Acquainted with the Night

Acquainted with the Night - Erica Abbott The third (and final?) book in the Alex & CJ series is a surprising page-turner. Not since [b:Web of Obsessions|17290823|Web of Obsessions|Diane Wood||23913081] and [b:Weeping Walls|17675450|Weeping Walls|Gerri Hill||24679187] did I want to stay up all night to finish a book. There's lots of angst(!), an intriguing whodunit or two, thrilling shootouts, and hot sex. :) No mean feat for a third book in a police procedural series where the primary focus is the relationship between the leading ladies rather than the murder case, and featuring the same couple all throughout.

The thing about romances in general is that once our lovers get together, its the end of the story as far as we're concerned. Its rare that authors are able to sustain this kind of interest in the same couple three books in a row, and not bore the reader to tears or resort to ridiculous, contrived drama. Kudos to Ms. Abbott for 'successfully' pulling this off. I'm going to qualify 'successfully' later as that will mean revealing key plot points that in this book's case, may totally ruin one's reading enjoyment.

More than any other book, this whole edge-of-your-seat ride hinges on the reader not knowing what the hell is going on. Thanks to the discreet blurb writer, the author managed to keep me in the dark long enough for me to enjoy the exhilarating ride to the finish. So please, please stay away from lengthy reviews---they may inadvertently reveal too much.

At this point, all I'm gonna say is, if you like a captivating lesbian romance/drama with the added bonus of fairly intriguing murder mysteries to go with it, this is an excellent series to get into. It's best to start with the first book, as the development of Alex and CJ's romance is half the attraction. Like Gerri Hill's Paige/CJ, their chemistry is off the charts. For people who have read and liked the first two books, this is a must-read. Not only did we have Alex & CJ, but there's Chris and Vivian getting in on the action.

Now, for why this isn't getting the solid 5 stars I was planning to give it earlier. Many spoilers ahead, so don't click if you're planning to read the book. After Alex and CJ get together in the first book, the author very successfully uses a third woman to stir things up in the second book. In the third book, the author makes CJ leave Alex. For most of the book, we are kept in the dark about the real reason why. This is the mystery Alex has to solve. I got too caught up in the mystery, the thrilling climax, and the eventual makeup to not enjoy the book. But in hindsight, and knowing CJ, I'm not totally convinced that she would do what she did...not the smart, resourceful, compassionate CJ we grew to love in Books 1 and 2 anyway. And for 8 months? No phone or email contact at all? It just wasn't plausible. CJ would never do that to Alex. In fact, I think she'd actually try to solve the mystery herself while she was hiding away. On the other hand, I can't believe Alex didn't go through CJ's office stuff with a fine-toothed comb. Even a cursory search would have easily revealed the letter. How did Alex make captain again? I hope it wasn't because she slept with the DA! And how come Alex never contacted CJ's trust manager throughout the 8 months. He would be the first person I'd talk to--not just cuz he's probably the only one CJ considers 'family' but where else would CJ get her money except from him? And whats with the constant shake-up of Steph? that was beyond mean. The length of time between the first hit and the 2nd hit is also too long. Who has that kind of time or patience? Definitely not crazy Laura. Its not like Alex goes around with bodyguards. Maybe if the timetable had been say 8 weeks instead of 8 months!?! Everything would be more believable. And the picnic shootout where the same guys who did the first hit assumed Alex was a guy so they just shot the first guy they saw? Laura was right...they deserved to be killed, lol. I guess this is one of those times when you really need a major suspension of disbelief to enjoy yourself. There are more plot holes in the whole premise than Swiss cheese if you think too much about it. Still and all, doesn't it testify to the author's skill that I didn't notice most of them till I was done with the thoroughly enjoyable book?

4.75 stars