Review: The Danger in Bohemia by H.E. Kollef

Will Mracek is forced to flee to Prague when he witnesses his boyfriend, powerful security magnate Jean Claude la Bête, commit murder. On the run, and with help from his cousin John, Will becomes an English teacher named Max Knight and does everything he can to blend in. Meeting Hadrian Walls, however, changes everything.

Max falls in love with the grumpy ex-RAF, now bartender, and Hadrian finds himself doing the same, despite not knowing the secrets of Max’s dangerous past.

But trouble has a way of coming home, and Max and Jean Claude will face each other one last time in a confrontation that sends both of them over the edge…

DNF --37%

Finding out your boyfriend is some sort of underworld boss is rough going, and for a man who spends his life repairing ancient books it is the biggest shock of his life. Packing up and moving to Prague was the last direction Max expected his life to go. Being an English language teacher is even less appealing. But it is the only life he can have. Hiding out in another country, with a new identity and trying his best to overcome the PTSD and agoraphobia he experiences as a result of watching his ex-boyfriend kill someone in their house, is tough. The last thing he needs is another boyfriend, one who is as mysterious and damaged as he is. But he can’t seem to get Hadrian out of his head, so he is determined to see where it goes.

Unfortunately this was a DNF for me @ 37%. I understood what the setup was, and where the story was leading, but I found that I became bored with the amount of descriptives about the landscape. I’m sure Prague is a beautiful place, filled with a rich culture, and showing me bits and pieces would have been fine. But for me it was too much. The book was too wordy, and didn’t get on with the interactions. I spent so much time learning about what the streets looked like that I had to keep putting this down. I don’t really care what colour the bar is, or the decor on the wall. Most pubs look pretty much the same. I’m not really interested in a step by step of every street Max travels down. It’s just not something I care about. I care about character development and plot development. Surrounds are important. But not that important.

For others, I imagine this sort of richly described landscape would be appealing, and I don’t want to put anyone else off giving this a try. The plot was just too slow for me, and my mind kept wandering to other things instead of staying in the moment.

I did enjoy the characters, and I thought the backgrounds would be really interesting, if I got that far. But 37% of a 260 page book is a long time for me to wait to find out more about Hadrian, or for the plot to move into the next stage. Even from his point of view, I know next to nothing about him, and that bothers me. I’m just not invested enough in these men to want to continue with their journey.

There was a lot of opportunity to show the richness of Prague culture, architecture, and landscape. But there was equal opportunity to trim the excess that added nothing to the story.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book because I didn’t read the whole thing, but if you enjoy stories with a lot of detail in the landscape, then this is the story for you.

Check out on:

Dreamspinner Press


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