What does one do when one is in love with the world’s most beloved terrorist? It would be much safer, much more prudent, to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. That’s not possible for Renaire. He’s been in love with Emile Delaurier since they first bumped into each other two years before Luchia Dertain’s Gnomon opens. I supposed the fact that they each killed someone at that first meeting cemented their bond. For two years, Renaire has been following Delaurier on his jobs, helping when he can. He doesn’t believe in Delaurier’s Cause (always capitalized in the text). But he can’t leave Delaurier, not for long.
The day that Gnomon begins is a strange day for Renaire. For two years, he’s followed Delaurier’s rules. Follow orders. Do not touch the terrorist. Don’t ask questions. But Delaurier has started to break his own rules. For some reason, he has just murdered a crusading journalist, someone that Delaurier would normally consider an ally. Then Renaire learns that the journalist was killed because she’d found out too much about him. Delaurier is protecting him. Then, the next day, Delaurier spectacularly violates the no touching rule. It took two years for Delaurier to break down his resistance to his attraction to Renaire.
It was a strange experience for me to start reading a thriller that was presumably about a terrorist and an artist only to find myself reading a romance novel. An erotic romance novel. My eyebrows didn’t come down from my hairline for most of the time I was reading. Be warned. Gnomon has some very explicit passages. Meanwhile, it never stops being a thriller. A story that bounced back and forth between sociopathic Delaurier trying to learn how to be in a relationship with frequently unstable Renaire and meetings with Delaurier’s cabal and trying to foil a plot that would undo all of the cabal’s efforts somehow works. Dertien’s debut is brilliant.
What carries the book is the banter between Renaire and Delaurier. They are acerbic and tender by turns. I frequently laughed out loud as they teased and tormented each other. I really hope there are more adventures waiting to be published.
I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.