Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blog Tour: The Hunt by J.M. Dabney & Davidson King (Reviews+Excerpt+Giveaway)

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The Hunt
J.M. Dabney & Davidson King
Gay Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Release Date: 09.15.18
Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar


Disgraced detective turned private investigator, Ray Clancy, left the force with a case unsolved. Finding the killer was no longer his problem, but it still haunted him. How long would he survive the frustration of not knowing before he gave into the compulsion of his nature to solve the crime?

Server, Andrew Shay, existed where he didn’t feel he belonged, living behind the guise of a costume. Yet it paid the bills, and he refused to complain about the little things in life. One night he returned home from work to find his roommate dead and the killer still there. Afraid and alone, his life spiraled and he didn’t know what to do. Could a detective at his core and a scared young man join forces to bring down the killer in their midst?

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The Hunt Teaser
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Rudy had given me a strange look when I’d walked in a few minutes earlier and didn’t take my usual spot at the counter. I was still mentally processing the call I’d received from one Andy Shay. I’d done a quick search for him and found several social media profiles from different Mr. Shays, but didn’t take the time to do a more thorough investigation.

When he’d stated he’d witnessed a murder, I’d resigned myself to dealing with another crazy person, but then after Andy had explained, my tired brain had quickly put the pieces together.

Andy sounded young and justifiably scared. His voice was soft with slightly husky notes. I didn’t know why out of everything the kid’s voice is what I remembered most.

I raised my mug to my mouth and downed half of it, hoping the caffeine would wake me up. I should’ve slept. I’d spent most of the morning researching and hadn’t come up with one mention of similar crimes. Even if there was only one detail the same, I’d grasped at hope, only to be disappointed when the suspect was dead or imprisoned. I don’t know how I felt about that, but I didn’t have time to think too much about it.

I curved my hands around the mug and stared into the dark liquid. The bell going off over the door had me lifting my head. A thin man walked in with clothes that hung on his frame. As soon as I’d looked up our eyes met. There was no doubt in my mind that he was the one I was waiting for, and I slid out of the booth. I sensed the young man’s fear, so I patiently stayed still as he prepared to approach me.

Andy’s first few steps were cautious, as if he hadn’t made up his mind on whether I was an ally or foe. I knew that expression, I’d lost count of how many times I’d seen it over the years. Two decades of dealing with terrified and reluctant witnesses prepared me for anything.

“Mr. Clancy?”

I was slightly taken aback by the sound of that voice in person and blamed it on my lack of sleep. The kid was young, maybe mid-twenties.

“Call me, Ray. Please, take a seat.” I motioned at the bench and waited for him to slide into it. “Coffee?”

“Yes, please.”

“Rudy, refill for me and another for my friend here.” Rudy smirked at me from behind the counter, and I knew what he was thinking. That was the farthest thing from the truth. I was impatient to find out what happened the other night, but I waited for Rudy to approach with the coffeepot and an extra mug.

“Does your date need a menu, or are you planning on being cheap, Clancy?”

“Rudy, don’t fuck with me today.”

The words must have come out harsher than I’d thought because I caught the kid flinching in my peripheral. Skittish. I was going to have to temper my normally gruff nature.

“Cranky,” Rudy muttered, and I waited for him to drop off the menu, then return to the opposite side of the counter.

I watched in horror at the amount of sugar the kid doctored his coffee with and tried to hide my disgust behind my own mug of straight, black coffee. The way coffee was meant to be drank. Andy’s hands shook, and if I hadn’t paid closer attention, I would’ve missed that. I warred with the decision to let Andy take the lead and start the conversation or broach the subject myself.

My curiosity won. “Why did you contact me?”

“I researched the case. A crime reporter, I can’t remember his name right now, well, he did some stories and your name was mentioned. Your name came up in several articles.”

“But why are you here? I’m not a cop.”

Those four simple words still stung my pride. I should be on the case. Who’s to say that I wouldn’t have caught the guy sometime in the last six months.

4 Stars

Ray is a down-on-his-luck police detective turned PI and Andy is a server at a 5-star restaurant who finally has managed to pull himself out of debt and stumbles in the middle of his BFF/roommate being murdered by a serial killer. The police doesn't seem to be taking Andy's security too seriously, which prompts him to do some research and he contacts Ray when he realizes he's the one who worked on some cases that might be related to his friend's death. Will they be able to find the killer before he finds them?

I really liked Andy. He was sweet and seemed pretty level-headed and mature for his age, and truly, there were some times where he seemed to have things figured out better than Ray. I couldn't understand why he had such low-esteem issues, when, to me, he deserved better than Ray, but I'll let that pass. *shrugs* Now, Ray, he was grumpy and not particularly likable or all that smart. I mean, everyone and their mother pointed out who the bad guy was and it still took him how long to accept it? *headdesk* And don't get me started on the way he just accepted being framed and thrown out of the police force like that, even if he had a point in not wanting to stay there when no one had his back. *sighs*

The relationship between Andy and Ray felt a bit forced. I'm all about insta-something or May/December if it's done right. In this case, while I could sort of see why they would be interested in each other, I was missing the spark between them, it was all too abrupt for my taste. Yes, the sex scenes were hot, but there needs to be more than that.

Although one of the bad guys was pretty easy to spot, I had no clue about the other until he revealed himself, which is always a good thing. There were aspects that didn't quite work for me, I just couldn't fathom that the police were so incompetent or corrupt that they would fail to make the connection that this was the work of a serial killer or that they would leave a witness like Andy unprotected like that, and I would've liked to have more closure with Finn, but overall, the case was intriguing and kept me interested until the end.

I really liked Bradford, Richie, and Donnelly, but I wanted to throat-punch Green, he was truly a sorry excuse for a Police Captain.

While not my favorite book by either of these authors, The Hunt was a good, fast-paced, entertaining read. Recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement
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**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

The Hunt is co-written by J.M. Dabney and Davidson King. I’ve read books by J.M. before but not Davidson and when they released a murder mystery, I was excited to read it. I’m a big fan of murder mystery/crime drama books and find myself reading them more than any other genre or trope lately. I was really looking forward to this book, and though I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to, I still enjoyed the story.

We meet Ray as a detective investigating a serial killer, but that ends quickly when he’s forced out of his job and becomes a private investigator. I was disappointed in Ray’s actions and response to being framed and forced to leave his position. He’s a detective, it seems like he would have put some effort into proving the accusations against him were not true. Especially with such flimsy evidence. Ray was a grouchy curmudgeon who in reality wasn’t that old, but in his mind, he was 209. We spent a lot of time with Ray’s internal dialogue, which did not really help my opinion of him. I did like Andrew, though sometimes his actions made me roll my eyes. He was a hard worker, doing everything to have a better life. I was heartbroken when he found his best friend and roommate being murdered. And he didn’t roll over and become anyone’s victim. He fought and escaped the killer. The whole situation with the police and Andrew made no sense to me ever within this story. In what world does someone walk in on their friend being killed, do the police have no questions or interest in interviewing the witness? Yeah, I get it, they’re all corrupt but if they’re trying to claim this isn’t a serial killer, wouldn’t some investigation still be happening?

In my opinion, the most important thing we need to talk about is the murder/mystery portion of this book. The reason I jumped at reading this book as soon I heard of it. The actions of the serial killer were terrible, so you were really wanting him to be found. The investigation parts of the story were less than I want in this type of book. I want to follow the investigation and discover the clues and try to find out who the killer is. Ray seems to be the only person surprised by who the killer is. I knew who the killer was, but found the reasoning and conclusion a letdown. I’m not really sure where in the book the murder/mystery lost my interest, but it happened. Despite not liking Ray, I was into figuring out who the murderer was and then I just wasn’t as invested as I had been.

The relationship and love happened immediately in this book. If that’s something you’re not into, this may not be the best book for you. This isn’t an issue for me typically, I think it can be handled really well and make me believe it. I wasn’t a fan of this insta-love in this story, I just needed more from the characters. Then again, they were thrown together because of danger so maybe that just caused it all to happen so fast. Though I didn’t fall in love with this book, it was still an enjoyable story with the discovery of the bad guy and a perfect HEA for Ray and Andrew.

Rating: 4 stars

JM Dabney Logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Davidson King Logo

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling. 

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children. If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Twitter: @DavidsonKing11



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