly for Derwin and his needs. While there is definitely a D/S aspect to their relationship, it is by no means the same old, same old.
Things heat up as they end up finding and looking for more clues into the murder. Derwin thinks he can help Elliot, but Elliot is in a bit of a pickle with the resident gang leader. Elliot struggles with the way his life has turned out but sees little hope of it changing for the better. When they realize they have actual feelings towards each other, there is hope on both sides that things will work out for both of them.
A lot happens in this story, but it is easy to follow, with plenty of action and interesting aspects that kept me turning pages. I loved the paranormal aspects of it with the different abilities and how they affected each of the characters’ lives. I ended this wanting to jump right into the next installment, which I hope is just as emotional and exciting as this was.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*