“Risky Behavior” by L.A. Witt and Cari Z provides a delicious combination of police detective work and an intriguing character study as several layers of mystery are slowly peeled back. I love the prickly Ruffner and his in-your-face persona and it was delightful to watch the newbie Corliss juggle expectations and counter assumptions while dealing with the weight of family connections and the pressure of Internal Affairs. The relationship that forms despite the myriad deterrents is deftly portrayed, and I thought that both characters are portrayed with backgrounds that provide depth and complexity and their respective challenges allow them to show their true characters. The suspense is nicely contrasted with the rising heat that ignites between these intriguing men, and I hope there are many more stories to come in this series.
Those who are concerned with such details should be aware that the story is told in first person point of view, and shifts between the two detectives. Although that isn’t my favorite technique, I must admit it allowed me to savor some pithy and humorous asides that will stay with me for a long time. I actually read the series out of order at first, but each tale does fine as a stand-alone story.
This book is the first in the m/m contemporary romantic suspense ‘Bad Behavior’ series, and details the nascent partnership between veteran detective Andreas Ruffner and newly minted detective Darren Corliss. Not only do they have to find a way to trust each other, especially given that Ruffner has his own unique way of solving cases, but they have to determine whether there is anyone else who they can trust, and a mistake will result in fatal consequences.
It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.
Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.
As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox — and borderline unethical — methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?
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Word count: 81,800; page count: 319