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REVIEW: Conspiracy Theory, By Elle Keaton

Title: Conspiracy Theory

Series: Hamarrason & Dempsey Book One

Author: Elle Keaton

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Self

Pages: 247

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life…although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home—a place he knows he doesn’t belong.

Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly…all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.

Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.

Push apart, pull together, yes or no… The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?

Maybe.

The Review

I personally am glad that Elle Keaton took a chance and tried something a little different in her writing.  She developed two new characters and a well plotted murder mystery.

Niall Hamarsson, tired of big rat race of crime, returns to the small Island of Piedras the only home he really knows.  From a heartrending childhood he was brought to the isle by loving grandparents.   Niall, now as a grown man, still feels that he’s worthless and hasn’t done things right.

Mat Dempsey is the island sheriff and there’s no other place he rather be.  He’s easy going and handles all the chaos on the island pretty well.  Being on this small island he pretty much knows all the people and everything that goes on.  

When a mysterious tragedy winds up on Mat’s doorstep and Niall offers his help, Mat and Niall certainly butt heads.   But theses two opposite men come together to solve a twisted mystery.

I like the setting of the Island of Piedras.  It’s a small place and filled with some of the quirkiest characters and, of course, everyone knows your business.  I liked Alyson, Mat’s mom and, of course, Fenrir.  Along with the suspense, danger, drama, family feuds and emotional moments, there’s also humor.  Ms Keaton stays on point with this chaotic, suspenseful murder mystery and it’s not an instant solve.

I appreciated that Niall and Mat aren’t rushed into a relationship.  They definitely get on each others nerves and gradually get into a stage of “getting to know each other”.   When they come face to face, it brings many memories of their own personnel issues back from their younger years and leaves the door open for more discoveries.

I absolutely loved Ms Keaton “Storm Season” series that introduced different characters with each new novel.  I like the idea with this new series, “Hamarrson & Dempsey”, the focus will be on these two characters.  So, I am ready for the next installment “Long Shadow”.   I’m certainly going to mention Garret Leigh and the nice cover art of Niall Hamarrson on this one!  Wonder what Elle and Garret will cook up for the next cover!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. 

My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. 

Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.  I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors. My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. 

She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me.  But if a blurb peaks my interest I will read the book. My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. 

I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading. I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener. 

I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre.   Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.  But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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