I was recently given the opportunity to work with the talented author Ryburn Dobbs and read his fantastic novel: The Comfort of Distance. Today, I am going to share a spoiler-free review of his story. It was published in September 2020 (but didn’t get a chance to fully shine due to the pandemic). A big thank you to Ryburn for sending me a copy. He is such a lovely and fascinating person. You will understand why after reading his interview. Please stay tuned for that next week. Without further ado, lets get into it!
Deep in the forests of the Black Hills, human remains are being discovered – one bit at a time. Rumors of a rogue man-eating mountain lion are spreading through the county and panic is starting to swell. Sgt. Hank LeGris of the Custer County Sheriff’s Office is feeling the pressure; he needs to find out who the dead are, and how they got that way. Hank suspects that the bodies are the result of a more sinister predator. But in order to solve the mystery, he will have to reach back into his own dysfunctional family history and pull in the only person who can get to the bottom of these strange cases – his estranged and disordered brother, the brilliant forensic anthropologist Dr. Sebastien Grey. When Sebastien arrives in the Black Hills, he takes his brother and Detective Tiffany Reese, on a whirlwind tour of forensic thinking and deductive reasoning, not only solving the mystery of the human remains, but the murder of a local thug as well. In the process, Sebastien himself is forever transformed by his own success and by the charm and kindness of the lovely Detective Reese: “One day I hope you give yourself permission to be different, Sebastien. You’ll be happier.”
Sebastien Grey is definitely the highlight of the story. He is an incredibly intelligent man with a crippling social phobia. Although he is never labelled by the author, it could be surmised that our protagonist is on the spectrum. I really appreciated that representation. It meant more to me than the author will understand. His brother, Hank, is basically his complete opposite. Confident, charismatic and a natural born leader. However, the pair compliment one another perfectly. There was a tension between them but also love and admiration. I am sure their dynamic is further explored in the next two books. Detective Tiffany Reese is an independent and feisty woman that warms to Sebastien. Despite their differences, a romantic connection is formed. I became very fond of the characters. They all stood apart from one another. I am looking forward to following more of their adventures.
THE WRITING STYLE
The writing style was easy and relatable, with legitimately funny dialogue between the characters. I like how informative the story was as well. Ryburn’s past as a forensic anthropologist provided plenty of interesting facts and insight into his former profession. I certainly learned a lot about how to differentiate between female and male skeletons. I believe the author incorporated the perfect blend of fact and fiction into his novel. My one issue with this story (and it really stems from more of a personal preference) was that I was hoping the reveal of the killer was slightly more supernatural and horrific. I felt that the ‘bad guys’ were a bit cheesy. Other than that, it was a great start to a series.
I gave this 4/5 stars. It was really enjoyable and highly entertaining.
The Boxwood Torso (The Sebastien Grey Novels Book 2) was released in July 2021. Where the Blood is Made (The Sebastien Grey Novels Book 3) will be released this Spring 2022.
Once again a huge thank you to Ryburn for giving me such a great opportunity. I hope you liked my review. If you’re interested in ordering a copy, please click here. Don’t forget to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!
Thank you for reading
Peace & Love xoxo