Pressure Head by JL Merrow

Title : Pressure Head
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 238
Characters: Tom, Phil
Sub genre: contemporary romance mystery
Kisses: 4.5


To most everyone, Tom Paretski is a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a limp from a car accident when he was 17 years old. There are a few-mainly law enforcement- who know about Tom’s hidden talent. He has the ability to find hidden things, whether they be bodies, secret stashes, drugs, or what-have-you.

When he get called upon to help find the body of a missing woman in a place called Nomansland Common, he runs into his high school crush Phil Morrison, a private investigator hired by the missing woman’s parents to help locate their daughter. Phil was the high school bully who was partially responsible for the accident that damaged Tom’s hip.
Phil is now openly gay and is returning the interest that Tom still feels for him but Tom finds himself highly suspicious of the reasons why.

As the clues and evidence concerning Melanie’s murder combine to form a complicated case, Tom and Phil find their attraction to each other heating up, but neither one is having an easy time dropping the walls that they have built around their hearts.


This book is an interesting and intriguing story from page one until the very end. It starts with Tom Paretski, a plumber with a hidden ability, to help find the body of a missing young woman named Melanie Porter. After the body is located, he runs into Phil Morrison, a private investigator with whom he has a complicated past. When they were both in high school, Tom had a big crush on Phil, who bullied him and was partially responsible for the accident that injured Tom’s hip at the age of 17.

Phil is now openly gay and is returning the interest that Tom still has for him, but it leaves Tom wondering if it’s for real or is Phil just wanting to use him for his abilities.

The list of suspects in the murder of Melanie Porter runs all the way from the most obvious one, her finance Graham Masters, to Robin East, her boss at her job, to Reverend Merriweather Lewis, vicar if the church where Melanie was the Parish Administrator, to Lionel Treadgood, the church treasurer.

As Tom and Phil work their way through the trail of clues and evidence that lead to the long suspect list, the attraction between them becomes stronger and and stronger but both of them must break through the walls that each one has around their hearts before the relationship to work.

J.L. Merrow has written a mystery that I love for the twists and turns that keep you guessing right up to the very last page.

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Reviewed by: Pat Nelson

By special request we had two reviewers who requested this title. So, I’ve decided to run them both. As you can see, they are both almost in sync with one another on their thoughts of the book.

Title: Pressure Head
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 253
Characters: Tom Paretski and Phil Morrison
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Kissses: 5


Some secrets are better left hidden.

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.


If you’re looking for a romance you won’t find it here, however, if you’re looking for a great mystery/suspense then Pressure Head is the perfect book to sit down with. From the first page the author will grab your attention.

Tom and Phil are old school classmates, ones without the usual history you would expect. Tom spent his school years being bullied by Phil and his friends. The torment Tom faced ends with tragic results, leaving both men scared. As the reader learns more about Phil, his actions during that time become more understandable, although not excusable. Because of their past history, the sexual tension that exists between the men is not something either man rushes to explore. They do, however, form a sort of working relationship using Tom’s special talents and Phil’s PI skills to solve a murder.

As the men try to find out who killed the fiancé of an old classmate, several secondary characters are introduced, each of whom at one time I thought was the guilty party. There are several twists and turns, some of which I did not see coming, that really keep you wondering what will happen next.

The author does a wonderful job wrapping up Pressure Head, leaving the reader with a story that they will be sure to read time and again. I hope the author has plans to bring these two back for many more mysteries as I would love to see more of them.

Reviewed By: Lydia

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