A Cup Full of Midnight: book review

A Cup Full of Midnight by Jaden Terrell. Publisher: The Permanent Press (August 2012). Mystery/thriller. Hardcover. 288 pages. ISBN 978-1-57962-225-1.

The photo showed a naked young man stretched across a pentagram drawn in blood. His own blood, according to the lab results. Drawn postmortem, though how you could sacrifice a guy who’d already bled out was beyond me.

Nashville. Horses. Country music. Murder? It worked in Jaden Terrell’s debut and it works in her second novel A Cup Full of Midnight. Welcome back private investigator Jared McKean, a sensitive tough guy which should appeal to a wide swath of readers. His housemate has AIDS, his son has Down’s Syndrome, he’s divorced, loves his ex and respects his ex’s new husband and new situation. He likes to ride his horse in his down time. He’s been a decent advisor/ father-figure to his teenaged gay nephew Josh.

Unfortunately his nephew’s been involved with a much older man, Sebastian Parker. Twice his age. Not really the best first relationship for a confused teen who’s just dealing with coming out to his parents while establishing his individuality and sense of self-worth. All the confusing things teens go through anyway. Then to be preyed on by a more experienced older man promulgates his issues with his parents. Draws a wedge between them. Josh recently broke up with this guy who apparently was a vampire.

Josh attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in a warm tub of water. Jared found him in time. Now Josh wants his uncle to find out who murdered his former lover-boyfriend. Of course Jared will do anything for his nephew if only to protect his nephew from further harm and hurting himself anymore.

Author Jaden Terrell takes the reader on a twisted ride through Nashville’s darker streets and seedier lifestyles in which people think they’re vampires and witches and demons. In practicing these dark arts what do these people intend to accomplish? Why did Sebastian Parker end up killed as he did? Is Jaden’s nephew involved? Is he in further danger? Plenty of details and descriptions take you right inside the ritualistic alliance. Terrific characters and a disturbing mystery makes for a solid summer page-turner.

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