The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson’s way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack’s people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don’t solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg’s suicide.
Ryan Halloran’s cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick’s suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.
Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick’s lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they’ve both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.
This is one of those books that I wasn’t sure about. I know I’ve said before that I don’t judge a book by its cover, but when you see a ‘Caution Biohazard’ banner draped across the front cover you kind of have to sit up and take notice. I actually passed this one by several times before I requested it for review. I’m so glad I got past my initial reaction to the cover. Grime and Punishment was so much more than the title or the cover suggested. The funny thing is, they both fit the book exceedingly well. Who knew?
Jack was the first character that readers were introduced to and I liked him right away. I’m not sure what exactly drew me to him, but there was just something about him. He wasn’t a weak person, but he was guarded and more than slightly damaged. He was the kind of character that I automatically wanted to protect and I wasn’t even sure why. As the story progressed that sense of wanting to protect him got even stronger.
Ryan took me a little while longer to relate to, but I think that was because of the way that I felt about Jack from the beginning. He grew on me though and I ended up really liking the affect he had on Jack. He was fun and he brought out a side of Jack that was good for him in a lot of ways. They were good for each other actually.
What really made me enjoy this book were the supporting cast of characters. There were a lot of strong personalities in this book. The characters played off of each other well and the sense of family was strong. Protectiveness, love, loss, grief and deceit (more like well-kept and deeply buried secrets) all came into play. Through it all, the characters drove the story. Even the cat played a more important role than expected. 😉 I’m not a cat person, but I loved that cat. *sigh* I can see this turning into a series that I’m going to enjoy following.