Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.
When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin—only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.
I’ve never hid my love for Lanyon’s writing and I’m not going to do so now. Some are less intriguing than others, most notably the “Dangerous Ground” series which I enjoy but there’s something about Lanyon’s writing voice in mysteries that does it for me. Wordgasms.
Josh doesn’t disappoint with “Come Unto These Yellow Sands”.
There IS a formula to Lanyon’s mysteries. Usually the one of the male leads is hindered in some way, either physically or emotionally and he is coupled with a stronger, authoritative figure. For most writers, this would be a cliched trope but bhis formula works because Lanyon makes it work. The compromised male lead is complex and his “issue” varies…with Lanyon working those issues into the storyline.
In CUTYS, Sebastian Swift is not just the “Fall Down and Go Boom Bad Boy” of the literary circuit, he is still a recovering addict and Lanyon addresses it within the book (albeit mildly). His lover, Max Prescott, is a cop that Swift half-lies to about a murder… and Swift ends up paying for that hiding of the truth with the damage it does to his relationship with Prescott.
I enjoyed the mystery but I also enjoy the dual plotline of Swift’s exploration of his relationship and his fall from grace. THAT is what Lanyon does best… run two or sometimes three plots within a book and does so gracefully and with fantastic pacing.
I highly recommend this book. It’s on the re-read for me.