REVIEW: Negative Exposure – Jackson Marsh

Negative Exposure - Jackson Marsh

Genre: Mystery, Gay Romance, Historical

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

December 1889.

Silas Hawkins, once a trickster from the slums, is now the public face of the Clearwater Foundation. As London society gathers to celebrate its success, and Prince Albert Victor considers becoming its new patron, life for Archer, Silas and the crew could not be better.

But everyone has a past, especially Silas, a man ripe for blackmail.

Photographs, demands, a dead photographer and a mystery amid the influenza pandemic of 1889, it falls to James, Silas and Fecker to find the blackmailer before Silas’ sordid past leads to public downfall.

But then Silas disappears, and all James has is a burnt letter, a missing railway timetable and a man with two names. He also has Fecker, and together, they must race to solve the riddle and find Silas before he kills either the blackmailer or himself.

Negative Exposure is the ninth Clearwater Mystery. The series blends fact with fiction, mystery with adventure, love with lust, and is best read in order. 

The Review

After the successful gala at Henry Irvings’ Lyceum Theatre, Archer has high hopes that Prince Albert Victor will consider sponsoring the Clearwater Foundation to aid the Cheap Street Mission. With many of Archer’s acquaintances and the Clearwater crew in attendance, they are treated to meeting Prince Victor.

But the next day, darkness sets in over Clearwater on several issues. Dr. Markland has brought the global epidemic to Archer’s attention. Archer wants everyone moved out of Clearwater and relocated to the secluded Larkspur mansion in the country. 

Silas, James (Jimmy) and Andrej (Fecker) have made it clear they will not be leaving with the others. Silas has confided in James and Andrej about some incriminating evidence and a note that was found in his coat pocket. The note could take Archer down – his foundation, the mission and everyone involved.  Silas, James and Andrej are keeping it a secret and have plans to investigate and bring this dastardly issue to an end.  

Then news comes from Paris about Archer’s Mother, who has taken ill. Archer has already made up his mind to take Thomas with him, and that leaves Silas with doubts and hurt feelings.  

As the investigation becomes more complicated, a request Silas makes if James is misunderstood. When James explains the situation to Andrej, Andrej has to make James understand certain things about Silas. Living a dissolute life on Cheap Street with Andrej in their younger years, Silas felt he hadn’t contributed enough to their survival, and made a decision that has come back to haunt him with blackmail.

As James and Andrej pursue their investigation, time is running short, as they were supposed to leave for Larkspur in a few days. But now there’s even a bigger mystery falling into James’ and Andrej’s lap – what happened to Silas? With blame, guilt and shame resting heavily on Silas’s shoulders, he makes a decision to save the reputation of all involved. 

When all are hopefully reunited at Larkspur, what temptations and secrets will be told or kept hidden forever?

Jackson Marsh does it again, delivering another action packed, suspenseful mystery in this spectacular series. Marsh focuses on an epidemic that sees all the residents of Clearwater uprooted. Birds are back in the picture, names have changed as time went on, and there’s a nod to photography too.

Andrej (Fecker) once again plays a big part, aiding James in the investigation into blackmail.  There were the laws against mail nudity in photographs, as opposed to the written word and female nudity. Marsh always manages to find and share fascinating subject matter from the eighteen century in this series.

I highly recommend the “Clearwater Mysteries”!  The cover designs by the talented Andjela K are fantastic, especially on “Negative Exposure”.

I’m also really excited about the next “Clearwater Mysteries” installment – the final book ten.  “The Power of Ten” sounded like a very good title, but it looks like Jackson Marsh is going with “The Clearwater Inheritance.”  I will be hanging on by a thread to see how this all plays out!   

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 piques 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.


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