by A.M. Stuart
Series: Harriet Gordon #2
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Sylvie Nolan, the new and much-younger wife of Lieutenant Colonel John Nolan, has been bludgeoned to death in her bedroom. The tightly knit military community in Singapore quickly closes ranks to hinder Curran’s investigation, and Harriet realizes that her friendship with the colonel’s sister might prove useful. But to get close enough to the family’s secrets, Harriet must once again face her painful past, and Curran is forced to dredge up some long-buried secrets of his own. And when more shocking deaths occur that all seem linked to Sylvie’s murder, Harriet and Curran discover that they too are in the sights of a callous killer. . . .
My issues with this one remain the same as the first, but I realise after some thought, that I am the victim of the romantic tension trope. Possibly a willing victim, as it turns out. I understand that Stuart is bucking the trope by having the two MCs not being romantically available to each other, but alas, I don’t like it. It feels like something is missing, in spite of my not being a fan of romances. Given the time period these are set in, and the general attitude of society that a man and a woman can’t really be partners and bond on any level other than romantically – and should they try everybody accuses them of being romantically involved anyway, I can’t see this going anywhere that isn’t going to irritate me.
Still, the mysteries are good, and the Singapore setting is threatening to become trendy. The characters are growing on me in spite of the lack of oomph. The plotting is intricate enough, though one scene gave away the villain just a few pages before the big reveal.
I’ll definitely read a third one and who knows, maybe the character dynamics will go somewhere interesting without all the silly angst.