Come Unto These Yellow Sands – Josh Lanyon (5 Stars)
Professor Sebastian Swift was once world renown and considered a genius but drugs and trying to live up to everyone’s expectations sent him down in to a downward spiral that he barely made it out of. Now he’s living a life of quiet, teaching and getting together with his ‘friends with benefit’ partner, Max, who happens to be the chief of police for the small college town they live.
When one of Swift’s most promising students comes to him, asking him for help, he doesn’t hesitate, giving him the keys to his cabin to get away from it all. It turns out that that may have been one of the biggest mistakes Swift has ever made, as the boy is wanted for murdering his own father. At least, that’s what everyone else, including Max, seems to think and Swift is determined to prove the boy’s innocence.
Wow. I haven’t read many of Josh’s books but if they’re all like this, I’m hooked. This was a great book and I didn’t want to put it down.
Max and Swift’s relationship is complicated but totally believable. They’re two lonely people with little to no chance for any other companionship, so they’ve found each other. At least, that’s what you think at first but then it becomes evident that they really do care about each other, maybe even love each other. The layers to their relationship is surprising and very much welcome. I was rooting them on and when they had their big fight, I was like “Noooooo!” I wanted them back together. I was very glad that they managed to patch things up and get back together, even to the point of telling each other how they really felt.
Swift’s struggle with the case and with his sudden need for drugs resonated well with the story. It meshed well with the story and actually enhanced it for me by showing me that Swift had his own demons that he was still struggling with and it made his sympathy for Tad, the student, even more realistic. It also explained part of the reason why he did the things he did and why he never really understood why the people around him disliked him on the level they did. It was sad when it finally dawned on him that he wasn’t as liked as he’d thought.
The mystery was great and I loved how it kept me guessing on who actually did do the killing. Anytime that I can be wrong about a mystery just adds to my enjoyment, it means the story wasn’t cliché or predictable and that’s the best kind of mystery. Josh’s inclusion of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” type paragraphs at the beginning of the chapters was awesome and really added to my overall enjoyment since I’d loved those books immensely as a kid also. It also was a bit of humor during otherwise overly serious parts of the book and helped give you a break, so to speak, from all the drama.
This was a great book and I can’t say enough about it. I’d encourage people to give this book a read and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did. Definitely gets five stars from me.
Buy this book on Amazon.com here.