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Bitter Legacy

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  475 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Detective Sergeant James Henderson of London's Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation Team is no ordinary police officer. His remarkable gut instincts and relentless detective work have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. When the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, he finds himself drawn back into the insidious world of Lond ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Blind Eye Books
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Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
3.5 stars. Review posted October 21, 2016

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Considering that Bitter Legacy is a debut, it was well done and it kept me reading till the end.

I really liked the writing, though according to my tastes, there were too many analogies. Also, emotions and the characters' states of mind were described till kingdom come. Even though the storyline was engaging, I just wished it had moved forward at a faster pace and wo
5 Stars.

I've seen this one around a lot lately,I bought it a while ago but didn't immediately start it and I really don't know why because it's brilliant.I don't think I've read anything in a while that completely captivated me and once I started it I couldn't put it down.It's definitely one of those where you think,one more chapter and you're still reading it hours later.

For me,this was such a refreshing change to the MM books I normally read.Some of the characters are so flawed,so damaged but
I'm soo glad that this book made a finalist of the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Award in the category Gay Mystery. And my review was the first one posted on GR!!! Congratulations, Dal!

WOW! WOW! WOW! What a brilliant debut!

Honestly, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I do, when I started reading it. Already at 50% I knew it was a 5 stars read, at 80% I lost my connection to the outside world, at 90% I wanted to rush to find out what happ
Renée Yes-I-know-I-read-too-damn-much
This is a debut novel????

What the hell did I just read? I'm still kinda gobsmacked if I'm being honest. Well done, Ms. Maclean. Well done, indeed.

I thought I knew where it was going; every chapter I'd change where I though it was going. And I was sometimes right, but mostly wrong. Talk about keeping me on the edge of my seat.

But see - at first I put this on my "Nope" shelf. The reviews say rampant cheating, and that is pretty much an automatic emphatic

But then more reviews started rolling in. An
I am stunned that Bitter Legacy is Dal Maclean's first published work. This is a complex work involving a series of murders in London investigated by DS James Henderson, interwoven with James' personal life as he navigates his first relationship since coming out as a gay man. There are no easy answers, no simple truths and nothing is as it seems.

If you are a fan of BBC police procedurals, this book is totally in your wheelhouse. DS Henderson is a young cop on a rapid trajectory within the South
Sep 18, 2016 Gigi marked it as dnr-dnf-not-4-me
Recommended to Gigi by: Lena♥Ribka
This book was not for me. Stopped at 60%. Massive spoilers, please do not read as it will most likely spoil your enjoyment of the book.

This is a relationship spoiler only.

(view spoiler)
1.5 It’s that time again! Dissenting opinion time!

My attempt to genuinely enjoy this book was effectively sabotaged by the author’s writing style, both the crime and romance plot, the main character, and the book’s length. And did I mention that price tag?

I go back far enough to have altered my expectations when it comes to the quality of writing in this genre. So I was pleasantly surprised when this author seemed to have made a serious attempt at writing well. Not for long. I’m fond of rich, so
Kaje Harper
Nov 17, 2016 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, m-m, mystery
This is the kind of book you'd look for, when wishing that PD James's Adam Dalgliesh was gay. A solid police procedural mystery, with a handsome, educated, reserved, and honorable Detective Sergeant, whose first steps into life as an out gay man have to fit in around murder investigations.

James Henderson joined the police force in London despite total disapproval from his wealthy father, in search of something meaningful to do with his abilities. James has dedicated himself to his job - so much
Jan 23, 2017 Mo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Some books leave me with a splitting, stress headache. This was one of them. Dear Lord, talk about being put through the wringer - yes, parts of the book annoyed me and I felt like giving up a few times. But overall, a fantastic read. Not going to say too much. Better off just going in blind, like I did.



"There is a difference between not being able to love, and not having the guts to try."

Romance, a love story? It is much more than that.

Sorry if I am being a bit vague but y
K.J. Charles
This has got a lot of stellar reviews and I can see why. Good clear writing, very likeable central hero, extremely vivid setting, well paced. Astonishingly good for a first book, really assured. Very much an author with places to go.

Loved James, a wonderful character. Ben didn't work so well for me: (view spoiler) Each to their own, though and it was very definit
Elsa Bravante
Brillante. Soy lectora de novelas de misterio desde hace muchísimos años y por eso suelo evitar los libros de romántica que tienen trama policiaca, lo más habitual es que sea muy débil por no decir ridícula y al final lo que haces es leer de corrido hasta que llegas a las partes románticas. Vi las buenas críticas que tuvo Bitter Legacy cuando salió, pero no me animaba, hasta que al final leí una de alguien de la que me fío mucho y decidí intentarlo. Qué buena decisión, uno de los mejores libros ...more

Anger was inner pain turned outwards

I've just finished the last half of this very aptly named book on a marathon read today. And now I feel happy, sad and exhausted. Maclean took me with her Jamie on a journey through the human psyche, why we persist with wanting what hurts, why we obsess, why we hurt, why we get angry, why we love, how we continue, survive.

After grabbing me and holding me hostage to this book Maclean took me on a ride of clues, signals, perceptions, interpretation, manipulati
Oh my goodness, this book………. I mean………. THIS BOOK! If you don’t read any other book for the rest of this year then you have to read THIS BOOK! That’s my mantra - THIS BOOK - I’m sticking to it and making no apologies. Why all the excitement? Well, when you pick up a book from a debut author introducing her first book you always take a chance. However, no risk no fun, right? After reading the first chapter I was shouting from the rooftops with joy! I had already decided that unless something tot ...more
J *deep in the heart of Texas*
This is a tough one to rate.

The writing and mystery elements on this one were top notch. As for the romance....

And normally I don't care for romantic suspense books that lack in the romance department. So the fact that I am still willing to give this one 4 stars says something about the writing and the suspense aspect.

This book will not be for everyone.

There is "cheating". I use that term a bit loosely though. I could forgive this aspect in some regards. Ben is the cheating MC and we don't ge
Jan 09, 2017 Ele rated it really liked it

~BR with my Renee, because I couldn't have done this on my own. Her review says it much better.~

I'm stunned that this is a debut novel. STUNNED! I would have never guessed. The writing is superb, and the mystery gets 5++++++ stars. What a freaking wild ride. Surprising at every turn, and masterfully crafted. I'm still speechless with how the mystery resolved.

Now about the romance...hmm...not sure I'm convinced. I understand Ben, and the ending was lovely. But I'm not sure I believe this change o
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
Read the book people


Oh my goodness, this book kept me reading it from beginning to end. I literally spent all day Sunday on my couch laying down and reading this. It was the perfect split between romance and mystery thriller. I loved every bit of it. This debut novel from Dal MacLean was so good, I immediately added it to my Best of 2016 list. It was a really good mystery that intertwined the life of Jamie. It's his first case as lead detective, he takes his job super serious. I liked the relati
Oct 04, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, crime
This is definitely on my favourite list for 2016. Some seriously smooth and slick crime writing with an edge that kept me glued to my seat reading. I'm a huge Brit crime tv junkie, I subject my partner to it regularly, and this kept me guessing with beautiful pacing, that didn't drag.

James is a beautifully written character, who I totally fell for.(I'm really hoping this is the first in a series. I felt there was more to his story... a slightly less grim Tennyson!) I also felt Ben had such dept
Jan 02, 2017 Ariana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
My first book of the year and I’m slayed. This was awesome!

I can honestly say I was reading most of it with my fingernails firmly gripped to the edge of the sofa. And that’s only for the brilliantly executed crime plot. Bitter Legacy is – by all means and purposes - a proper Whodunnit, nothing shy of an Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot etc etc. novel. Suspense and tension kept me totally hooked throughout, leaving me seriously impressed by Dal Maclean’s writing and ingenuity.

And then of course,

What a fabulous journey! And to think that I almost skipped it! Thanks to Simone, Ariana and Judith for the little push with their reviews.

Cutting to the chase:
Bitter Legacy was an overdose of feelings. Euphoric feelings with WTF moments, hysterical feelings, anxious feelings, rage feelings with WTF moments, compassion feelings, tenderness feelings, sadness feelings, thrilling feelings, did I mention the WTF moments?? yes? ok but I want to do it again because What.The.Actual.Fuck!?

I was utterly
Feb 05, 2017 MaDoReader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Llevo ya un rato sin saber exactamente cómo empezar esta reseña, cuando un libro me ha gustado tanto como éste, me es difícil poner en orden mis pensamientos. Lo voy a intentar y a ver que sale, perdonadme si queda algo rara la parrafada, desde ya os digo que justicia a la obra en cuestión no voy a hacer, es mucho más interesante de lo que yo os pueda transmitir.

Bitter Legacy es uno de los mejores libros que han caído en mis manos últimamente, sin posible discusión, es bueno, y se nota desde la
I was unable to put this one down once I started. This was a complex M/M told through a mystery/suspense. Its hard for me to go into much without giving away much of the book. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story it progressed well and tied in well with the MC character development. The relationship story was unique, painful, bittersweet and very well done. It's hard to read at points and so deeply moving at others. I can say from past experience I had my share of hard messy relationships. ...more
Normally a book with this kind of MC, would be a DNF or a very low rating for me.
At one point I was SO ready to throw this book away and call it quits, but I kept reading because of the case and because I hoped that James would find some BALLS somewhere.
I ended up LOVING it, even though this story was a rollercoaster-ride (with a lot of dizzying loops along the way) from beginning to end...

So James is a cop in London. He's a good-looking guy from a posh background, he's gay, he's smart and he
Oct 07, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, mystery, m-m, cops, abuse
Great mystery and it ended with a great romance, too. Both the mystery and the romance were very slow going. The mystery had quite a few twists in it. I didn't know who the killer was until the end, just like James. I didn't like Ben until the end, when his past was revealed and I could see what his true feelings for James were. The whole story is in James' POV, so the reader sees and learns about Ben through him, and James was very inexperienced with real romantic relationships and gay sex. He ...more

First of all, if there is one thing I hate in my books it would be cheating. I could instantly name you two quite popular series I will probably never read because of this fact alone. So you can imagine that I was more than just a little bit torn about reading this book. I have read other reviews that mentioned exactly this would happen here, but two of my close friends were absolutely thrilled and I resolved –although a bit reluctantly at first- to give it a go since the
Bitchie!!! on books
God. This is an amazing debut, and I can't wait to see more from this author. I really didn't know if they could pull it out for me, make me forgive some really shitty behavior, but they truly did.

I'll try to be more coherent once I've slept.

Ok, I'm back, got about 3 hours sleep. That's how much this book hit me, I kept reading far past my regular sleep time, because I just had to finish it.

I admit that I struggled here and there. Ben's promiscuity and James' naivety really wore on a reader. N
Color me supremely wowed. Bitter Legacy was an amazing story that both broke my heart (repeatedly) and made it sing. Not many authors can accomplish what Dal MacLean has done with this amazing story. I was drawn into her world quickly and kept there until the very end. I even woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about where I had left off in the story and trying to figure out where it would go. And I couldn't have been further from the actuality. Kudos to Dal MacLean for such a ...more

WOW are we sure it's a debut????
Absolutely amazing!!

Where do I start?
With the writing?
With the style?
With the mystery?
The romance?
The emotions??

Perfect balance of thrilling mystery and romance!

I rarely find romantic thrillers that makes me feel 100% invested in both aspects of the story, in fact, I usually feel like the author is "struggling" with one of those plot lines, in most cases the mystery is "lacking" or even silly, and most times very obvious.
The characters,
Sep 20, 2016 KC rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt-fiction, mystery
Engaging and poignant, Bitter Legacy is an extremely well-written police procedural weaved through with complex, flawed, strong characters, and an emotionally powerful romantic arc. One of the things I found fascinating was the voice of the main character – Jamie – through whose eyes this story comes to life, and the way the different aspects of his life permeate each other in such an organic way. I also liked how the myriad of emotions the story evokes are layered and complex and raw and so ver ...more
Lila Hunter
5+ stars - Bloody Brilliant :-D

Disclaimer: if promiscuity, open relationships, or perceived cheating are deal breakers for you, this isn’t your book.

Bitter Legacy is a bloody brilliant debut book. See the Britishism? I had to set the tone because not many authors can pull it off. For once, some try to play it down to make the story more accessible for worldwide audiences. Others only have research to go by, but Dal Maclean makes the reader travel with her characters. We are with them for th
Karen Wellsbury
Sep 28, 2016 Karen Wellsbury rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prism-reviewed
Totally wonderful read.
Really difficult to do a review without spoilers though, but:
In romantic thrillers its difficult to get the balance right, the thrill/ mystery can be so obvious that you can mark in the first few chapters what will happen, or the romance seems tagged on, an afterthought. Not here the balance is out in a couple of places, but nothings perfect- and for the rest of the time this is a glorious book.
I think its been said a couple of times here already, you have to read this ca
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The Backlot Gay B...: A Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean 2 17 Nov 04, 2016 04:35AM  
Dal Maclean comes from Scotland. Her background is in journalism, and she has an undying passion for history, the more gossipy and scandalous the better. Dal has lived in Asia and worked all over the world, but home is now the UK. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction. As an author, and a reader, she believes it’s worth ...more
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“There is a difference between not being able to love, and not having the guts to try.” 1 likes
“You read her stuff?" Ingham looked startled.
James rubbed his nose. "Read the reviews on Amazon.”
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