Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The book is a M/M retelling of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The similarities are probably too many to mention. A writer of questionable standing gets called by a wealthy man to a remote island to solve a mystery disappearance that happened over 20 years ago and write a book. The family that lives on the island don't want him there and they make this very well known to the author, culminating in threats and physical altercations. This is essentially the first half of both books.
While a re-tread I enjoyed the story enough. The hero Griff was likeable enough. I had been familiar with Mr Lanyon's work previously as an author who writes gay fiction for women. There's a big market out there for this M/M romance and I wasn't that interested in it. Amazon.com recommended this book to me by email, it looked good enough and had good reviews so I bought it. I was curious to know what happened and it kept me going but I wouldn't say I was up all night reading it as others have stated.
Toward the end of the book the romance kind of took over the mystery which I found disappointing. The end was satisfying enough, I was very surprised after I turned the last page to see that the book was published by Harlequin Romance!
While the story and the main romantic leads were well fleshed out, I felt all the supporting characters blended into their rich snob personality traits and I couldn't keep any of them separate. In addition the occasionally clunky writing style could have used an editor: "He wasn't sure now if that maybe wasn't for the best." I still don't know what that sentence means.
Overall the book was good enough but I'm not really looking for romance, so while I won't actively skip Lanyon's books in future, I won't be seeking them out either.
View all my reviews