Jenre's Reviews > I Spy Something Wicked

I Spy Something Wicked by Josh Lanyon
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's review
May 24, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, m-m, romance
Read in October, 2009

The previous novella I Spy Something Bloody is my favourite of Josh Lanyon's mystery novellas so I was a bit nervous reading this short story sequel. On one hand I was looking forward to revisiting Mark and Stephen but on the other hand I was worried that if this story was a bit below par it would marr my love of the previous book. As it turned out I needn't have worried because this was just a delightful add on to the original story.

It begins with our first person hero Mark, having a mysterious meeting with an old colleague, Malik. Malik has a message from the 'Old Man' who wants Mark to return to his job in intelligence for one last mission into Afghanistan. Mark has a price on his head in that country and knows if he does this mission he is basically walking into his own death. Malik plays Mark like a pro, appealing to his loyalty to his old boss and his country. Mark feels the pull of that, of old ties, of supposed returned favours. However, he is also settled, if somewhat uncomfortably at times, in his new life with Stephen and doesn't want to risk hurting or damaging that.

This might only be a short story but it is packed with a huge amount of emotion as well as a couple of action scenes. The story is focused mainly on Mark as he attempts to sort through in his mind what he has to do. How you view the book will be entirely dependent on whether you think that Mark either needs to pull his head out of his own arse or whether you think he's justified in his worries and feelings. I've always liked Mark and I feel that he's a very appealing mix of outward bravado and seething inward insecurity. After all the problems that the pair had to go through in the previous book and all Stephen's reassurances, Mark still feels unworthy of Stephen's love. This, coupled with Mark's inability to express his feelings coherently, leads to Mark unintentionally pushing Stephen away. It's this push and pull in their relationship which is the most interesting and engrossing part of the story.

Because Mark's first person voice rather dominates the entire story, Stephen is still a little idealised. However, it was nice to see him, not just get righteously angry, but also behave in a slightly rash, emotional manner as it made him seem less the perfect figure seen in the previous book. Stephen is still the voice of reason in the story, but it's a slightly ragged reason as he struggles with Mark's difficult behaviour as well as trying to get the balance of their new life together to work.

Hands down my favourite part of this story was the way that Mark's feelings and thoughts change and develop as the story progresses. I was kept on my toes the whole time as to what decision he was going to make - would he stay with Stephen or let misguided loyalty force him to risk his life? I'm not going to tell you how it ends - you'll have to read it for yourself - but I felt that this was an entirely satisfactory ending not just to this short story but to Mark and Stephen's story as a whole.

I've read ISSB several times and have always love the emotional intensity of the piece. This short sequel to that matches that intensity and I highly recommend it with a grade of 'Excellent'.

Overall, I really liked this short story and would highly recommend it for those who have read I Spy Something Bloody
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Mandi Schreiner I didn't realize this was out...I loved I Spy Something Bloody. Great review - off to get it :)

Jenre Mandi: Thanks! The book came out yesterday.

message 3: by Diane (last edited Oct 30, 2009 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane I didn't know this was released either.. I'll download it tonight :)=

message 4: by Ingrid (new) - added it

Ingrid Sneaky from LI!!

message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily Great review, Jen! :)

Jenre Thanks, everyone :).

Ingrid: It was a bit sneaky. You can't get to it from the main page, you have to go through JL's author page to buy it.

message 7: by Ingrid (new) - added it

Ingrid It's on the mainpage from LI now. But since they only put up new books on tuesday I only come there tuesdays

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review!

Jenre Thanks, Eyre :)

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