The Official Description: Organ trafficking, types of attraction and far-right nationalism are ingredients in this tale about Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, a gay polyamorous quad who live in North-East England.
Phil is a surgeon in Warbridge Hospital. A patient’s organs are harvested illegally. Are Phil’s colleagues involved?
Detective Nick Seabrooke returns to Warbridge to ask Phil to aid the investigation. Agreeing endangers the quad in more ways than one. How will Nick, who is asexual, react to meeting the quad again? How will they react to him?
This is the fourth story in the County Durham Quad series. Background information is included for new readers.
Just the facts: Polyamorous Quad (all male), Mystery, Ace character
The County Durham Quad is back and their little town has another crime to be solved. Ace Det. Nick comes back… and creates waves within the Quad. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: Body Parts and Mind Games is the 4th book in the County Durham Quad series. These books center on four men who live as a quad. The quad is composed of Phil (surgeon), and his husband Raith (Artist), Mike (ex-cop and biker) and his husband Ross (Rath’s manager and the manager of their co-op). Because this is the fourth book in the series, you’d certainly be a little lost if you tried to pick it up now. That being said, I hadn’t read books 1 and 2 when I read the third (Ace In The Picture) and I really enjoyed it. Nick (The asexual Detective) was introduced in the third book and he’s back in this one… I would suggest, at least, reading Ace In the Picture so you’ve got background on Nick’s involvement with the Quad.
Okay! So this book is another “case story”. There are organs being “stolen” from the hospital. Nick comes back up to the home of the quad and, as usual, they get involved. It amuses me that in such a small place… this quad of fellows sure gets into a lot of trouble. Now, granted, it’s believable that their combined histories may make them magnets for such trouble, but I’d say they have more than their fair share of crime! It’s an interesting mystery… not too complex… all the clues you need are handy fairly quickly. The plot ends up being more about how the Quad will prove what they’ve already discovered.
In addition to the case that is running through the novel. I’d say that the author has dedicated a fair bit of attention to the quad itself. There are little nuances revealed about how the four men interact with each other differently. The structure of the quad is explored a bit more in this story: Phile and Raith are married and Mike and Ross are married. The four men have very different dynamics depending on whom they are with. Not all of the members of the quad are sexual with each other, but there is a great commitment and love between the four of them. I really enjoyed the way the author explored the boundaries of their relationship.
I think my favorite character this time around was Nick. In the last book, Nick was beginning to come to terms with the fact that he was asexual. In this installment of the tale, he’s coming to terms with the fact that he has feelings for Mike. It is through Nick’s eyes that the reader becomes more intimately acquainted with the Quad and sees show how they are with one another. Nick wants some of the things that the Quad share with one another, but he’s very clear there are many things he doesn’t want. I liked the way the author wrote Nick’s self-discovery.
This is a decent mystery, but I definitely enjoy the dynamics of the Quad more than anything else. All the characters are unique and have their own quirks and distinct voices. Introducing Nick into the mix is an interesting choice.
“Ross, Phil, Raith… each of them is special,” Mike said softly, “but we need the four of us to make a whole. If sumthin’ had happened to Raith last year, to Ross the other day… the ones who’d be left would be destroyed. I’m serious. Totally. I don’t think we could function without the other parts. Maybe Ross and Phil would handle it – they’re made of stronger stuff than Raith and me – but even they’d struggle. Raith wouldn’t last a day. I doubt that I would either. They’re as much a part of me as my own body is. More me than I am myself. They’re part of my heart.”
The characters make this well worth a read, particularly if you have an interest in diversity! I will be interested to read any other books that come in the series!
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) description of organ trafficking, kidnapping, being drugged against one’s will, description of burn injury, description of knife wound, fighting, violence, homophobic speech.
Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.
- Badge of Loyalty (County Durham Quad #1) by Jude Tresswell
- Ace in the Picture (County Durham Quad #3) by Jude Tresswell
I received an ARC of Body Parts and Mind Games by Jude Tresswell via Gay Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.
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