Book Reviews

Tallowwood by N.R. Walker at BlueHeart Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Officers of the Law / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 08-November-2019

Book Blurb

Sydney Detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone--and that's exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he's convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia's worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he's the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer. 

When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake's new case turns out to be linked to August's cold cases, and Jake agrees they're not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August's corner, they face one hurdle after another. Even when more remains are found, they can't seem to gain ground.
 But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can't be ignored anymore. 

August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.

Book Review

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” ~Unknown Author

Detective August Shaw only investigates cold cases, so he is confused when Senior Constable Jacob Porter, from the town of Tallowwood, calls him requesting help with a current case. The details involved in the murder are eerily similar to several cases that Detective Shaw has been working on for a very long time, ones that became personal when the killer added August’s boyfriend to his list of victims. For years no one has believed that the LGBT victims were not suicides, as the evidence indicated, until Jacob; that forms an immediate mutual respect between them.

For years, Jacob has read about the immensely successful cold case detective. Jacob has respected and admired the man, not only for his work expertise, but for the fact that he is openly gay. August has made his life and those of other gay men in law enforcement easier. Jacob can hardly believe that the detective is coming to his town to investigate the murder for himself. Since Jacob is somewhat of a “fanboy”, he is nervous as well as excited. When Jacob meets August, he feels an instant attraction to the man who, if possible, is even more handsome than he expects. Jacob has to remind himself that August is there on business and that he needs to keep it that way.

Jacob’s description of the murder details convinces August to come to Tallowwood to visit the crime scene. He meets Jacob and, despite August’s usual curmudgeon-type attitude, Jacob immediately breaks through it. August is amused by Jacob’s obvious nervousness and almost smiles. Jacob’s enthusiasm and zest for his job, and for life in general, is contagious. Since his fiancé’s death, August has shut himself off from everyone, dealing with people as little as possible. The longer he’s with Jacob, the more he can sense the small cracks beginning to form in the fortress around his heart. Although the other officers tease Jacob about the seriousness and preciseness he takes with his investigations, August can’t help but be impressed. He begins to trust Jacobs instincts. August takes Jacob’s ideas about the murder and what makes him surmise that, although they seem like a different M.O., they are similar enough to be tied together. As they continue their investigation, they run into an unsuspected development when another body is found.

N.R. is such an excellent storyteller. Her ability to create a murder mystery containing intrigue, betrayal, and sadness, while combining it with a love story, is brilliant. I loved Jacob, especially how he was able to reach into August’s heart and pull out the pain so he was able to begin healing. After all he had been through, I loved August for accepting Jacob’s love. They were definitely a dynamic duo. This is a book I’d love to see as a movie! I am sure it would be sold out at every showing. Thanks, N.R., for a great reading experience.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 375 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-September-2019
Price $3.99 ebook, $14.00 paperback
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