One of the things that I love about this series is that the creators of the world recognize that the entire town of Bluewater Bay does not revolve around the television show being filmed there, however much the characters mention the “Hollywood Invasion.” So much of the Pacific Northwest is protected national park (for now), that I was pleased and not surprised to find an installment featuring a park ranger.
Xavier was a credit to his profession, and it was clear that the author did their research without ever falling into the trap of wanting to show the reader every single detail that they learned. On the contrary, Doran was a character that I’m not sure I’d ever read before — a recovering gambling addict out on very supervised probation. The match shouldn’t have worked, but I enjoyed every bit of it.
My only minor quibble about the characters is that the character development seemed to be that at the end of the book, the characters seemed to be on their way toward some development. I would have preferred to have a bit more of Xavier exploring his inner angst regarding his dominant side, and I would have preferred to see Doran succeed in his personal growth a bit more than just assuming he’s now going to rely on Xavier to keep him on the straight and narrow.
On the other hand, this book featured an action/thriller slant for a significant portion of the climax than others in the series, which was a cool change (even if the “mafia” guys were super-cliche). I’m curious whether this trend of dipping into other genres will continue in the series.
Also, now I have “The Gambler” stuck in my head.