Title: Playing With Fire
Author: Dirk Greyson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Dirk Greyson delivers a really good psychological mystery, and delves deep into the investigation and the profiling of a killer.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Jim Crawford was born wealthy, but he turned his back on it to become a police officer. Add that to his being gay, and he’s definitely the black sheep of the family.
Dr. Barty Halloran grew up with lessons instead of friends and toys and as a result, became a gifted psychologist… with only an academic understanding of people and emotions.
When Jim’s pursuit of a serial killer goes nowhere, he turns to Dr. Halloran for help, and Barty thinks he can get inside the shooter’s mind. In many ways, they’re two sides of the same coin, which both scares and intrigues him. Together, Jim and Barty make progress on the case—until the stakes shoot higher when the killer turns his attention toward Barty.
To protect Barty, Jim offers to let Barty stay with him, where he discovers the doctor has a heart to go along with his brilliant mind after all. But as they close in on their suspect, the killer becomes desperate, and he’ll do anything to elude capture—even threaten those closest to Jim.
Review: Jim Crawford made detective in the big city. When he’d finally had enough, he went to work in New Cynwood, Pennsylvania. But, crime doesn’t lessen in a small town. There’s a serial killer on the loose, and as the killings escalate, Jim faces more and more pressure to solve the crimes. He seeks advice from a friend who gets him a meeting with a criminal psychologist.
Dr. Barty Halloran is a professor of psychology, and a genius in the field of criminal psychology. He’s no-nonsense, innocent, and is never sure how to interact with people. When Jim meets with Barty to seek his professional help, Barty sees it as a good opportunity. As the murderer starts to get bolder, Barty moves in with Jim for protection, and he brings his best girl, Penelope, with him. The move gives Barty and Jim time to start learning about each other; not only about their jobs but their personal lives too. They actually are a good balance for each other. When Jim and Barty combine their different skills to solve the murders, they make a great team.
Even though Jim and Barty have parents and siblings, they have more of a special connection to their grandparents. Jim’s family tries to ignore the fact that he’s gay, and he’s always felt a special connection with his grandpa—Jim believes his grandpa always knew he was different.
Once Barty’s parents realized how gifted he was, they never thought he should be treated normally. They could no longer handle him, so he was sent to live with his Nana, who helped him more with his social skills. Even as Barty grew older, he never felt comfortable being around other people, but he always reflects on his Nana’s advice.
Dirk Greyson delivers a really good psychological mystery, and delves deep into the investigation and the profiling of a killer. The plot was focused on solving the murders, and offered some danger, suspense, and had some twists that I never saw coming. If you like a good mystery with intricate profiling, give Playing with Fire a shot.
You can buy Playing With Fire here: