Title: The Necessary Deaths
Author: David C. Dawson
Series: The Delingpole Mysteries #1
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: 11-01-2016
Genre(s): M/M Thriller/Suspense Romance
Page Count: 200
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a drug overdose. But was it attempted suicide or attempted murder? The student’s mother persuades British lawyer Dominic Delingpole to investigate, and Dominic enlists the aid of his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.
The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?
As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, and no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.
The title of the book didn’t quite show itself until later on… but it definitely fit the bill. The Necessary Deaths was suspense and thriller from… well, almost the beginning. When we meet Dominic, he’s presented as a boring lawyer in a long distance relationship, going about his day when he hears a commotion outside of his apartment. On the floor, his neighbor has fainted and is being treated by EMS, only to learn that his neighbor’s son is in the hospital following a suicide attempt and his mom needs to get there. It just so happens, and lucky for all of us, that it’s in the same town where his lover lives!
As the investigation unfolds, we learn more about Dominic and his boyfriend Jonathan – and it was definitely not as expected. While Dominic’s character started out quite dry, he developed and grew into an interesting and smart man throughout, with a keen penchant for finding (and following) clues. Unfortunately, the relationship between him and Jonathan, while unique and I don’t have any issues with that, fell flat – over and over again. This story is written with the focus on the suspense, not love or characters. I think I was 70 pages or so in before I even know WHO the love interest was.
Overall, it was a fun and quick read, especially if you like figuring out a who done it – with some twists and turns that got better as the story unfolded. I will say though, that if you love a super strong mystery (as in, not having a clue as to who the bad guys are), this will let you down a little – as I was able to figure it out early on. Also, if you’re into lots of love and sex, skip this one as there is definitely not a “traditional” M/M love story included, until perhaps the end.