Title: Love & Punishment
Author Name: Susan Mac Nicol
Publication Date & Length:
On the search for a serial killer, Detective Anthony Parglietto and Flynn Parker learn that every man must make a choice: to kill, to live, to love.
FROM DARKNESS AND LIGHT
Someone is leaving a trail of bodies throughout London, and Detective Anthony Parglietto is determined to end the violence. Then he’ll return to the man he loves.
Tough, street-savvy, and used to dealing with lowlifes, Flynn Parker is the last person Anthony thinks he has to protect. Then the Bow-Tie Killer strikes close to home and the world turns upside down. Right is wrong, black is white, and a policeman might become a monster. But in the name of love, justice must be served. In the name of love, pain can be endured. In the name of love, a man can taste the very essence that defines him.
Love and Punishment was a book that I loved right from the start. I am a sucker for a good murder story and Susan did not disappoint; she pulls the reader in right from the start.
The characters were well developed as individuals and as couples and really allowed the reader to sympathize with each character. I really felt part of Flynn and Anthony’s relationship. They were so in love and the reader could see how much they cared for each other. As for the relationship that was between the killer and his lover, Susan did a great job with showing the love of this relationship, despite how twisted it was. Susan definitely has a twisted sense – because man, can she murder someone! It was sick, twisted, devious and awesome all wrapped up in this amazing story.
Susan develops a good crime solving novel with intrigue and enough hard headed characters to make the story in-depth without going too far. It shows the inner office politics of a police unit, the close relationships amongst the lovers and pulls in past relationships of some characters in order to fully tell the story.
There was plenty of angst and steamy scenes, there was great character development and in the end, everything came together in a very well planned conclusion.
There were only a few criticisms. Having a Kindle – with the way the chapters are formatted, it makes it impossible to navigate the book easily. Also, the author uses the word “oriental” to describe a person of Asian nationality. That word is somewhat antiquated and doesn’t seem to fit – it makes me think of a rug, not a person. Finally, Susan also uses the word “Jap” when referring to some script and that also seems a little derogatory and unnecessary to the story. She could have easily used the word Japanese and it would not have changed what, I believe, she was trying to convey.
Overall, I loved the book and hope the story continues.
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. Currently, She lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family.
Sue is a PAN (Published Author’s Network) member of Romance Writers of America and a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. Also, she is a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell. She has written nine novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the sub-genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.
Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.
What enticed you to write about cops?
Oh hell, who doesn’t love a policeman. Especially if they happen to be in uniform..well, Anthony doesn’t wear one as he’s a detective in the CID but he’s Italian and a complete stud muffin and that’s all I need to know. I had a real yen to write a crime drama and everyone knows you can’t have a crime without a cop. So Anthony strode onto the scene all muscles and attitude. I really enjoyed writing about this aspect of the book. I love cop movies and thriller novels so writing my own was just the next step in my repertoire…
What surprised you most in research/writing the book about law enforcement?
The research was pretty matter of fact, researching the different ranks and procedures of the police force. I think we’ve all seen enough CSI and Wire in the Blood, or Silent Witness to have a vague, if not perhaps sensationalised idea, of how the forces of the law work. The reality is sometimes a lot more boring and involves a lot of paperwork, grunt work, slogging it out on the streets and less ‘wham bam people shooting at you and you go all hero on their arses’. There’s also a huge psychological impact to being a policeman and seeing people hurt, die and be abused on your watch. We tend to forget that behind the metaphorical uniform these cops are real people with real emotions , doing a very tough job.
If there’s one thing you could let readers know about this book, what is it?
That I had a lot of fun creating a crazy bisexual serial killer who could charm birds of out trees and yet harbours a sociopathic nature. I enjoyed making Blair Malcolme a really nasty piece of work yet one who might grow on a reader as a real villain. He’s a man who’s simply strolled through life taking what he wants and hurting a lot of people in the process. Yet in the end, he gets what he deserves. And that to me is the pivotal theme of the book, although it isn’t embellished in too much detail as I didn’t want to preach to people. I wanted people to think about which side of the fence they sat on. Perhaps challenge their way of thinking as society has dictated and wonder whether there was any truth in the whole ‘punishment fitting the crime’ argument. This is a fairly controversial topic but then I’ve never shied away from controversy in my stories. It makes life …interesting.