A Whyborne and Griffin Novel
This is the second book of the prolific Whyborne and Griffin series. Now I will admit I did not exactly enjoy the first book. I enjoyed parts of it. I enjoyed the entertainment factor quite a bit, but if I’m remembering correctly, I believe there were issues with logic and underwhelming love scenes and weird emotional, sappy moments, that left me wanting.
Fortunately, Threshold does not suffer from the same maladies.
The only reason I bothered to pick up this second book after my less-than-shining impression of the first, was because a friend assured me the series got better, and that it was worth sticking to. I’m honestly glad I didn’t just give up. If the quality of this book is any indication of the upward climb, I am all fucking in.
Whyborne and Griffin novels are paranormal mysteries. Dr. Percival something something Whyborne is the lead character — a nervous, meekly charming man I envision to be all long bones and nervous twitching. He affords the narrative a somewhat fancy, neurotic tone that doesn’t get too uncomfortable and easily endears the reader to him. His love interest, and partner in solving the horrific events of the novels, is Griffin Flaherty, a haunted ex-Pinkerton with boyish charm and patience for days.
It really is easy to root for the titular pair. Even in the first book, I adored them, but in Threshold, even more so, because their budding love is presented as challenging and not too over-the-top sappy. What I call ‘horror-movie-itis’, in which the main characters of horror stories have an irritating tendency to act against their established personality or motivations, or leap to wild conclusions without showing the work, all to drive the plot forward. In threshold, I think I had one single moment where I had to squint my eyes and force myself to ignore something. Maybe twice. But I’m a picky dick when it comes to books (especially my first love, horror) so that’s actually a pretty fucking good sign.
I found myself frequently in awe of Jordan L Hawk’s ability to tell a story. The author managed to keep the plot flowing, to have peaks and valleys of tension and relief, of horror and warmth. The progress was amazingly paced, the payoff was satisfying. Though I may not always understand the character choices in this series, I deeply respect the craft.
Threshold is like a cozy mystery, in that it’s easy to read, it has charming narration, and can be a bit silly at times, but it also has some brief moments of explicit gay sex, and less-than-brief stretches of Lovecraftian horror, so… you know, ‘cozy’ might not be the word for it.
I don’t know what the following books have in store, but I do know I’m going to be reading them. So if you, like me, read the first one and was less-than-pleased, I will tell you the same thing my friend told me. The books get better.
If you’re interested in reading this story, check it out on Goodreads! It’s available to purchase on most online book sites.
More Book Reviews by Sam Clover
If you’ve read any Regency Romances, you’ll likely recognize the formula of All in With the Duke by Ava March. Grumpy Lord + Disgraced/downtrodden pretty boy = love and class-related dilemmas in the way of that love.
It’s strange how one element of a story can be so powerful it eclipses the vast majority of flaws. For Hostile Takeover, By Lucy Lennox, that element was character chemistry.
Reccomended for: Lovers of slow burn romance, lovers of found family, lovers of m/m romance in general, and anyone who wants to read a compassionate and well-researched romance featuring leads with disabilities.