Book Review: Son of a Gun by A. M. Riley

Posted: June 21, 2013 by sidlove in 3.5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Ilhem's Reviews
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Reviewed by Ilhem

TITLE: Son of a Gun
AUTHOR: A. M. Riley
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publication
BLURB: Stefan Sanchez’s number one reason to flee Boerne, Texas twelve years ago, was closeted deputy Chet Blain. Since then he has lived in Los Angeles, become a successful author of children’s books and managed his sexual relationships with a certain cool cynicism.

When Stefan returns to Texas for the funeral of his best friend, Tommy, he is confronted by painful memories: His infamous father, shot as a traitor, his alcoholic mother, and Chet, who seems to want to start their old painful relationship all over again. Added to this is a missing widow, drugs in the trunk of his rental car, and a hunky Secret Service agent who seems determined to make Stefan’s business his business.

It all ends in a mad chase across the infamously haunted Devil’s backbone where ghosts from the past and personal demons in the present all conspire to give Stefan a chance to close the book on his childhood forever… or die trying.


Let’s get this over with: this book is not focusing on a central love story, so according to rules that the author is not following anyway, this is not a romance. What’s in there for you, then?

Love interests and maybe more if affinity. Note the plural but don’t hiss, there is no cheating, technically.

A decent, if not spectacular mystery that triggered memories of the Famous Five and a clan offering many potential suspects and accomplices.

A closeted cop.

The fleeting, teasing  presence of a Special Agent.

The overshadowing presence of a best friend. Kudos to the author for making me like a character who was already dead when the story began! The victim is much more than a mystery plot device and this was the pinch salt that added to the story’s delicious bittersweet flavour.

Stefan, writing children books when the only kids he likes belong to the past, and preserving his bitter and precious memories of them forever. Stefan always, who is a stopped clock, who numbed his emotions when he fled to LA, who is a stubborn smartass, who fights funny and is kind of dysfunctional but still trusted when and by whom it counts the most.

A great narrative, not as much interrupted as fed by a child book manuscript that won’t let itself being written.

No traditional romance, no neatly tied up HEA either, but an open ending that makes sense.

The rush to the finish line in giant steps or easy shortcomings was a bit dissatisfying, too many things happened off scene and were told resolved but the author made up for it with an amusingly endearing ending.

I liked Son of a Gun very much and I cared. I cared that Stefan stubbornly followed the track leading to the murderer because Tommy O’Connor was a good man and someone killed him, dammit!  I cared for the childhood brotherhood, for Stefan coming home to mourn and for his late-bloomer coming of age story.  I liked Stefan’s muse playing difficult and how it came full circle.  I smiled and chuckled, too.

There will be a sequel, right?

Ilhem’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store  ||  Book Store

Ilhem is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ILHEM’S REVIEWS

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