Reviewed by Ami
Title: Killing Time in LA
Author: Victor J. Banis
Series: Tom & Stanley #3
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: No matter how Stanley tries, he and Tom can’t seem to get away from bodies.
On vacation in LA, Stanley’s visit with a friend at a popular Mexican restaurant owned by La Paloma, the flamenco dancer, leads to meeting a couple from Mexico. When the woman is found dead, Tom and Stanley work with LAPD Detective Betts—a recovering alcoholic who lost his son to a child murderer—to find the young man. The bodies pile up as Tom, Stanley, and Betts race to solve the puzzle of a Russian agent, drug smuggling, illegal immigrants, and police corruption.
Stanley might hate bodies, but Tom can’t resist a mystery. While killing time in LA, will a killer set his sights on Stanley?
Review: Not long ago, there was a new Tom and Stanley book where the couple went to Ozarks, Missouri for vacation (it’s from different publisher). This time, in Killing Time in LA, the couple go for another week vacation to the City of Angels. Their plan for the first few days is to have dinner with Stanley’s friend, eat Mexican food, and watch a flamenco performance. Unfortunately, MUCH to Stanley’s dismay, their plan is rather derailed when Tom is called by his ex-partner (briefly) and they end up in a murder scene. Yes, with a dead body…
I am going to divide my thoughts for two parts: the mystery and the coupledom of Tom and Stanley.
The mystery itself is not exactly a mystery. Banis uses multiple perspectives for the mystery, INCLUDING the villain, which sort of takes the suspense out of it.
Honestly, multiple perspectives in murder/mystery has never been my favorite writing style. I like to be surprised by the twists and turns. I’m pretty much just waiting until Tom and Stanley figure things out – including the motive – while helping the detective assigned to the case. The mystery is enjoyable and things move pretty fast, however, it’s not my favorite.
I think Stanley, once again, shows that he is probably the better detective between the two men, even if Tom is the one with the actual detective badge on his belt. Stanley is sharp, observant, and his knowledge is quite diverse – there is a scene here where he explains about Greek mythology called katabasis.
Tom is better at providing the muscle! Of course, what makes Tom a good detective is his determination. Tom really enjoys solving cases – unlike Stanley who doesn’t really think of detecting as his calling.
Now, in terms of coupledom – look, Tom and Stanley have never been lovey-dovey couple. They have their ups and downs, and sometimes I question whether they love each other the way that I think love should look like on page. But then I guess it’s what makes them work? If you’re looking for a romantic couple, Tom and Stanley are not really it. I believe they are committed to one another even if there’s possibility of attraction to another person (in this case, there’s this detective who seems to show some attention towards Stanley).
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*