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Conspiracy Theory

Hamarsson & Dempsey #1
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life...although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home - a place he knows he doesn’t belong.

Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly...all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.

Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.

Push apart, pull together, yes or no...The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?

Maybe.

©2019 Elise Hansen (P)2019 Elise Hansen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great first story in a new series

This is a great suspense story, with a nice romance happening, too. The characters, Niall Hamarsson and Matt Dempsey are both really interesting and full-fledged. I like how we, by knowing their past story, we are able to understand them.

The setting in a small town is a great choice, with its enmities set by events so far in the past that the present families might not remember the original reason for their present hate.

There are a lot of things happening, some of them relevant to the plot, other, no so much, but all of them add to a sense of urgency that kept me listening non-stop.

So, yes, this is a fantastic story, and I'll keep reading the series.

Yes, reading it. I'm sorry, but Michael Pauley almost made me gave up on it more than once. I simply find his narrative style annoying, with no truly feelings or subtlety in the tones. Henceforth, he is an automatic pass for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful mystery book!

The only complaint I have is that I want book 2 now! I can't bear to wait until spring 2020!
This book is a wonderful mystery, there's murder, secrets, deceipt, betrayal and grief. But there's also a close community, acceptance and finding new connections.
I must confess I have a thing for Viking-types, so gruff Niall was right up my alley, and Mat was definitely a great character, too!
This was the first time I ever read Elle Keaton, and if this what I have t expect from her other books, I'm hooked!
Michael Pauley is exceptional as always and makes every book he narrates just a little more special.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Adults Now & Changes

This is the first book in The Hamarsson and Dempsey Series. A great book with good writing. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters intriguing. The characters were developed and thought out. Mat and Niall are the MC’s of this book. This book was a bit predictable and in a few places in need of more detail. Its not full of sex it only has one event and I’m not sure that it was necessary. It didn’t improve or support the story. While I don’t mind sex in books for me it needs to have a reason other than “just because” I do like that this author worked on the story of the characters rather than filling it with sex. The narration was good it wasn’t monotone, and the characters had their own voices. I can recommend this book as a good read/listen and I can’t wait for the next book. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed this story of second chances

I really, really enjoyed this story of second chances. This is definitely a trope that is appealing to me, but add in the extremely slow burn and mystery, and I was hooked.

Both MC's were fiercely independent, which was even better to add to the intrigue as they started leaning on each other more and more. The murder case kept the story moving at a good pace and had me curious until the end.

Michael Pauley is a gifted narrator. I enjoyed all of his different character voices. I love it when you can immediately tell who's speaking without prompting and he definitely has this ability.

I will definitely be waiting on the next book in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed the chemistry and the mystery

I enjoyed the story here. The crime aspect was interesting and had some fun twists. The chemistry and backstory between the two leads kept me interested. I liked the relationship dynamic and the isolated-ish small town setting added to the fun. Great introduction to a series. Narration brought the characters to life well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved this book!

I first read Conspiracy Theory back in October 2019 and I loved it. The audiobook, performed by Michael Pauley, was fantastic and brought back to mind how much I enjoyed this story and how much I really want the next one in the series. He really brought the characters to life for me and I hope he gets to do the next book when it comes out.

Below is a copy of my original review from October 2019.

This kept me glued to my ereader!

I became a fan of Elle Keaton's writing when I read her Accidental Roots series so I jumped at the chance for an early read of Conspiracy Theory, the first book in her new Hamarsson and Dempsey series. The story engaged me right from the start and didn't let go until I finished the book.

The story has mystery, suspense, an enemies to lovers vibe and a rescued dog. I didn't predict how some things unraveled in the story and that's the best kind of romantic suspense for me. Niall Hamarsson had a difficult childhood and his past has always haunted him; making him feel he doesn't deserve good things.

Mat Dempsey grew up on the same island as Niall but was a couple of years behind him in school. When Mat, as a teenager, began to realize he liked boys and not girls, Niall featured heavily in his fantasies. He kept tabs on Niall over the years and followed his career as a police detective.

After Niall returns to the island where he spent his teen years, a crime wave seems to follow him there. Eventually Mat realizes he needs Niall's help to get to the bottom of what's happening but working with his teenage crush is a bit like torture for him.

Conspiracy Theory has a satisfying HFN for Niall and Mat but not everything is resolved in this story. I'm not a fan of books with cliffhangers but, while there are unanswered questions in this one, I didn't feel like I was left hanging to the point where I was dying to know what happens next. That's not to say that I don't want to read more – because I definitely do – it just means that I was satisfied with where Niall's and Mat's relationship was left at the end of the story. The author says the next book is coming in the spring of 2020 and I'm looking forward to reading it.

A complimentary copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A murder mystery

This is a wonderful murder mystery, a good start to a new series but it doesn't really end. So if you need books to be nice and cleaned up by the end this isn't for you. BUT if you enjoy a who done it and what's going to happen next then this book is right up your alley. It's non stop from beginning to end.
This book had me engaged from the very beginning and not just because it takes place in the San Juan islands. It's well written with interesting characters that I want to know more about. I hope Hamarsson and Dempsey get their HEA. I can't wait to find out what happens next for them and the others on the island. It's definitely worth the listen and I recommend it.
Narrator Michael Pauley continues to do amazing work. He is definitely a favorite.

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Conspiracy Theory

Thank you for the audio, I voluntarily give this book an honest review. Niall Hamarsson is a cop that leaves behind everything to go to where he could remember being simi happy. With a tragic childhood his grandparents home is where he wishes to be on the small island.
Matt Dempsey is the local sheriff, with a murder mystery and strange things happening around the island. Matt is pulled in two different directions one his job and the other Niall. Can the sheriff be the one to make Niall feel more than a robot? Michael Pauley is a amazing narrator, he gave this book that Detective vibe with his reading. Great job on Conspiracy Theory, once you get to know Hamarsson you just can't help be love the gruff inverted man thanks to pains from his past childhood. Can Dempsey see to the real man beneath the gruffness.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Stunning

This was soo good. Loved the chemistry between Niall and Matt. And when Niall gos back to the island were Matt is the sheriff and there is a murder to find the action beings . Loved it can’t wait for more.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Slow-Burn Suspense

Conspiracy Theory is a Slow Burn Suspense. Niall is a Detective in Seattle, he's dealing with burn out and decides to return to the home his grand parents left him to rebuild. He has a dark past that makes it hard for him to connect with people. He leaves behind an exboyfriend and everything else. Matt is the local police chief dealing with an upturn in crime. Can Niall help figure out what is going on in his home town?

The case keeps you guessing, and gets a little confusing at times, but I love a good action/cop book. The romance is very slow burn, Niall and Matt both have their issues. This is the first of a series though, so I think we'll get to see the relationship grow as future books come out.

Michael Pauly does great with the narration. Really enjoyable listen. I really wanted to know what was going to happen, and listened all in one day.

Recommend!

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  • Suzanne Christie
  • 12-04-19

Great set up for new series

This is the first book in a new series from Elle Keaton, it’s a mystery suspense with the hint of a romance. There’s a lot going on in this book and I feel its really the set up for the series, lots of characters are introduced all seem to be hiding something, family dramas and conspiracies look to be major themes.

I really enjoyed this book, the main characters are intriguing and their UST throughout is excruciating and intense. The main storyline in interesting and exciting, the pace is good and I was hooked pretty much from the start.

This does end on a bit of a cliff hanger, with so much still to discover and to see where Dempsey and Neil go with their attraction to each other I am eagerly anticipating the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Starwarslover
  • 12-04-19

yummy

oh michael.. his voice... yummy.. oh so yummy. lol i loved this book. and the narrator did an amazing job with the characters and their personalities.. it was sexy and heartbreaking.. i felt as if i was a part of their world watching and being involved. i loved it

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  • Pixiebell
  • 12-02-19

A Great Start To A New Series

This slow burn murder mystery is the first in a new series set on Piedras Island in the Pacific Northwest.
Niall Hamarsson is a detective who has left his job on the mainland and returned, after more than ten years, to his deceased grandparents neglected cabin to reassess his life.
Mat Dempsey is the town sheriff, who is struggling to investigate a recent murder of a young girl and a spate of mysterious animal deaths. The underfunding and understaffing of his small sheriffs office isn’t used to the up turn in criminal activity on this usually quiet Island and when Niall becomes involved, Mat feels conflicted, he obviously needs Niall’s expertise, but is very territorial at first.

I really enjoyed this book, I found it very atmospheric and the characters well developed. The relationship between the two main characters is intense and a very slow burn but realistic, I became very invested in both of them and the other characters on the island.
I look forward to reading/listening to more in future books.
Michael Pauley did an excellent job with narration as always and I hope he continues to to narrate any future books in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AL
  • 11-26-19

So good :)

Story: Well, lookie what we have here! An extreme slow burn, two burly stubborn detectives and an island full of busybody citizens with guns and too much time on their hands. Sounds good? Cause it is!
I loved everything about it - the atmosphere, the setting, the narration style, the plot. The main characters were masterfully crafted in terms of their emotions! Can't wait for more.
Narration: as always, really good! Michael Pauley is great at it and this audiobook is another brilliant one

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • April 🎧 Reads
  • 11-26-19

Mystery and Romance

Elle Keaton is a new-to-me author, combined with Michael Pauley as a narrator (my favorite!), I was really excited to listen to this book.

There's more crime mystery than romance. It felt like Ms. Keaton is setting up and introducing us to the MCs. There's a lot of backstory with these two spanning from when they were young. They are both flawed and we are digging deep into their character. Somehow, they both just seem to fit together. It's a HFN. I just know it'll be epic once they are 100% together.

It is a slow burn romance.. sometimes, it felt very slow. So if you're looking for more romance, this book won't fit that category. Maybe the second book? Since this a start to a series.. I'm looking forward to the next one.