The Crimson Cat - A.J. Llewellyn, D.J. Manly 3 1/2 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Tomi and his brother Ren are on their way home from their mothers’ Japanese bean-throwing ritual when they are involved in a serious car crash, a crash his mother blames on the oni. Tomi’s world begins to collapse when he loses his dream job because he can’t work and his worry for Ren, luckily Ren’s boyfriend is there for both of them as they recover. Tomi is determined to make the man responsible for the crash pay but when he meets Dusty, the man whose car it is, he finds it hard to believe that he really did it and discovers he is covering for someone else.

This is a great little thriller that has an interesting twist. Tomi and Ren has to suffer through their mothers traditions and on the way home from the latest one they are involved in a crashed caused by a demented driver, recovering from their injuries Tomi loses the job he has longed for but Ren discovers the depth of his boyfriends love. Tomi is determined to make the driver pay and is surprised when he confronts the owner of the Crimson Cat and discovers that something is amiss. Dusty is trapped in a situation that he sees no way out of without losing his job and everything he has worked so hard for, but discovering people were hurt and meeting Tomi has him rethinking his choices.

The characters in this story are great, I loved Tomi and Ren’s mother; she is just so quirky that you can’t help but smile at her behaviour. Tomi is a determined man, but he isn’t so gung-ho that he is blind to inconsistencies. When Tomi realises something doesn’t add up after he meets Dusty he tries to convince the man to come clean and make the person responsible pay. Dusty tries to be a good man but he has a secret that has him tied, he is tired of always covering but can’t see anyway out without losing his hard earned job, but when push comes to shove he acts and ends up in danger from the one he always protected.

This is an enjoyable story that takes a sinister twist towards the end. You get to know the characters reasonable well and you can see how easily Dusty was trapped in a lie of his own making. Tomi and Dusty are good together although they have a very rocky time of it and you can clearly see that Tomi is the catalyst for Dusty to put a stop to his problems.

I recommend this to those who love domineering quirky mothers, lies that bind, two men coming together in shrouded secrets, danger and finally a happy ending.