For quite some time when I was reading this story my mental one word impression was "Huh?". I ended up liking it, but even when I am done there are some moments which I am still not sure about. First of all I think the author is a really talented writer. Thomas, our narrator has a very engaging voice and his grumpiness is well earned by past experiences. The mystery is exciting (do not expect something entertaining though), fast paced and hard to guess. The romance is a secondary storyline and it is an Insta!Love of the most Insta!Variety. I kind of understand when I am finished with the book why the writer did it (I think). Thomas really needed some positive experiences and I guess the writer decided to give him that and fast. The subject of the mystery is of the worst variety - heart wrenching abuses and violence against teenage boys by the people who are supposedly serving God. I would not say that the author portrays all religious people with the black brush, BUT I certainly thought that the overall view of Catholic religion and sects which came out after breach was not sympathetic. If this is a problem for you, the book is not for you. I thought it portrayed a grim reality and correctly so.
The portrayal of Thomas' partner Daniel was one of my "huh?" moments. I actually cringed at the jokes which were based on him being Chinese. On one hand there was nothing terribly offensive for me, but on the other hand, even I as somebody for whom English is a second language did not like the poking about Daniel supposedly not knowing the difference between "who and whom". There were several other instances were I wondered how Chinese person would have reacted.
I mentioned before that romance is a secondary storyline and while there are only three sex scenes in the whole story, thank goodness, I thought the first scene not only came extra fast but at the most Bizarre Moment. Because of course the character who is injured just wants to have sex - pain and tiredness be ..... (insert the word I cannot put in).