Review: Like Father, Like Son by Sarah Masters

Murder is never a good thing…

Fingertips have been turning up in various locations around the city. The problem is, Detective Inspector Matt Blacksmith has no idea why they’re being left where they are. He knows who they belong to, though, so that’s something. However, the man they used to be attached to isn’t anywhere in sight, and Matt worries he’s been killed.

Detective Sergeant Aaron Thaxter is the man who has stuck by Matt through thick and thin for the past few years. In and out of bed, he’s always there, the steadying hand that keeps Matt from drowning in the memories of his past. When the case takes a murky turn, forcing Matt to acknowledge those memories yet again, Matt is grateful that Aaron is there to help him.

Robby Zeus knows that being in a gang isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Despite his dreams of being someone to be feared and respected, now that the reality of being in a gang has slapped him hard around the face, he’s desperate not to get himself into any more trouble. With the help of Matt and Aaron, Robby faces being wrenched from the only life he’s ever known to somewhere safe, away from the gang, where he can live a good life with his ma. But things have never been that easy for Robby. Can he be free from the leaders of the two gangs he’s tied to?

Time will tell. Except time might not be on anyone’s side…

I think what I loved most about this story is that it was set in the UK. While I’m over in Australia, most of the fiction I read is set in the USA, and while I love you all over there, sometimes it’s nice to travel around the world in my novels. I also love that what I believe is local dialect was used as well. I really got a feel for Robby. He seemed like a pretty typical teen that was brought up surrounded by not so great people, and got himself into a spot of trouble (to put it mildly).

Detective Inspector Matt Blacksmith was an interesting character as well. He seemed to be just the right side of experienced to still want to make a difference, and not be completely jaded by life and his job. He is almost there, but there’s something left in him to want to help young Robby and his mum get out of the life they currently live.

The plot for this story was basic, but really good. Robby has always skirted the gang life his father brought him up in, and his mother wanted nothing to do with, but now Robby is in a bit deeper than he wanted to be. No more playing the fence, he is entrenched and has to choose his next move carefully.

Meanwhile there is a mystery that Detective Blacksmith and his partner at work and in life, Detective Aaron Thaxter, need to work through. They think they have an idea what is happening but they still have to follow procedures and work it out the right way.

This story engaged me. The characters were great. I really enjoyed Robby’s character, and how Matt (Blacksmith) reacted to him. There was a detailed backstory thrown in to understand the plot, but not too much that it was overwhelming and caused side tracking.

As a piece of suspense/drama fiction this wasn’t over the top. No incredible angst, the perfect amount for me. I wanted to know how everyone turned out in the end, and I would definitely read more from this author and this world.

I would recommend this to most readers who aren’t turned off by a bit of violence and gore.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

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