Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Animal Instinct

Title: Animal Instinct
Author: Stephen Osborne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-524-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Duncan Andrews has seen ghosts since childhood, which comes in handy since he’s a private detective who deals mostly in paranormal crimes. His case this time is just as strange as always. Someone has stolen the skull of a long-dead warlock, who was the Master of Animals and the thief’s out of control, using animals to kill. The skull belongs to the father of his centuries-old witch friend Gina and while fighting against the growing power of the thief, she’s winds up in a coma. It’s one more bad day in Duncan’s life.  

Just how many people live with their ghost boyfriends and a zombie bulldog? Not many. At least he and Robbie are together, but even that’s uncertain as Robbie worries he should move on. It makes it hard for Duncan to focus on his job of protecting Ashton Marsh, a victim of several animal attacks. Can Duncan find the skull without getting killed or maimed? Will Robbie stay with him or leave, breaking Duncan’s heart? 

Animal Instinct is the new release in Stephen Osborne’s Duncan Andrew Thrillers series. Since many of the characters are recurring, you should read the books in order.  

I liked Duncan and Robbie in Pale as a Ghost and that hasn’t changed. Here we see the depth of their feelings caused by the challenges of a relationship that allows only minimal physical contact. It’s hard for them and the author did a good job expressing their frustration with the decade-long situation. And who wouldn’t be annoyed? They haven’t had sex for ten years. Dealing with this issue is only one of Duncan’s problems. Another is Robbie keeps thinking of leaving—of moving on so Duncan can have a normal life. It makes for some well done emotional tension.  

Then there’s the actual mystery/investigation case. It gives the reader a stolen skull, witches, warlocks, death by animals and lots of danger. The villain is discovered about the half-way point but it takes the remainder of the book to figure out how to deal with him. But while Duncan does, the scenes are filled with action, humor and plenty of fun one-liners. The ending is packed with pain and suspense, and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait for the next release in this entertaining series.

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