The Truth of Yesterday – Josh Aterovis (PD Publishing)

Buy it from our Amazon.com store – The Truth of Yesterday
 

Writing a successful mystery franchise character such as
Anthony Bidulka’s Russell Quant or Greg Herren’s Scotty Bradley is tough. The
author has to keep things familiar enough so as not to lose readers but still
make it fresh and interesting for old as well as new fans. Josh Aterovis
(Ah-ter-oh-viss) is on his fourth Killian Kendall book, The Truth of
Yesterday
, but his young detective shows no signs of growing old before his
time.

In this installment, Killian faces relationship problems
with his boyfriend, Micah, becomes more comfortable with his psychic gifts and
solves a complicated mystery involving Micah’s ex, Paul, a former rent boy who
is found strangled. Along the way, he solves the puzzle of Amalie, the ghost
who haunts his father’s bed and breakfast, and acquires a sidekick of his own.

Aterovis piles on the plot points but manages to balance
them all nicely. Just when you think the story is sprawling too large, he fits
a couple of pieces together and melds them into the whole like a master. Some
of them don’t mesh entirely—the aforementioned relationship problems with Micah
seem to be solved too easily and the Amalie story goes on far longer than it
should at the end—however, this is probably due to the nature of the franchise
itself. These two particular subplots have their origins or their final
resolutions in past or future installments, so they don’t arc as smoothly as
they would in a one-shot mystery.

That said, The Truth of Yesterday can and does stand
alone. The mystery of who killed Paul has enough twists and turns to be
interesting, and Aterovis has a good eye for detail even when dealing with
minor characters. No one seems flat and even many of the minor characters—Paul’s
vaguely rodent-like co-worker, Razi, and the head of the Top to Bottom Escort
Agency, Neal (who has a double role here) in particular—are well-drawn and
believable. The denouement of the mystery is also well done. Although
the identity of the killer is perhaps less a surprise than Aterovis might like
it to be, the climax is both suspenseful and exciting, delivering not just a
resolution but also providing an interesting character who has the potential to
play a pivotal role in future Killian Kendall novels.

This is the first of Aterovis’ mysteries I’ve read, but his
command of the genre is impressive, and his writing chops are sufficient to
make me eager for the next adventure. The Truth of Yesterday makes a
fine addition to any mystery shelf.  

Reviewed by Jerry Wheeler

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