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The Boy with the Painful Tattoo

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo - Josh Lanyon This was such a fun read. First of all, the title: I was happy to find the book was named with tongue firmly in cheek. The Scandinavian crime fiction references had me snorting delightedly throughout. Oh, I love Kit's manager, Rachel, and her determination to make Kit relevant again. Kit's whole-hearted reluctance to play along just makes their interactions even funnier. His loyalty to Miss Butterwith is without question, and his constant referencing of the Butterwith books is a source of great entertainment. (I so want to read A Run in Miss Butterwith's Stalkings.)

As usual, Kit is as an enjoyable a character to read, if slightly more on the frustrating side this time round. He doesn't seem to adapt to change easily (understatement?) so his struggles are understandable. At the same time, I did feel like shaking him once or twice particularly when he vocalised having second thoughts to J.X. in anger. But he proves that he is self-aware and his attempts at making it up to J.X. charmed me. I appreciate that Kit still continues to develop as a character as the series goes on.

J.X. was, well, J.X. He's a sweetie, that's for sure, and his dedication to Kit is made obvious by the effort he goes to in choosing the perfect home for him. I did think him trying to back Kit into a corner in terms of helping his ex-wife was a bit much. But I couldn't really hold it against him. He really makes an effort in creating a family with Kit, despite his lover's obvious reluctance.

So, yes, there is some strain between the lovers. But I think the resolution is satisfying enough to make it worth it. The mystery itself is mildly interesting, and the new characters are entertaining (especially Jerry). I also enjoyed the glimpse into Adrien and Jake's life in Los Angeles. But I enjoyed Kit and J.X. most of all, and I hope we get to see more of them in the near future.