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~Henry Miller

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Bitter Legacy

Bitter Legacy - Dal Maclean
WOW! WOW! WOW! What a brilliant debut!


Honestly, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I do, when I started reading it. Already at 50% I knew it was a 5 stars read, at 80% I lost my connection to the outside world, at 90% I wanted to rush to find out what happened next and at the same time I didn't want this book to end, and at 100% I felt sad...because it was over.

imageDear Mrs.MacLean, please, don't stop writing. With your brilliant book- I really can't believe that it is a debut novel!- you captured my heart and surely won a new fan.

It's not a secret that English is not my first language. (Here it will be a suitable opportunity to beg your pardons for all my orthographic and grammatical errors, but believe me, I always try to do my best), but I explained often enough, that my reading English is much better than my writing English, and normally I seldom use a dictionary while reading books in English. Bitter Legacy put my vocabulary to the test: I don't remember EVER, well at least for the last ten years, to use a dictionary that often as I did while reading this book. But instead of becoming frustrating and annoying by many interruptions of my reading process - especially at the beginning, because it took me some pages to get used to the author’s writing style, or better to say, to accept my questionable British(?) English knowledge - I was falling more and more in love with this EXCLUSIVE and beautiful writing, and I’d like to thank the author very sincerely for educating me in such a great manner.

This book is RICH in many many things: In language, wording, plot, emotions, intensity, character’s development, atmosphere and last but not least, in literary quality. In EVERYTHING. I.LOVE.EVERY.MINUTE.OF.IT.

It is not easy to review a mystery book, to talk about the plot without spoiling anything. In this book a mystery part and a romance part are so closely intertwined with each other that it is almost impossible to separate them. I am pretty sure that this book will satisfied both lager: an experienced gay mystery reader, as well as a passionate MM romance reader. It is one of those rare books where a quality of a mystery part throughout the whole story remains on a very high level while a romance part, a relationship DRMA (I mean it, really, but ONLY positive in this case!) becomes slowly but surely a dominant theme.

The sexual tension and a sloooooow build up between the main characters are exemplary!
I honestly didn’t expect this mystery novel to turn into such an intense love story.



A short insight into the story:

Detective Sergeant James Henderson, twenty eight, is very attractive. He is a very talented investigator with a mysterious background. (I’m not going to spoil you anything, but my guess at the beginning was that he had come out to his family and they threw him out. My suggestion was not completely wrong, though it turned out to be more complicated than just a coming-out-topic.)


In spite of his excellent investigating skills and remarkable instincts, he seems to be a bit out of place, a bit too posh within the walls of the Metropolitan Police. Who is this young man? A secret aristocrat or simply an intellectual cop?

What though is clear from the very first pages: he is committed to his career, he is a gay newbie, he lives in a shithole outside from London, and he tries, still without success, to find a new living possibility in the city he can afford. We all know how extremely expensive London is!

When Maria Curzon-Whytea, a young barrister, is brutally murdered at the entrance of her house, James Henderson has been assigned to the case, that attracts immediately a lot of media attention. But the case proves to be extremely difficult: the killer leaves no traces behind, it looks like whoever it was, is probably “forensic aware”, and James’ Murder Investigation Team checks every single lead they can get. Like a handwritten note with an address in a noble neighborhood of London. It appears to be a dead end again. Two of three tenants have never met the victim (at least it is what they claim), and the third one is out of country. But. There is a room to rent. And there is...Ben Morgan.


...twenty-eight, an openly gay freelance photographer, who makes most of money working on fashion shoot, and who happens to rent out a room in his apartment to pay the mortgage and who mistakes James for a visitor from his LOOONG list of those who interest in the room.

Now I have to stop.


I want you to find out yourselves what happens next. I want you to WANT to know what it is about.
I want you to read it and I want you to love it. Oh, and...I want you BADLY to feel it. Like I did.
I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOOOO MUCH, now it is your turn.

This book goes DIRECTLY to my favorite read-shelf.

I can't believe it is a debut novel!

I can't recommend it highly enough.

BRAVO MRS.MacLean!!!


***ARC provided to Gay Book Reviews by the author in exchange for an honest review.***