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Summary

An impossible son. An impossible murder.

The honeymoon is definitely over.

When Emery Hazard and his husband, John-Henry Somerset, arrive home from their honeymoon, they’re shocked (understatement of the year) to find a boy waiting for them on their doorstep. Colt, 15 and eager to pick a fight, claims to be Hazard’s son. It’s almost a relief, then, for Hazard and Somers to be called out to assist the Dore County Sheriff’s Department with what seems to be an impossible murder: a man has been found stabbed to death in a stretch of woods, and the only set of footprints in the soft ground belong to the victim. 

The more Hazard and Somers learn about the dead man, the more confusing the case becomes. While searching his home, they discover a secure room from which several high-end computers have been stolen. A woman makes a daring theft as the house is being secured and escapes with valuable documents. The dead man’s neighbor, who found the body, is obviously lying about how she discovered him. And something very strange is going on with the victim’s sons, who are isolated at school and seem to have found their few friends through the youth group at a local church - and in a close relationship with the hip, young, attractive pastor. 

An attempt on Colt’s life leaves Hazard’s (possible) son in the hospital. When Hazard and Somers learn that the attack came after Colt tried to investigate the murder on his own, they realize he is now in the killer’s crosshairs, and Hazard and Somers must race to uncover the truth. The results from the paternity test aren’t back yet, but father or not, Emery Hazard isn’t going to let anyone harm a child.

©2021 Gregory Ashe (P)2021 Gregory Ashe

What listeners say about Relative Justice

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Enjoyable Story

A well written story with and interesting  concept.  The characters are likeable and the narration is very good.

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A changed dynamic

Maybe Emery Hazard thought being a husband was enough change? Plus, of course. Somers is now chief of police. But, no. As soon as they're back from honeymoon, their situation undergoes a fundamental shift.

This novel focuses on family - what it is, what is means to be part of one, and the obligations that come with it. The central case is based outside the city limits. One result is we see very little of the Wahredua PD. Gray Dulac is restricted to a couple of short vignettes. On the other hand, Nico Flores returns and the author packs his pages with a flow of believable minor characters which is one thing of many to love about his writing.

Emotions often run high and we see many more cracks in Hazard's defences, his walls built to hide his true feelings. He and Somers continue to come across as real people - flawed, human. I for one, find them all the more fascinating and relatable for it.

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Brilliant series

Another 5 star read from Gregory Ashe. Hazard and Somerset are so funny together. Already waiting for the next book to be released.

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totally absorbing.....as usual

I am soooo pleased to have another 'Ree and JH' book narrated so ably by Tristan James.
I can't wait for book 2 in this series.

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A wild ride

The book begins as Hazard and Somerset arrive home from their honeymoon. The last series ended when they finally tied the knot. I should have known that wasn’t the end of this fascinating duo. Apparently Mr. Ashe can’t leave them alone either. And as they’re settling into married bliss, a blast from Hazard’s past arrives on their front door. Or, rather, a supposed blast. Colt, a diffident fifteen-year-old claims to be Emery’s son. The problem? Emery’s never been with a woman. Ever.

They ship off the DNA samples, but before they can settle into any kind of a routine, there’s a murder. Somerset is called in and so is Hazard. Things from the very beginning are suspicious. The circumstances of the murder, the neighbour, the sons of the deceased – all of it points in different directions.

As the men investigate, so does Colt. Which leads him into all kinds of trouble, including being badly beaten. But the young man just wants Emery to see him as worthy of being his son. This dynamic proved interesting – Emery knows Colt isn’t his son, but there are strong indicators that the boy is. Where does that leave a skeptic like Emery? Well, unable to tolerate anyone hurting the boy, that’s for sure. And his daughter he shares with Somerset is fascinated with the teenager who’s moved in. Evie is still adorable and precocious.

I have to admit, I didn’t see the murderer. But that’s why Ashe’s books are so good. It makes sense, but you have to review everything to peg down the clues you missed. Then, of course, after the murder was solved, it was time to settle the paternity once and for all. I have to admit, I liked the conclusion on that front. And, of course, the men’s neighbors and friends are all in the book. Nice to see the old faces – especially Emery’s mother. She’s a hoot.

Finally I have to mention Tristan James. He’s able to hit just the right notes with the man. Emery’s sarcasm, John Henry’s earnestness. I can’t wait for the next one in the series.

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I Loved It

OMG, Gregory Ashe does NOT disappoint in this next chapter of Hazard and Somerset's lives. Relative Justice is the first book in the third Hazard and Somerset arc, Arrows in the Hand. This is a series that's best read in order because there's so much history and backstory that unfolds in the previous books. In this book, Hazard and Somerset are once again thrust into a mystery full of danger and action with twists and turns. The introduction of Colt brings drama, and it was so well done. All the characters are multilayered and dynamic, and the emotions felt raw and real. The audiobook was narrated by Tristan James who does a fantastic job and really brought the book to life. Overall, I loved both the story and the characters, and the audiobook was just another fantastic element to an already great book.

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Clever mix of the mundane with sinister crime

I was given this book as an advanced listener but even if this wasn't the case I would have bought this audiobook anyway as Gregory Ashe's writing and Tristan James' narration, bringing to life Hazard and Somerset continues to be a great combination.

You may think you know all there is to know about these guys but believe me there is still more to understand about them and that is what makes them enduring characters. Like us they continue to find out more about themselves as well as each other.

Gregory Ashe has the ability to marry the mundanity of everyday life with a sinister crime story and these storylines are no different. The crime story is unfortunately all too real where we have man's greed and his inhumanity to his fellow man having to be worked alongside the surprise that Hazard and Somerset find on their doorstep. The way way the two storylines become entwined is naturalistic and quiet believable. As someone who has worked with children and adolescents for many years I find Ashe's portrayal of them equally poignant and amusingly accurate.

Tristan James' narration accurately captures the many moods of this tale and the pace of the storylines had me finishing 90% of the book in one day.

The ending leaves me with a sense of satisfaction but also with sense of disquiet in thinking that you may be missing what is under your nose. If I could, I would give this audiobook book a six. The e-book was great but with the narration it is fantastic.

I need more Hazard and Somerset.

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Intense listen...a rollercoaster of a story

I was delighted when I heard that there was a new Hazard and Somerset series and that Tristan James was narrating it. He's kind of made these characters his own - and I really hate it when a narrator is changed. As I settled down to get my fix I was happy to find Hazard and Somers coming back from their honeymoon. The honeymoon was most certainly over when they discover a boy on their porch who said that Hazard was his dad.
This is where I had to suspend disbelief for a while. Hazard is an ex-cop and investigator, and Somers's is now chief of police in Wahreda. Neither of them followed protocol when the boy said Hazard was his dad. Hazard was 100% sure he had never slept with a woman - and yet, they give the kid the benefit of the doubt. The excuse for such bizarre behaviour was tiredness. Fine. There were no questions about the boy's mum, no request for a photo, no background check on her. Hazard had zero details about where he was supposed to have met/slept with the woman. These men are not idiots and so all of this was completely out of character.
When a man was found dead and the pair got to work together again. The plot unravelled with the complication of the mysterious kid that no one did basic checks on - and Hazard went from one meltdown to the next.
While I was swept up in the rollercoaster intensity of the story it struck me that all of the events took place over A WEEK. With the levels of stress Hazard exhibited, I'm surprised he didn't have heart failure.
I enjoy Gregory Ashe's writing - but this story slipped nearer the end. We discovered that a girl was found beaten and unconscious - there was no follow-up. There was no follow up to explain how a bloody knife and crypo wallet were found in the kid's bag. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but Ashe usually ties up his books tightly and this wasn't so tight.

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  • Joe
  • 08-12-21

Another great Hazard and Somerset book...

to be honest, I get a little frustrated with Emory and have decided he's on the autism spectrum. But it makes their stories so much more believable than the romances with unrealistically perfect characters. Their story/relationships are evolving and that saddens me somewhat because I don't want to see an end to the series. So, Gregory Ashe, can you write more status quo adventurous mysteries without moving the characters along so fast? Also, The narrator really nails it. I strongly recommend this book and series, especially if you like a strong storyline with your m/m romance.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Carol
  • 06-12-21

New story arc!

Hazard and Somers are back and after the explosive cliffhanger last Off Duty Vol. 2 short story, we finally get to see what happens next!! A teenage boy showing up on Hazard and Somers doorstep claiming he’s Hazard’s son?? Not only is the question WHEN, and WHO, but HOW. It’s a lot.

A note: This book is the start of the third story arc for Hazard and Somerset and should not be started here. New readers should start the Hazard and Somerset books with Pretty Pretty Boys.

Content notes include mentions of abuse, mentions of child abuse, mentions of pedophilia, mentions of grooming, and homomisia.

I liked this book, but I feel like it’s almost laid back after the events of the Union of Swords story arc. It’s very chill in comparison. No bees were found implanted in someone’s head in this book.

This book focuses not only on the mystery of parentage (on multiple levels) and the mystery of who Colt belong to, but also a seemingly impossible murder out in the woods.

The story takes some wild turns that kept me on my toes. I could not have predicted the way the ending all came together. It’s kind of hard to follow because there ARE so many pieces, but I thought it was fine. Or I’m used to it.

Let the lesson here be that you only see what you’re meant to see. There are no winners in this book, not really. But I did like that Colt might have stumbled his way into a really good situation, and Hazard and Somers ARE his best bet on having a happy life. This whole thing for Colt is the definition of a found family. I’m happy for him, even if his reasoning and actions is quite convoluted as only a teenager’s can be.

I’m not the biggest fan of kids in books. Love middle grade books, and I love YA books. But I feel like children in adult books can be massively hit or miss. However, Evie has been great so far and I shouldn’t be surprised that a teenager manages to fit into Hazard and Somers’s life so well here too without being annoying. Colt is your typical teenager, and Gregory Ashe manages to write kids WELL. I love Colt and I also wish him the best with Ashley. And I wish Hazard and Somers all the best with a fully grown teenager they now have to deal with. Love going from talks about having another kid, and a fully formed teenager shows up at your doorstep.

So, something I love in this book is that the dynamic between Hazard and Somers hasn’t really changed. Yes, these two are MARRIED now, but they’re still the same old Hazard and Somers we fell in love with and marriage has not changed that. They still work great together, and there’s still things that they do that get on each other’s nerves but they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I think it’s interesting in this story where Colt is the new character waltzing into what is essentially season 3 of a storyline. He’s witnessing and learning their backstories and his reaction is basically me back in book 1 - fully on Hazard’s side and eyeing Somers suspiciously whenever he shows up. I understand Colt, I really do. But he does get on board with Somers after not too long and I like that proven by DNA or not, Hazard’s mother fully dotes on Colt like he’s her grandchild and that is so cute.

As for reoccurring characters, we see SOME Rebeca and Noah, but not a lot. Dulac and Darnell are new neighbors across the street, but we actually don’t see them that much either in this book. Dulac has a new partner now that Somers has moved to be the police chief, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out because Dulac is still a lot. We surprisingly don’t hear from Somers’s parents even though they must’ve heard about Colt being in town and living with them and claiming to be Hazard’s son. Wesley is understandably taking a break. Poor guy needs some time away. The last story arc really did a number on him. As for Nico, I’m weirdly warming up to him. He also needs some happiness in his life. He’s been through a lot too, but it’s nice to see how he manages to fit into Hazard and Somers’s life as a friend now even after everything they’ve been through together with Nico as Hazard’s ex. Nico feels more grown up in this one, even though he was never necessarily young before. He’s just…mature now and mellowed out, I think.

Tristan James is back as the narrator for this book, and I really love his voice for the characters because he IS Hazard and Somers to me. But I will say that there are a lot more noticeable mistakes with this audiobook than I’ve noticed in all the previous audiobooks for this series.

It seems like there’s a lot of moments where the wrong voice was used for the character speaking. For instance, there’s Hazard and Somers talking to a suspect named Daisy for the first time. It sounds like the Hazard voice is speaking for a line or 2 when the one talking is actually supposed to be Daisy. Same thing happens when Hazard and Somers is talking to Barbie (another suspect) for the first time. The wrong voice is used for the wrong character. Then again when Hazard and Somers were arguing about what to do with a SD card they find. The wrong character is reading from the wrong lines. The data quality on the narration for this audiobook just doesn’t seem as up to par to the previous audiobooks.

Overall though, I still really enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading the next book and seeing how Hazard and Somers manage to deal with more teenager son shenanigans!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Buscatlady
  • 29-11-21

Gregory Ashe and Tristan James OMG

I loved this book and Tristan James brought it to life. I also finally found out how Hazard has a son.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 28-07-22

Perfect into into this next storyline!

My gods, I can’t believe how far Hazard and Somers have come… this was a perfect first book for this new Arc and I’m so excited to continue. I think this may have been one of my top favorites of the series.

“I’m basically the walking handbook to surviving Emery Hazard. Free consultations are available, anytime.”

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  • QueerDeku
  • 02-06-22

Seriously

I'm 4 hours in and I don't know if I can finish this usually I kind of like rough asshole*ly characters but OMG hazard is such an asshole like to the 10th Somerset is so placating like I understand you're trying to be the good guy because hazard is no help but Jesssus don't let the kid get away with everything when he first showed up I got It understood the anger and all that but damn he's a dick like I said I'm 4 hours in and I don't know if I can take anymore all the characters are terrible and it's like I'm getting way too much information and none at the same time it's weird. I don't think I'll just quit the book because I don't do that maybe I'll just break right here and come back to it later.

**later date** found out this isn't the start of their story maybe if I meet them at the beginning I'll understand the characters a bit more cause right now they are not likable.

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  • Gene
  • 14-05-22

this is just terrible

jerk dad, jerk kid, every minute is stress full and aggravating.. good thing they take returns.

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  • WW
  • 13-05-22

Emery Hazard has the surprise of his life…

After a wonderful, relaxing honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands, our newly-married couple headed home, looking forward to their new marriage and new life. But they didn’t even make it through their front door—someone was waiting on their front porch, a teenager with scarecrow eyes who claimed to be Hazard’s son.

But there’s no time to deal with that bombshell. Sheriff Engels has a dead body in the woods and Hazard and Somerset are called in to assist. Desperate to prove himself, Colt wants to “help” solve the murder, and the boy follows the PI and new Police Chief into intrigue and mortal danger.

Who killed Scott Krower? And where did this boy that has insinuated himself into their lives come from?
Gregory Ashe’s first book in the new Arrows in the Hand series is superbly written, full of twists and turns and jewels of insight that only makes us love these boys more.

As always, Tristan James is a genius with Gregory Ashe's material. He nails the voices and personalities of John-Henry and Hazard perfectly. Well done!

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  • Ash
  • 12-03-22

Excellent!!

My favorite addition so far to the H+S series. As much as it can be hard to stomach some of the terror committed by people in the books Ashe writes, it’s still a reminder that people like this really exist. It may be fiction, and of course exaggerated because it all involved the same people but there really are sickos that commit these kind of crimes and Ashe has an amazing way of putting words to what that horror could look like.

I loved Colt and I loved the journey all of them take to get to the end, I can’t wait for more tales for the future. Too much good to say about this one, but lastly I really like how dimensional Ashe makes his characters. They are each distinct and have a uniqueness that humanizes them. That’s likely why I’m still obsessed with this series.

I’m so excited to read the next!

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  • Shea
  • 08-03-22

3.5 stars

This is the first book in Gregory Ashe's new Hazard and Sumerset series, but it is in no way a stand-alone novel. We find our two detectives with quite the new challenge when a young boy is sitting on their doorstep when they return from their honeymoon. I'm not going to spoil things, but I do not like the way either main character dealt with the situation, though I suppose it is in character. Hang in there though because the second book is quite a bit better.

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  • Texan2
  • 14-02-22

Excellent

Once again there is a tight mystery, complex characters that Tristan James brings to life with exceptional style.