“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” – Jean-Jacque Rousseau
Leviticus’ murderous exploits haven’t lasted nearly as long or reached the Green River Killer’s numbers, but it has spanned several states and has targeted a very specific victim: all of them gay men, all of them fitting a very specific physical profile, all of them sacrificed for the greater good of the pure and the righteous. Lev is set to cleanse the world of their homosexual stain, one corpse at a time.
The psychopath who kills in the name of righteousness and virtue is still on the loose, but the FBI is very near to closing in on him. They know his motives, they know his profile, and they now know his name. The trick is going to be catching him before he has the chance to hurt anyone else and eliminates the one man he sees as the driving force behind his killing crusade. A kidnapping and case of mistaken identity came close to derailing the entire investigation, but Sam Shaughnessy and company didn’t become the best at what they do by giving up or by allowing the criminals to stay a step ahead of them for too long.
The Leviticus case hasn’t been resolved yet, but the case of the ever-evolving relationship between Sam and his not-boyfriend, Mac O’Bannon, moves toward a resolution that comes with some closure of past wounds and a revelation that Mac fears might send Sam away for good. One of the best things about this book for me was the evolution of Sam himself, (who can be the very definition of frustration at times!) and the way in which he and Mac finally make peace with exactly where they stand with each other.
As with the first book in the series, Six Degrees of Lust, Taylor V. Donavan has brought her ensemble cast of characters together for more intrigue, mystery, family drama, danger, romance, and some pretty steamy moments between the two men who play their relationship like a strategic game of chess, sometimes planning several moves ahead, sometimes taking a risk and sacrificing a piece of themselves for the sake of capturing the greater prize later in the game.
It’s easy enough to say I want everyone’s stories to be front and center in the next installment and will be happy with whoever comes next, but I would especially like to see what Ms. Donovan has cooked up for S.A. Logan Brandenburg and a certain someone. These characters are easy to like, and I even like the characters I don’t love so much for bringing a healthy dose of frustration into the lives of those they seem to live to torment.
Like a criminal investigation, the storyline in the By Degrees series is unfolding methodically, with twists and turns, false starts and careful plotting. I’ve become so invested in the solving of this case that I’m sorry (almost) that I read this book so quickly, knowing that there’ll be quite a wait for Book Three.
I’d definitely recommend giving this series a good seeing to in the meantime.
Reviewed by: Lisa