Idyll Fears by Stephanie Gayle

Idyll Fears cover


I would like to thank Stephanie Gayle for sending me a copy of this novel. This has no effect on my review. 

4/5 – Idyll Fears is the second published Thomas Lynch novel, this series surrounds a small town police chief, Thomas Lynch. I already read (twice) the first novel Idyll Threats and reviewed it on the blog. He is one of my favorite characters. He’s gruff, grumpy, bristly, but he is a nice guy. Flawed but nice. Sometimes. Oh, and he’s also gay.

The fact that I’m reading a mystery series is a mystery itself. It’s not my favorite genre at all, but I will continue reading books about Thomas Lynch. First and foremost, Lynch is a cop. Even as a Police Chief, he is doing detective work. He loves his job and it shows. He’s also gay, but he doesn’t identify with that as much. Except when he sees an attractive man. At one point, a man he is interested in takes him to dinner with other gay men and women so that he could potentially have a community of similar individuals. Lynch gets upset about this and suddenly the man is no longer a love interest. I’ll admit, I was disappointed by how the character was brushed aside for a super attractive guy with a six-pack, but whatever. Lynch is a ho, I accept that about him.

This book revolves around a missing boy. A missing boy with CIPA which stands for, Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. Basically, he cannot feel pain and in a snowy, cold winter this is an issue. There is a race against the clock early in the book to find him before he gets hypothermia. This is very exciting and is very tense. As the novel progresses the Idyll Police struggle to find out who had taken the boy. Honestly, I found this mystery and the reveal of the perpetrator more interesting than the first book’s mystery where it felt like the killer came out of nowhere. In this small town, the crime rate sure has risen since Thomas Lynch came around, something joked about in the book.

I have another character to gush over. Mrs. Dunsmore. She is Lynch’s sassy assistant who knows everything and doesn’t take shit from anyone. Especially not Lynch. The side characters who were introduced in the first book were much more fleshed out in this book, but the book is from Lynch’s perspective and he doesn’t always make an effort to know the people he works with. Throughout the book, Lynch thinks that Mrs. Dunsmore is homophobic because she’s wearing a crucifix. Let me tell you something, Lynch may be observant, but he does a lot of judging and jumps to conclusions. Sometimes this works for him and sometimes it doesn’t. Mrs. Dunsmore puts him in his place and I just love her for it. I was grinning the whole time. She is my favorite side character in the series. Even after she does a few kind things for him, he still thinks she hates him because he’s gay. Very presumptuous, Chief Lynch.

In the first book, Lynch comes out as gay and because it is a small town suddenly everyone knows. In this book, he experiences hate speech on his car and is getting threatening phone calls from some homophobic asshole. However, the second mystery isn’t cleared up at all by the end of the book. I’m thinking it’s going to continue in the next book, as it makes sense that they wouldn’t be concerned with who was doing it with a kid missing, but I thought it was odd that it wasn’t resolved or wrapped up.

Despite all that, I really enjoyed this second installment of Thomas Lynch’s legacy as a rough around the edges Police Chief who likes FBI agents with six packs. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I am trash for one Thomas Lynch.


Even Stephanie Gayle approves.


2 thoughts on “Idyll Fears by Stephanie Gayle

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