“The Hell You Say”– the return of Adrien English

Lanyon, Josh. “The Hell You Say: The Third Adrien English Mystery”,

iUniverse, Inc., 2006.

The Return of Adrien English

Amos Lassen

As the title states, this is the third book in the Adrien English series and it is one of those reads that will keep you up all night. Adrien is a thirty something bookstore owner and a new writer. He has written a mystery about a gay Shakespearean actor but he himself is being looked for because he has the knack for getting himself involved in his own imagination and writing. This may be good for researching his writing but it plays havoc with his health. As he learns to be an amateur detective, he places himself in precarious situations but he does seem to have a flair for it.

In the first book he was in a dramatic confrontation with the killer and in the second book he was involved n a murder. Here he is again in the midst of murder that a bookstore employee manages to get involved in. As he tries to prove the innocence of his employee, Adrien’s personal life and relationships manage to come to the fore and excitement is the result. Aside from Adrien, the other major character, Jake Reardon is dark and moody because of his own personal conflicts and problems.

As a character, Adrien is a master of wit and bon mots. He also has to deal with Jake, the LA policeman who is living in the closet and Adrien is wild about. The suspense does not let up as the characterization and plot build at a leisurely pace. The occult also comes into play as well as comedy, heartbreak, romance and lots of excitement.

To give you an idea about the satire here, the name of Adrien’s bookstore is The Cloak and Dagger. The clerk, Angus, has been receiving evil threats over the phone and Adrien attempting to help him out, gives Angus money so he and his girlfriend can leave town. Jake does not agree with this plan as he wants to  question him about what he knows about cults, At the same time, author Gabe Savant, announces that he is doing research on a certain cult that he is going to expose in his next novel but It is assumed that this is little more than a bid for publicity. In checking up on whom is bothering Angus, new facts are discovered. Angus holds another job as a teaching assistant at UCLA and Adrien visits the professor in charge, Dr. Snowden. And off we go………..

With a great plot and like the name of the bookstore, a lot of cloaks and daggers we have a great read. What really makes this so much fun are the characterizations as has always been the case in Lanyon’s books.

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