**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**
A CONFUSED, UNCOMFORTABLE 3.5 stars
This was not the book I was expecting, at all. After the shocking occurrences in book six ‘Deaths Ink Black Shadow’ I was looking forwards to understanding the ghosts from Nik’s past that would not lay down and die.
John is an onion of a writer. There are so many layers to his stories, and when the reader thinks they are on solid ground, he pulls back another layer. Once again, his storytelling is addictive.
In ‘Enduring Night’ we see a *little* of the fall out of that fateful death on the moor. The depths Nik went to, to save Ben’s life became an unspoken wound between them. Consequently, what Ben had then done for Nik,in dealing with Anatoly haunted him. Ben decided that Nik had too many burdens and he alone would carry all that Anatoly told him. Nik need never know. But psychologically, Ben Rider-Mikklesen began to fall apart.
This book is a tale of two halves. After a heart wrenching prologue, we follow Nik and Ben on yet another holiday, this time to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. We know it won’t end well. The pseudo ghost story part one was fun, the sex was smokin’ and wonderfully written, and Nik continues to delight with his one liners. The spooky moments were enjoyable and very Scooby Doo.
Now,I can take or leave horror, and gore, it rarely scares me. However, in part two, John pulled out the one thing that does freak me out, down to my very bones. And it is this thing that John used to put a wedge between Nik and Ben that made this story uncomfortable, and annoyingly frustrating, Religion.
Ben has always been beautiful, occasionally a little dumb, and very gullible. The prime example being in book 4 (?) when Ben first discovered his real family in Devon, and was lead astray by his half brother and their hurrah party set, to then have his family attempt to murder him to get his inheritance. Ben was at a vulnerable stage in his life and in need of roots. He was so desperate to belong and have a place in the world, that he was easy to fool…and it nearly cost him his life.
You would have thought Ben would have learned his lesson about gullibility, but here again, Ben is vulnerable, in need of reassurance. His world has been shaken to the core and he is waiting at the hospital for Nik to recover. This time he is set upon by those who recognized his vulnerability and used…of all things, GOD to make Ben believe that his love for Nik was wrong, that gay sex was a sin. NO NO NO!
The whole religion angle HORRIFIED me. There is nothing scarier to me than a deluded religious person. And to have that deluded religious person be the stunning Ben Rider-Mikklesen was downright cruel. How could you John. This will give me nightmares.
The conclusion to the story was, again left hanging. With both Nik and Ben deluding themselves and allowing extremely suspicious people,who now know far too much about their sins,(because of Ben’s big mouth) into their lives.
I have lost my trust in Ben’s character if he can be so easily swayed. He is supposed to be SAS, and Nik had seen him go through so many physical and mental trials- including torture training. Why, suddenly AFTER Nik had been saved- for him to love in this life-did Ben think purity was a good idea so they could be together in the next. It doesn’t make sense. I’m baffled. And another movie storyline…uugh!
The only good thing is that with Nik’s recovery and training montage, he is now battle ready, and know’s Squeezy is physically his better, and has his back.
But still, so many questions remain unanswered.
-Who killed Kate? …oh yeah…remember her!!
-Whatever happened to the ‘forces’ that were aiming for Nik’s downfall?…they are taking a bloomin’ long time to get their mark.
-What secrets did Anatoly tell Ben?
-Who sent a text asking ‘those people’ to ‘come’ and pray for Nik?
-I’m sure there are lots more !!
Consider me disturbed, confused, uncomfortable…and desperate for book 8 to tie up some threads.