Review: Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

Posted September 5, 2018 by Lola in Coyer, Fantasy, Mystery, Review, Romance, Suspense / 4 Comments

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Pressure HeadPressure Head (The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #1)
by J.L. Merrow

Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Mystery/ Paranormal Romantic Suspense/ MM Romance

Some things are better left hidden.

Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights.

My Review

Two of my blogger friends had good things to say about this series and I decided to give it a try as the premise reminded me a bit of another series I recently read that I really enjoyed. Pressure Head was a great read. I like how it combines mystery, romance and a hint of the paranormal.

Pressure Head is told from the point of view of Tom, a plumber with a gift for finding things. When he’s called in by the police to find a body and meets the private investigator that’s on the case he gets pulled into this mystery.

I liked the mystery, for a long time I had no clue who would be the murderer. Even with the few suspects there were, there were pieces missing for a long time that made me unsure who had done it. By the end things fall on it’s place and there’s even a bit of danger. I liked following the investigation along, even tough it was pretty straightforward as far as mysteries go, it was still well written and in combination with the other things going on in this book it made for an engaging read.

I liked Tom as a main character, he seemed down to earth with his job as a plumber and I liked his optimistic outlook on life and how he tended to think the best of people. I felt like we got a good feel for his character which makes sense with how the whole book is written from this point of view. I also liked Phil and I thought it was obvious he had more feelings about Tom than he first led on, but it was fun to see them figure it out. He has a more pessimistic outlook on people and I thought that made sense given his job. They are a bit opposites in some aspects and it was fun to see how they could clash and also how they had such different opinions on some things.

There is quite a prominent romantic subplot in this book, which I liked. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like the romance to be honest. Enemies to lovers with one of them having bullied the other isn’t usually the type of romance I enjoy. But I actually found myself really enjoying the banter between Tom and Phil. They both have a few hang-ups from their high school past, which does influence things a bit now and creates some tension. But I also felt that when we got the whole story, their behavior made more sense. And it was great when they finally give in to their feelings and even before then, there are some great scenes between them. They made for a great couple and I am curious to see how their relationships progresses in the rest of the series.

I also liked how these two got involved in the mystery. Phil was a private investigator and he asked Tom to come along when interviewing suspects, so Tom could see if there was something hidden in the house. I liked this as it was a natural way for both of them to get involved in the mystery.

Then there was the paranormal aspect. It’s pretty mild and there aren’t many details about Tom’s gift, but I thought it added a nice touch to the book. I’ve read another series that was similar like this one with a mystery and a small paranormal aspect and somehow these types of stories just really work for me. I liked how Tom’s ability was a prominent part of the book and how he still could do a lot with it even tough it could also be completely useless in other situations. It was interesting to see how his ability kept popping up throughout the book and how it influenced what they knew and found.

To summarize: I really liked this book. It has mystery, suspense, romance and a hint of the paranormal all blended together in an engaging read. The mystery was pretty straightforward with only a few suspects, but I still had trouble figuring out who the murderer was as it seems we were always missing some pieces of information. It was nice seeing it all come together at the end of the book. I wasn’t sure if I would like the whole enemies to lovers type of romance where one had been a bully as well, but I actually really liked Tom and Phil. They had some great banter and it was obvious there were some unresolved things between them. And while the past events influenced some of their behavior it was done in a way that worked and felt realistic. The paranormal element was a fun and unique touch and I liked how it was part of the story. All in all this was a great read and I am glad I bought the box set and hope to continue this series soon.

4 Stars

Riptide Publishing

You can also read my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Tell me about some books with fun combinations of genre that you read?

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4 responses to “Review: Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Tom makes me laugh so much with the way he thinks and says stuff and Phil is a great balance to his personality. I like them as an amateur detecting team, too. I think I only figured out half of the mysteries in the series b/c of the surprises.
    Hope you end up liking the rest of their story.

    • I just finished book 2, I didn’t like it as much as book 1, but I do think this is a series I’ll keep enjoying :). I really like Tom as a main character, he sure has an unique way of thinking and looking at things and indeed Phil is a great balance to his personality.

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