Book: Tramps and Thieves
Series: Murder and Mayhem book 2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Publication date: September 18, 2017
Length: 210 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.
The unlikely but highly entertaining duo of former cat burglar Rook Stevens and detective Dante Montoya are back again, and boy is it ever a roller coaster of a ride! In her unparalleled way, Rhys Ford starts her new book, Tramps and Thieves off with a bang ... or well, a murder. And Rook finds himself smack dab in the middle of it, which, really, isn't much of surprise since the guy seems to have trouble for a middle name.
As per usual with any Rhys Ford book, I was thoroughly engrossed from page one and the suspense, mystery, action, and the surprisingly deep and emotional relationship of Rook and Dante kept me frantically turning the pages as fast as I could read them. As gripping and captivating as the murder mystery is (and in typical Rhys fashion, you're kept guessing until the end with lots of false clues sprinkled throughout) it was the relationship between Rook and Dante that had me swooning all over the place. Gah, these guys! So flawed, but so real and vulnerable.
In Tramps and Thieves, we really get a much clearer insight into Rook. In the first book, Murder and Mayhem, he still had this shroud of mystery to him, lots of things we didn't really know about him. In this book though, he's flayed open, often, and often it's almost more than he can handle. But in Dante's gentle, loving arms, he's able to unburden himself and know he's safe. The growth of these two as a couple is so fantastic. Oh, Rook can still be a stubborn asshole, and Dante has a fiery temper, but their openness and honesty with one another was such a joy to read.
In the midst of all this, though, there is still a killer after Rook and chaos around every corner. There really isn't any author better than Rhys Ford at capturing all the elements of murder. It's a grisly thing, and between the sights and sounds and smells, Rhys is a master at capturing it all while not overwhelming the reader too much. Yeah, you might cringe, but you're supposed to.
The cast of characters in Tramps and Thieves is stellar. Everyone from Dante's partner, Hank, to appearances by Rook's cousin Alex and his husband, James, and Dante's Uncle Manny, to Archie just added so much to the story. And a word about Grandpa Archie ...this guy. So wonderfully complex and aloof and tactless but he's still lovable in his own way. I'm not sure we're supposed to love him, but I do. There is a history that plays heavily into the hows and whys of Rook that makes so much more sense now.
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