Audio Review: Adam Carpenter – Hidden Identity

22454866Author: Adam Carpenter
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Narrator:  Joel Leslie

Summary: When Jimmy McSwain is hired to find missing heir Harris Rothschild, he finds that identities can be altered and lives can be changed–or taken with the simple pull of the trigger.

Jimmy McSwain is a New York City private detective, operating out of Hell’s Kitchen, the rough and tumble neighborhood he grew up in. At age fourteen, he watched as his NYPD father was gunned down. Now, at age twenty-eight, gay, Jimmy has never given up pursuit of whoever killed him. But a PI must make a living, and so he’s taken on the case of missing heir Harris Rothschild, whose overbearing father doesn’t approve of his “alternate” lifestyle.Tracking down Harris is easier than expected, but the carnage that follows isn’t. With a shocking murder on his hands, and a threat coming from some unforeseen person, Jimmy’s caseload is suddenly full, and very dangerous.
Jimmy McSwain is a twenty-eight-year-old New York City PI, a career path he chose so that he could pursue his life’s goal of finding the man who murdered his father. Joe McSwain was a NYC off-duty cop when he was gunned down in front of fourteen-year-old Jimmy. Jimmy vowed at that moment that he would find the man responsible.

As the story opens, Jimmy is finalizing a case in which he found proof that a man was cheating on his wife—but it was with men, not another woman. He’s also intrigued by a young Brit named Barry, who has just taken a job in the city. Barry and Jimmy hit it off, both in and out of bed, and it looks like they may be headed for a nice romance. But life interferes and when Jimmy takes on a new job hunting down a missing son, most of the balance in his life is upset. First, he and Barry have a major misunderstanding, primarily caused by Jimmy’s reticence to share what happened to his dad. And second, when Jimmy finds the missing man, he finds him living a new identity, and before he can report back to the man’s father, the father shows up, only to be murdered on the street outside the club.

Things are happening pretty fast in this story, setting a nice pace and keeping it interesting. Unfortunately, it’s not really a romance. There is some romance in the story, but as it ends, it’s unclear whether the couple will remain a couple or whether private eye Jimmy McSwain will start a relationship with the hot, new police captain.

The characters are quite well-developed, including the secondary characters—principally Jimmy’s family and close friends—and coupled with the amazing vocalizations of Joel Leslie, this audiobook is quite good, holding my interest throughout. In fact, the pace of the story picked up in the second half, and I found myself finding excuses to keep listening, instead of pursuing my daily activities. And then the best part—the killer was a surprise. It’s always nice when I haven’t figured out the mystery. It also appears that this will be the beginning of a series. I’m hoping Jimmy pursues one man or the other in the next book because a nice romance underlying the action and intrigue would make the series so much better.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new author and like mystery and suspense thrillers, consider this one. I definitely recommend it in audiobook format. The voice Joel Leslie gives to Jimmy is a heart melter.



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