Books · Contemporary · grief · mental health · MM romance · mystery · Novella

REVIEW: Start To Finish by Pamela A. Williams

The Official Description: Ian Start is an art professor and poet, living and teaching in Providence, Rhode Island. After suffering an infection in his leg that left him disfigured and traumatized, he’s been struggling to regain his emotional balance and find his voice again in his poetry.

It doesn’t help when one of his students is murdered, and he’s implicated. The chemistry is still there between Ian and Jake, who is his ex and the investigator, but being a suspect presents a barrier to their reunion.

Furthermore, Ian’s injury left a massive scar, both physically and emotionally. He is not convinced anyone else should have to live with his disfigurement and his nightmares.

Just the facts: Mystery, intrigue, m/m relationship, recovering from illness

Williams gives us a solid mystery, a quirky and strong main character and a m/m relationship. Loved this one! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  Ian Start is an art professor … poet with writer’s block … who is trying to get his life back together after suffering a debilitating illness. He’s single, teaching part-time, and focussing on his art when a past lover comes back into his life. The problem is that ex-lover, Jake.. is now a detective who is investigating the murder of one of Ian’s most promising art students.

Ian had nothing to do with the murder, but suspicions are cast upon Start because of “evidence” at the crime scene. Sure, he knew the young man who was killed – Thomas was a talented artist and Ian had sensed that Thomas was interested in him. But, he would never enter into a relationship with a student. He’s puzzled by what “evidence” might exist and Jake isn’t revealing anything.

The mystery in this story was interesting and it’s always enjoyable when the main relationship is something that is happening along with the unfolding of the plot. I liked the way that the details appeared… the evidence was there and if you were wanting to you could begin to come up with your own theories as to what was happening.

The relationship between Jake and Ian was interesting. They had only been together for a short fling in their past but Ian had returned to his partner of 10 years rather than taking a chance on Jake. Interestingly this decision comes back to haunt him when he finds that Jake has someone in his life. This wasn’t an angst-filled dramatic type of relationship. It is mature and authentic and I really enjoyed it.

A lot of this book is about Ian and his recovery from an illness that has left his body disfigured. He’s lost his confidence at the same time as he lost his ability to write poetry. As he has sunk deeper into a type of depression, he has lost himself in his painting – often losing track of what’s going on around him. In a way, he seems to be exploring his life and the wounds that have been inflicted upon him. Ian is a very interesting character… quite a unique voice.

This was an enjoyable read and I would definitely read anything upcoming from this author.

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) please see the publisher/author’s warnings here

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Start To Finish by Pamela A. Williams from NineStar press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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