Shut Eye (Billy Rucker #1), by Adam Baron [REVIEW]

Adam Baron’s former cop turned Private I, Billy Rucker, is a deeply complex character. After book #1 in this British crime drama series, it feels that we have only scraped the surface, and there is much more to look forward to in later books. The writing is rich and engaging as the author strings us along through the intricate plot and the fascinating characters toward an unexpected conclusion.

For readers expecting edge-of-your-seat action, however, this is not what you’re going to find it. The narrative starts out rather slowly, with abundant description of Billy’s life, but only a teaser about the investigation into the death of the brother of an MP (Member of Parliament), seemingly at the hands of a serial killer who targets gay men. The serial killer chase seems like it will be the focus – especially after the opening prologue teaser, which turns out to be a bit of a blind lead – but the story unfolds very slowly in part one. The pace picks up in the middle stages, but all along the author’s descriptions and side-notes keep us aching for the thriller story to advance more quickly.

It’s a well-crafted book, and the author is an accomplished storyteller. The plot is ultimately very interesting, with several twists and a satisfying conclusion. I personally would have preferred that the focus were more on that story from the beginning, but by the end I feel like I know Billy pretty well. And now I’m interested in finding out more about what happens to him (and Sharon) in the next book. Certainly a recommended read for P.I. fans who enjoy deep characters.

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