In Espresso by M.L. Hamilton, former LAPD detective Tate Mercer, now owner of the hardware store in Sequoia, CA, finds that he can’t escape from his past no matter how hard he tries. Just as Tate finally gets a date with Zion Sawyer, owner of the Caffeinator, Zion’s best friend, Rebekah, shows up in town at the same time as Tate’s former LAPD colleague, Keith Poole, who is on administrative leave for having shot and killed a 14-year-old boy.
A week after Poole arrives in Sequoia, Tate gets a call from Sheriff Wilson in the middle of the night. Poole, who has been in bed with Rebekah after she stormed out from a fight with Zion, has shot and killed an intruder to his rented cabin. Seeing a familiar tattoo on the dead man, Tate recognizes a member of the Devil’s Tongue gang, the group that killed Tate’s partner, Jason, when their police raid went horribly awry. Now Tate must face his past in order to have hope for the future.
Espresso was a little heavier book than the first two in the series, as we deal with the loss of Jason and fear that the gang has found its way to Sequoia. However, I thought the weight added depth to the book and really liked it. I was happy to get answers about Tate’s past finally and really enjoyed seeing his relationship with Zion develop. She is still the main character of the series, but Tate has a pretty similar sized role in this book.
Kelley Hazen performs the audio edition of this book. I enjoy most of her narration and voices for the characters, but I did think her voices for Sheriff Wilson and the other police detective in Sequoia were too nasal and annoying. I also really wish she had taken the time to learn how certain place names in Central California, in particular Visalia and Tulare, are pronounced. However, for the most part she has a warm and friendly voice that makes listeners feel welcome to join in with the lives of the audiobook’s characters.
I really enjoyed listening to Espresso. I think the book had a great storyline and continued its development of the characters we came to know and love in the previous two books. I look forward to the next book and give this five stars.
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook for free for review purposes, but that had no influence on the content of my review.
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