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Conspiracy Theory

(Veiled Intentions #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  729 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Murder, betrayal, love…

​Moving home after his father’s death forces Sheriff Mat Dempsey back into the closet, but he’s happy enough. Right?

Bitter and dispirited after years investigating homicides, Niall Hamarsson heads for the only place he’s ever called home.

A body is discovered in the waters off Piedras Island and Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder. He doe
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 247 pages
Published October 4th 2019 by Dirty Dog Press
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Kimberlie The author replied to my message about #2 that the ebook will be out May 7th with audio to follow probably sometime in June.

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  729 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Start your review of Conspiracy Theory (Hamarsson & Dempsey #1)
3.5 stars ✨ ✨

A solid good start. I ended up liking it more than i thought i would. My first Elle Keaton book, it was a really good intro. I will be reading her other series soonest.

The story captured my attention from chapter 1. It flowed so well and got me engaged in the mystery. I even forgot this was supposed to be mm romance. The mystery was that good, even though it was somehow anticlimactic, it was still good.

I got some Hazard and Somers vibes from the setting and the MCs, and immediatel
**** 3.5 stars ****

I liked this, and for a good chunk of the book it was no exaggeration to say I loved it. New-to-me author Elle Keaton was really hitting it out of the park with this spare, unsentimental mystery set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. As the first in a series it provided the setup for a romance, but that aspect of the story operated more in the background, which is the way I like it. If a relationship is going to be developed over the course of a series, I like watching it
"Reread" November 2020: Audiobook = ***3 Stars***


***4.5 ❤***

My kind of story.
Exactly my kind of slow burn.
And Niall is sooo my kind of character.

I think it's safe to say I loved it to bits. 😉
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Elle Keaton is a new to me author, and I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the setting of a remote island off the coast of Washington state and the unique characters. There isn’t a lot of romance in this book, it is definitely slow burn, and I mean slow. There is plenty of inner dialogue of want and need from both MC, but nothing really happens until near the end, but I felt it was very realistic. After all, they had a lot going on, including trying to solve a murder. I was so into the stor ...more
A good page-turner for me as I always enjoy a good MM romance with a suspense subplot. Beware : this is an “on-going” series and this first part sets the ground…and what a solid ground for further enjoyment !!!

Niall Hamarsson is a loner. With his past childhood slowly revealed, it’s no surprise. His detective work, even thought quite successful, has left him jaded and on a spur of a moment, he decides to take a break and go back to the island he spent part of his childhood with his now-gone gran
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the very first page Elle Keaton'sConspiracy Theory had me completely and delightfully enthralled!

(I’ve got to preface my review by saying I listened to the audio version of this one. I’ve been a fan for a very long time, and I've heard Michael Pauley narrate a number of different genres, and this is, without a doubt, one of his finest performances!)

The story fascinating and I can't wait to see where this all goes from here. Clearly a continuing series, Conspiracy Theory doesn't end with a p
I really liked it. I always prefer books with plots outside of the romance. Even though this one didn't have a lot of action, it did have plenty of mystery. I never guessed the reveal. A great crime mystery romance. (with only a few typos) It never slowed down or dragged for me. It kept me interested and guessing until the end. 👍

PS. It ends on a soft HFN. It doesn't leave you hanging but it's obviously to be continued.
1) Don't judge this book by its cover (which, to me, says I'm a MMA fighter who owns a tattoo shop), 2) and do not hesitate to dive into this gripping tale!

After a particularly difficult case, stoic Seattle detective Niall Hamarsson finds himself drawn back to his grandparent's cabin on a small island in the San Juans (an archipelago of islands in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle) where he spent his childhood. Mat Dempsey has also returned to the island from San Francisco and is now serving as
New series from Elle Keaton! I enjoyed the steady pace of the book, the mystery of the case, the small town mentality and two men who struggle with life challenges in pursuit of justice. This is slow burn, low steam, high angst story that features rough around the edges Niall Hamarsson, a man who could never fit in and is fed up with the system constantly failing him, and settled in his ways Mat Dempsey, small town sheriff who gets another chance with his high school crush and uncovers mysteriou ...more
3.5 stars

The setting and especially Niall made this book for me. I loved the atmosphere of the island and it was a plus that it came with a good but not overwhelming cast of secondary characters, although the mystery could have been tighter. At one point I guessed one of the culprits and I dismissed it because it seemed too convenient, too much of a coincidence. It turns out that I was right and while I’m still not completely buying it, the book gave a passably good enough reason and I’m choosi
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
That is a promising start to this series!

If you’re into grumpy, brooding, deeply vulnerable guys of Norwegian decent and the stature of a Viking, you’re definitely on! Just that Niall is dark and not blond.

It’s difficult not to like Niall, despite his stubborn streak, his unwillingness to accept any help or kindness out of the fear to get ‘too involved’. My heart certainly went out for him big time.

Mat has always liked him and nothing’s changed about that now. He is the complete opposite of Nia
4.25 Stars

Well, damn. That was a pleasant surprise...count me in for whatever is next in this series!!
Upping to a full 4 stars on the reread.

-------Original Review Oct 2019-------
3.5 Stars 

In this latest suspense series, by Elle Keaton, we have ourselves a murder! 

Niall Hamarsson is bitter and cynical. After a rather tragic childhood followed by the isolation of his teenage years, Niall left Piedras Island, where his grandparents raised him, to go to college and then the police academy. After more than a decade on the force, Niall is a burnt out homicide detective and ready to walk away from it
Who edited this book? Answer: No one. Minus one star.

I’m sitting in the hospital post spinal surgery. What I recall about this book is that it’s a really good starter for the series. Niall is a good man with some wicked ghosts in his closet. Mat is both charming and a good leader. And Fenrir is pure poetry. Excellent supporting cast of characters. I’m really looking forward to the next one. And sadly, that’s all I can manage today. 🤭
That moment when the narrator tells you to click the link below and you realize that not only is the story over but you've stayed up way past your bedtime and if there was more story to be'd still be up. This is all your fault Simone...I totally blame you 😂🤣😂

Ok, so as I said it's late and I'm past my bedtime but before I go can I just say this was one hella good start to a new series with a new to me author and I seriously can't wait to get more. This one's definitely worth any lost sl
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Found this book very dry, it appears to be the start of a series and there's a lot of info-dump setting the scene without bringing it to life.

The characters are interesting but didn't entirely engage me. Niall appeared to experiencing a breakdown and didn't quite add up; taciturnal, brooding mountain-man but also a highly regarded workaholic detective which would require a sembalance of functionality.
Then Mat who was out, but is now home so no longer out, and I got the feeling the author changed
Joyfully Jay
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camille
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

For readers who love a slow burn or stories about cops solving murder mystery cases, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Elle Keaton’s world on Piedras Island (which seems to be a made up island in the very real San Juan Islands archipelago) rang true as someone who grew up in a town with a similar dichotomy of “summer people” and “locals” who lived there year round. The small-town feel materializes in a few ways. First, there is a feud between two famili
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Book Reaction:
Rating: 4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very little intimacy, and a very slow burn. Loved it. Already downloaded Book 2, and pre-ordered Book 3
Audiobook review

Conspiracy Theory is my first book by Elle Keaton and it was only by coincidence that I did pick it up. I am the first to admit that I judged this book by the cover, put it in the category of “not for me” and moved on. I mean a cover with two bare torsos is in my mind bound to be steamy and with pages and pages of sex. Which is not my cup of tea, so I discarded the book and put it out of my mind. Until I came across a review or comment, I can’t remember at the moment, that state
This book has clear priorities in the order of Characters, Setting, Romance. This means you'll love this if you're into a looong slow-burn with looooow steam and also enjoy a small town setting with a big cast of quirky characters and some added mystery thrown in.
The best way to describe the over-all feeling of this book is to compare it to the 90 min. pilot episode of a new show. The cast of characters get introduced and fleshed out a little. The first big case gets resolved and the ending sets
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

I got to 75% through and realized this book was such a slow burn that nothing had remotely began to even spark yet. This book was “low chemistry”, “low plot”, “low originality”. I kept skimming waiting for something interesting to happen but called it quits at 75%.
Great captivating story!
I really hope the next book will soon be available!!

4.5 stars
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bev by: Simon
Gentle, slow-burn whodunit. I did actually guess the reason for all of the shenanigans fairly early on the story, so that was a tad disappointing but have downloaded book 2 anyhoo. Do we assume that if (view spoiler) didn't murder anyone, (view spoiler) did, or that there are others involved? Not sure that that particular cover goes with what's inside, but hey, what do I know? 3.5 stars rounded up. ...more
Diane Dannenfeldt
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-audio, m-m
OMG I need the next book right now!!! The only thing I didn't like is that they didn't get together until the end of the book & then it's only a kiss & a hand job. I kind of had a thought of who the killer was but never figured out the why. ...more
Andrea M
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
3~3.5 stars? It was alright (better than I expected though). Narrator was one I don’t particularly care for, especially the one used for Hamarsson.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this is the first time I am reading by this author and I loved it!

It has a slow burn which I love and the characters don't interact as much until after half way-ish there but I had no issue at all and it didn't feel tiring! I was so immersed into the story and the mystery of it. The characters are so interested and I wanna know more of Niall's backstory!

The ending may be a bit expected and anticlimactic, I hope that the next one bring more answers and more mystery to our characters!


4,5 stars.

Intriguing beginning of a mystery-suspense series. I fell in love with Niall, Mat and Fenril easily, and can't wait to read the next installment 'Long Shadow'.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

This is a slow and atmospheric crime story set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of Mat, the island sheriff and Niall, a Seattle detective who returns to the island when his life in Seattle becomes overwhelming. While Mat is deeply connected to his family and his community, Niall does his best to keep to himself and avoid people. But Niall might be the only person on the island who can help Mat with a spate
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Elle hails from the northwest corner of the US known for, rain, rain, and more rain. She pens Accidental Roots, Never Too Late, Hamarsson and Dempsey, and Home in Hollyridge all set here in the Pacific Northwest. All Elle’s books feature hot mm romance with the guarantee of a HEA. The men start out broken, and maybe they end up that way too, but they always find the other half of their hearts.


Other books in the series

Veiled Intentions (3 books)
  • Long Shadow (Veiled Intentions #2)
  • Black Moon (Veiled Intentions #3)

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