For the final DIK Reading Challenge of the year, I’m reviewing Josh Lanyon’s I Spy Something Bloody.  Mark is a special agent looking to get out of the game after a failed mission.  Injured, the first person he calls for help is Stephen Thorpe, the man he loves, the man he left behind several years previously.  Tired of waiting for Mark to return, and after a string of broken promises, Stephen has moved on, not interested in letting Mark back into his life.  Mark’s desperation breaks through to Stephen, who reluctantly allows Mark to return for temporary sanctuary, neither of them realizing that Mark’s job has followed him  from Afghanistan to Virginia, putting both of them in danger.

Despite all the trappings of secret agents and contract killers, this is a story of an emotionally broken man at the point of  either trying to fix himself and the wrongs he’s done or giving up on life entirely.  We feel every second on Mark’s painful journey of self-discovery and the dawning realization that his decision to act might have come to late to salvage the only relationship that ever meant anything to him — that still means the world to him.  The story didn’t have the mystery elements I had come to associate with Josh Lanyon stories, but it certainly didn’t disappoint.  There was action, suspense and lot of emotional tension followed by an eminently satisfying conclusion.  Definitely worth reading.