Tom, the plumber with a supernatural knack for finding things, is back for another adventure. Tom is settling into his relationship with private detective Phil, whom he reunited with in the first book of this series. But Tom isn’t the only one in a new relationship. His sister Cherry announces that she is going to marry a priest. When Cherry gets poisoned at her engagement party, Tom and Phil are naturally on the case.
“Relief Valve” is a nicely constructed mystery. There are a wealth of suspects, murky motives, and even a few convincing red herrings to keep you guessing right up to the last few pages. Along with the mystery is the developing relationship between Phil and Tom. Although it’s clear to both of them that they’re together, the two continue to dance around each other, unwilling to clarify where things are going.
Once again the story is related from Tom’s point of view. We get introduced to at least some of his family in this volume, which helps round him out as an individual. In some ways, the entire plot is a set-up for a big reveal about Tom at the very end, which apparently segues into the next installment of the series. Phil still remains a bit of an enigma, with it seems a back story that’s yet to be fully told.
While the main characters Tom and Phil drive the story, there are also a number of secondary players that keep the story interesting. Tom’s mate Gary returns from the first book, along with his former porn-actor fiance. They’re sort of comic relief characters, but still very fun. In this book, we’re introduced to Tom’s sister Cherry, who plays a key role in the plot. She will supposedly return in future installments. Hopefully we’ll see more of Raz, a young man who has something of a connection with Tom.
“Relief Valve” is available from Amazon.