This review is spoiler free.
“We are all flawed. We are all injured. Some have bigger flaws, greater injuries than others, but we all deserve to be loved.”
Series: The Ian Start Mysteries
Published: 2020, by NineStar Press, LLC.
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, LGBT
Contains: Homophobia, Strong Language, Sexual Content, Death, Murder, Violence, Anger
I received a copy of this book from NineStar Press through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘Start to Finish’ follows Ian Start, an art professor and poet, living and teaching in Rhode Island. After suffering an infection in his leg that left him disfigured and traumatised, he’s been struggling to regain his emotional balance and find his voice again in his poetry and art. However, when one of his students is murdered and he’s implicated, and the chemistry between himself and his investigator, the events that follow put a huge strain on Ian and everyone involved in the case.
I initially picked this title from Netgalley because of the premise, adoring the idea of an amateur, homosexual detective and what would spark from those ideas. It’s cover also drew me in further, adoring the aesthetic and thankfully, what was inside was an added bonus.
Ian made for a wonderful protagonist, being an amateur detective causing a lot of damage from his snooping around but his heart was in the right place. With a tragic background and a love life on the rocks, it was fascinating to read about his life and what led him to the person he is in the present. He’s depressed, desperate but honest and true to himself, and that’s what makes him an incredibly interesting person to follow.
Jake was another fascinating character, being so devoted to his work and his loved ones that it was a joy to read about him. As his and Ian’s relationship blossomed, it was fascinating to read about his torn mind and how he overcame the obstacles he faced. He made for a very routable character.
The writing itself is very concise and developed, highlighting Williams’ talent for the craft of writing. Being nineteen chapters long, it was a fairly fast read, with very short chapters and snappy scenes. The pace was fast, jumping from clue to clue until the epic climax at the end of the novel.
Overall, this was a truly fascinating read. The characters were routable, the plot line was concise and the overall mystery was a thrill to watch unfold.