The Little Crow

by Caitlin Ricci


Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)

Detective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.

The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.

Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?

Book Info

Author: Caitlin Ricci

Series: In the Shadows

Release Date: September 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-911153-80-1

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Paranormal

Word Count: 80600*

Pages: 161

Sex Content: N/A

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

*Long Novel


The Little Crow
Caitlin Ricci © 2016
All Rights Reserved


Detective Jamison Landry crept quietly through the ransacked house on Lightwood Terrace. The smell of incense was thick in the air, and he had to consciously hold his breath to keep from choking on the sweet stench. Behind him he heard the other members of his team coughing as they struggled with it as well. They’d been sitting on the house for weeks and finally had the search warrant to go in and seize what Jamison was sure would be a large cache of illegal drugs hidden somewhere in the nineteen fifties ranch-style house.

The dirty linoleum creaked under his boots as he and the team moved into the kitchen. Surveillance had told him the upper portion of the house was hardly ever used and that the people taking up residence in what had at one time been a nice home spent much of their time in the basement. He hated basements, hated that feeling of being exposed and bottlenecked as he went down the stairs to invade people in their holes. But when no one had come to the door after he’d banged, yelling that they had a search warrant and would be coming in, he had gotten a sick feeling that their search would lead to this.

His gaze caught on an occult symbol in front of the closed basement door, nothing that he was familiar with, but the dark rust-colored stain was something he was more than acquainted with, and not by choice. “Make sure to get a sample of this blood,” he whispered to the gathered team around him, pointing down. The blood was old, the stain clear on the floor even after he’d scuffed it with his boot. Around him the team seemed anxious, some even bouncing on the balls of their feet as he slowly pulled the door open.

He shouted that he was entering the basement a second before he and his team rushed down the stairs, guns up and ready to fire at anyone who happened to get in their way. What he met in the brightly lit cement room though was far different than anything he had expected as the acrid smell of sulfur assaulted his nose and tightened his throat. He’d raided meth labs, crack houses, and people growing pot in their bathtubs, and he’d never once expected to find the large circle of people dressed in bright-red robes, sitting cross-legged on the floor as they held hands and chanted in low voices. In front of them was a row of white candles, all lit, and in front of that line of dancing flames stood large object covered in black cloth.

Jamison couldn’t tell what it was, wasn’t even sure he wanted to know as he stood dumbfounded with the rest of his team, his gaze fixed on the circle of people who seemed to be in a trance.

Then one of them looked up, his eyes slowly focusing on the small group of intruders with their guns drawn on them. The man shouted and broke apart as he tried to make a run for it. His actions spurred Jamison out of his own startled daze, and he tackled the man rushing at him. With practiced movements that he could do in his sleep, the man was quickly put on his back, his hands cuffed behind him, and then sat up against the concrete wall. Jamison wasn’t as gentle as he could have been, but the safety of his team mattered more to him than the robed man’s comfort. As awareness dawned on the group, they began breaking apart. Some ran; some stood still, too in shock to do much else. Within minutes they were all handcuffed and placed against the wall, joining the idiot who had tried to rush past him to get to the only exit.

Jamison gave each of them a critical once-over. There were men, women, and some teenagers, all different ages and races. None of them seemed to have anything in common except for that they each had the same occult symbol marked in what appeared to be candle wax on their foreheads.

He wanted to ask them about the location of the drugs, but he doubted anyone would be honest about it. In his experience no one ever was, but he believed in giving people first chances to hang themselves with their own words. So few people ever asked for lawyers, even after hearing that their words could be used against them. He had just begun to ask his first question when a noise came from behind him.

He turned to the source of the soft shuffling sound, leaving his team facing the robed people. The black blanketed object was moving. He approached it cautiously. Nothing good ever seemed to be hidden under sheets, and his mind even drifted to some of his favorite horror movies as he stepped closer. The toe of his boot knocked over one of the candles, and he gingerly picked it up even as the murmuring began behind him. He was careful as he walked. Part of him knew there was nothing to be afraid of under the sheet. The other part of him, the one loudly screaming in his mind about ghosts and zombies, said nothing was ever so certain.

“No! Don’t touch him!” one of the men said, drawing Jamison’s attention.

Him?” Jamison snarled as he turned to face the suddenly quiet man. Could the red-faced, obviously angry person sitting across the room from him be serious? Did they really have a man under the sheet? And if so, why wasn’t he getting up?

“You mustn’t go closer! He’s dangerous!” a woman screeched.

Jamison had to cough against the thick smell, so much like rotten eggs, that it had to be sulfur.

1 review for The Little Crow

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Elaine White

    Book – The Little Crow (In the Shadows #1)
    Author – Caitlin Ricci
    Star rating – ★★★★★
    No. of Pages – 252
    Cover – Gorgeous!
    POV – 3rd person, dual POV
    Would I read it again – Yes!
    Genre – LGBT, Detective, Paranormal, Fantasy

    Reviewed for Divine Magazine

    Warning: this book contains scenes of violence/torture and mentions of suicide.

    Wow! I loved this one. From the world building to the characterisation, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it.

    The story is told in dual POV, but in a way that means each character gets a solid 4-5 chapters of POV before switching, which is great. It means that the other character can continue doing the same routine, without us having to read about it in detail, while we head off with the more interesting storyline of the moment. It does, however, mean that we don’t get Mal’s first POV until Chapter 15, but the reason for that is just as vital to the story as the dual POV. It takes that long for us to learn the truth of who he is and what his part in the story is.

    There’s a lot of “bad” or “evil” stuff covered in the story, but only in passing and never in any real detail: cannibalism, illegal drugs, occult, hit and run, coma, drowning, suicide, torture etc. All of these things are included because – hello, Demons! – but also because they’re necessary plot progressions, as well as explorations of the type of crimes that Detective Jamison investigates.

    I was pulled right into the story from page one, when Jamison began any other raid by finding Mal as a prisoner, held hostage by a bunch of occultists. It was a great way to introduce us to both characters, and I loved the weirdness that Mal exhibited through Jamison’s POV. Though it was obvious that something else was going on, it was nice not to have it thrown in our faces right away. Jamison had a very no-nonsense attitude, always the dedicated cop, so it was nice to follow that for a while, before dipping into the more naughyy, malevolent attitude of Mal.

    When it comes to the characters, I loved them all! Mal is naughty, feisty and sometimes so utterly adorable. Jamison is sweet and proper at first, then a little vengeful, unforgiving and stubborn later on (with good reason). Carter is naive, but innocent and lovely. Jamison’s mum is just amazing. I love her to pieces. I loved the chemistry between Mal and Jamison, the friendship between Carter and Jamison, the awkward friend-zone part of their friendship, and the way that Mal and Carter argued and had a nicely matched resistance towards each other. Most of all, I loved the bond that Mal had with Jamison’s mother. It was just beautiful and it was perfectly explored with the cookies incident.

    I really liked that we spent an almost equal amount of time in Earth and Hell, getting to see Mal in both environments, while Jamison explored his reality as well as his dreams. It was a nice twist to the whole idea, actually seeing Mal in action, while also seeing that he wasn’t quite the top dog, despite what he’d want anyone to think.

    The ending was really cute, but I really appreciated the little blurb and snippet of book 2 at the end, letting me know that my unanswered question of Carter’s shadow was going to be answered. I would have liked a confrontation about Jamison finding out the truth about all Mal had done for him, in terms of the dream and the cat-o-nine, but at the same time I kind of love that he learns to appreciate Mal despite that knowledge. Because I think Mal would always wonder if pity or gratitude was the real reason for his change of heart, instead of genuinely wanting it.

    So, pretty much the perfect ending. I can’t wait to get stuck into book 2.


    Favourite Quotes

    “Freed, the man rose to his feet, and Jamison found his nose only inches from the tattoo of a crow that flew against the man’s navel. Though his mouth was dry, he swallowed thickly as he followed the trail of the intricate tattoo until the bird’s tail feathers disappeared under the waist of the man’s jeans.”

    ““That’s it?” Mal asked as he pulled back. “That’s not a kiss. That’s a peck. You’d give some idiot dying on the sidewalk more than that if he needed CPR. Not good enough, Jamison. Not at all. I demand more.””

    ““Getting back to before you were hit…” Mal said, trying to move Jamison away from thoughts of Carter. Please don’t think about him, Mal wanted to say. I’m here, I’m yours. Notice me. But he didn’t. Those thoughts sounded weak, and Mal wasn’t weak. He’d make Jamison want him more than Carter without exposing himself in the process. Weakness was for humans and the lowest imps, not for demons like Mal.”

    “Mal had nearly cried as he’d stood in the shower, the hot water spraying over his chest and arms as he watched his blood mix with Jamison’s at his feet.”

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