It's relatively rare that a single-line title pretty much sums up the story line; but such is the case with The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton, the saga of a detective who encounters not one but many loves in his life, and who finds himself on a whirlwind path of romance that ultimately leads him in the wrong direction. The story line is as much about his position and the various reasons why one love and then another don't work as it is about his constant pendulum-like swings between love, loss, and devotion to his job as a New Brunswick constable.
After several thwarted relationships that leave him with three boys, he becomes as immersed in work as ever - but life is about to hand him romance connected with his job when he's charged with hunting down Livia, a fugitive charged with murder who has escaped to Venezuela.
Now, laws of romance and laws of the land are two very different things. One has logic and rules; the other often rejects them. One comes from the heart; the other from a series of imposed sanctions and objectives that stem from an interest in control and social order more than the processes of emotion.
So Stephen finds his blossoming relationship with Livia more than he would ever have anticipated, and when Stephen enters a situation where Livia must care for him, true purposes and personalities evolve.
It should be noted that your typical romance reader who anticipates light passion will find The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton something different: it combines elements of thriller and detective worlds into its overall focus on love, and it creates a complexity between romance and ethics that is a delightful dance between emotion and moral insight.
Yes, there's a crime/mystery to be solved - but deeply embedded within the process of detective work is an attention to personal feeling that is not usually evident in mystery/detective sagas.
Yes, there's romance - but Stephen's attitude towards his job and its importance underlies all his approaches to love, and it takes a major mind shift to accept a potential pairing with a wanted criminal.
Solving this mystery may mean, however, that he loses her for good - for her own good, as well as his motivations for solving crimes.
And this is the heart of the story, which is an unusual, powerful blend of romance and detective work that is recommended for readers who enjoy works in both genres....Continua