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The Rational Faculty

Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords, Book 1
Narrated by: Tristan James
Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

Three months have passed since Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset faced a madman and lived to tell about it. Three months have passed since Emery Hazard resigned from his job as a detective.Three months can be too long and too short, all at the same time.

On Halloween, a professor at the local college is murdered in his apartment, in front of dozens of witnesses. Then, the killer disappears. Somers is assigned the case and a new partner. While Somers investigates the murder, Hazard struggles to find purpose in his new freedom. Despite his decision to stay away, he finds himself drawn to the case. But he’s no longer in the police force, and in the small town of Wahredua, not all of his former colleagues are happy to see him investigating another crime.

When the sheriff’s son and husband go missing, though, the case becomes more complicated than either Hazard or Somers had expected. And soon, they learn that someone else is manipulating events in Wahredua. Someone who is very interested in Emery Hazard.

©2019 Gregory Ashe (P)2020 Gregory Ashe

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Almost perfect performance

It took me a while to
to get into the style of the narrator (despite owning the audiobook of a previous title in this series, also narrated by Tristan James), which is dry and slightly monotonous (at the start, there were a couple of times I felt like I was listening to a computer) HOWEVER as the audiobook went on, I was reminded why James was chosen to narrate this series: his deadpan delivery is perfectly fitting for Hazard's grimness and for the seriousness of the series. The other characters all come across beautifully and there were some moments that I laughed aloud because the delivery fit the wit of the moment so well; I've read the E-Book as well and I think I actually noticed way more moments of levity when listening to the audiobook.
Superbly done and definitely worth a listen, even if you've read the book.

I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC of this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Gregory Ashe takes it up a notch

I was give this audible book as an advanced listener and all I can say is wow.I thought the original series was great but this new series takes us up another level. I had a slow start to the book as I was busy with other things but then listened to 2/3 of the book in one day. Tristan James continues to be his amazing self as narrator but then again Gregory Ashe has can given him some riveting material to work with. We get to see Hazard and Somerset adapt to Hazard's retirement from the police force, that necessitates a new understanding of what they mean to each other. This is not an easy road. Alongside this we have a gripping and disturbing crime to solve which has several layers of complexity that will takes us into book 2. It also leads to a number of clashes between Hazard and Somerset. As well we get to meet some lovely people and some people who even if fictitious make your flesh crawl. Ashe creates an atmosphere in which you can never feel quite comfortable. I have just received the second e-book in the series and I hope that the audible book won't be too far behind.

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  • Julie Whitehead
  • 19-01-20

Just. . .perfect.

Oh, how I’ve missed these two! This book, like the previous, satisfied all my needs: MM romance, suspense and a damn good mystery. I love how the author has kept me invested in the relationship between these two men both professionally and romantically. As much as I love a good HEA, we all know that a good relationship has challenges and it’s so satisfying to be part of the ongoing love and struggles they continue to endure. Not gonna lie, I like that we are brought into the bedroom a bit more with this book. 🔥👀

And beyond this story, I cannot say enough about this author’s writing. His imagery and choice of prose really drops me into his book. As I read (or listen), I soon forget about the words and actually see the surroundings and deeply feel the emotions of the characters. I wish I was even a pinch the writer Mr. Ashe is so that I’d be able to give him a right proper review.

Tristan James is amazing as always. He’s actually the reason I started with this series as I searched for books he narrated specifically.

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  • Sandra Kirchner
  • 27-02-20

A rollercoaster of emotions

Another spectacular performance by Tristan James. Hazard ripped my heart out for most of the book, but there is just the right amount of humor to keep it from being overwhelming. I absolutely adore Somers' new partner and the way the narrator performs his voice is epic. The fact that I love him so much has led me to be nervous that he's going to turn out to be a killer in a future book, but that's the price we pay for a Gregory Ashe story!

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  • Retired 39
  • 18-02-20

Another Great Hazard & Somerset Mystery

‘The Rational Faculty’ by Gregory Ashe with first rate narration by Tristan James, like everything by Mr. Ashe is a great listen.

I listened to this audiobook after reading the first book in the series. Clearly I’d missed some important developments in the relationship between John-Henry Somerset and Emery Hazard, but Ashe cleverly explained what had happened in the interim.

Again, the plot was complicated and, again, I had focused in on someone who turned out not to be the murderer. I won't say more to avoid inadvertently including spoiler. Suffice it to say that the important thing to remember is ‘Someone is very interested in Emery Hazard’

Even though I have a general understanding of what happened in ‘Transposition’ the second book in the Hazard and Somerset series, I will definitely go back to it.

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  • Aethena Drake
  • 15-02-20

Great story. Great narration.

My favorite Hazard and Somerset book so far. Just when you think this series couldn't get any darker.. The mystery was fascinating. As always the characters are engaging. I can't wait for the next story.

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  • Beth I-L
  • 10-02-20

Great start to new chapter in this series

Tristan James brings these two characters to life so beautifully. This book is an emotional tour de force. It is at times gut wrenching and the angst level is high. There are also points you may want to smack the MCs.

The murder story is different and there is a second plot line, which it appears will be ongoing much like in the first set of books starring Hazard and Somerset.

The story is frustrating at times and I was yelling at my car speakers. Guess that’s a sign of great writing and excellent narrating when the reader/listener is so completely invested!

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  • Journey
  • 29-01-20

Love these two

I was so sad thinking this author was done with these two amazing characters. I love the storyline and thank you for adding more to this series.

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  • JulieFromMD
  • 28-01-20

Welcome back!

I didn't know how much I missed these two until I started listening to this return of a series. Hazard and Somerset have quite a history between them, and if you haven't read the first series (started with Pretty Pretty Boys), then I urge you to go back and start there. Although the mystery in this book is new, you would be missing out on too much backstory to start here.

As with the other books, I spent quite a bit of time alternating between wanting to shake them and hug them, particular Hazard. We start with a damaged Hazard, due to circumstances that occurred in the finale of the first series. The men have set up house together and regardless of issues, we get the feeling that this is forever for both of them. Hazard has left the police force and seems to be at loose ends, while Somers is still with the PD and has just met his new partner, a brash young freckle face man who, surprisingly, is also gay. He's got a bit of hero worship for both Somers and Hazard, and can be amazingly annoying most of the time, but the jury is out still on his character. Book begins with a murder at the local university, and the main focus is on this, and further events that stem from this. Somers, from within the PD and Hazard, as an outside consultant (unofficial at first and then official as the story continues) work on the case, sometimes together and sometimes separately. We meet some old friends and a new iteration of old enemies - there is an offshoot of the white supremist group known as the Ozark Volunteers called Bright Lights.

I won't go into any more of the story here, as it really is complex and as usual, has multiple threads as things progress, but I truly enjoyed this book. I was a bit hesitant at first, because the final book in the series had some relatively extreme and graphic violence, and I prefer off screen versions of that. This book, while still not for the weak at heart, particularly at the end, kept most of the violence offscreen and we are faced with the results only. The mystery kept me guessing, and I found myself turning it back on just to find out what happened next, even at work. A word of caution, there are multiple loose ends, part of the mystery is solved in this book, but you get the feeling that there will be an overall story arc throughout the series, similar to the last group of books. That doesn't bother me, but it might not suit someone who prefers a complete ending for each book. I did remove one star from the story because of one issue I have with the last series, and seems to be continuing with this one. Feminists, and women in general, are usually portrayed as two dimensional and in some cases, outright psychotic. Somer's ex-wife is an exception, and the female Police Chief isn't too bad, but too many others are troublesome. But the book is well written and engaging, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. The performance, by Tristan James, is spot on, and I enjoyed the new 'friendly puppy voice' of Somer's new partner. I am looking forward to seeing what will happen with him.


Disclosure: Received a review copy of this audio book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Buscatlady
  • 28-01-20

Winning duet; Tristan James and Gregory Ashe

I love this series with Somerset and Hazard and read by the outstanding Tristan James a winner!

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  • Rachel BGP
  • 28-01-20

So great to have more Hazard and Somerset!

This book had so many feels. It was happy, sad, frustrating and funny! It was so perfect! I missed Hazard and Somerset.
As always the narrator was great.

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  • Sharon
  • 27-01-20

It's definitely worth listening to

I have all of Gregory's books as ebooks and I am also no collecting his audiobooks as I love listening to them when driving. The book is very well written and the story kept me listening. Tristan James is an excellent narrator and he excels with this story.
Highly recommended.