Review: High Concept by Whitley Gray

High Concept by Whitley Gray
Title: High Concept
Author: Whitley Gray
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨


Denver homicide cop and shooting survivor Beck Stryker lives to solve the case that left him with PTSD, chronic pain, and killed his co-investigator four months previous. Now his career hinges on his ability to work with the man who shut down his advances two years ago.

After last parting ways with Beck, psychiatrist-turned-FBI profiler Zach Littman never anticipated seeing the detective again. Being sent to Denver to work on a series of killings that have continued after the only suspect died is bad enough. Discovering the detective in charge is Beck leaves Zach gritting his teeth and girding his loins.

The last thing either of them needs is romantic entanglement with a fellow investigator, but danger is a powerful aphrodisiac. The case heats up, and friction between them ignites a fire neither can ignore, first at work and then in the bedroom. As they zero in on the plot behind the murders, the crosshairs zero in on Beck and Zach.


This is my first time reading Whitley Gray and while I didn’t love this book I did more than like it. High Concept started out strong I thought I had a 5 star book on my hands but as I got into the story it lost me in places.

At the beginning of the book we meet Beck Stryker a Homicide Detective just recently back to work after being involved in a on the job shooting that left his partner dead and Beck severely injured. Along with his physical injuries he’s suffering from PTSD not a good combination but he’s desperate to get back to work so he can pursue the case that killed his partner. When it appears there are 3 cases that have the same MO a FBI profiler is called in to help. Zach Littman is that profiler and as chance would have it Beck and Zach have met, two years before they shared a kiss, a kiss that neither man has forgotten unfortunately at the time of the kiss Zach was in a relationship and Beck was deep in the closet.

Now they are together again working this case. Zach is no longer in a relationship but he is suffering from PTSD from a previous case and Beck doesn’t have any real reason to stay in that closet anymore. They are two damaged men trying to make life and their budding relationship work. I did like the dynamics of their relationship but I had trouble accepting that these two have been thinking about each other all that time over just a kiss. As it turned out that was fairly easy to ignore because this story isn’t about their romance it’s about the mystery, their budding relationship is a side story, a good one but not the focus of the book.

If High Concept had stayed on this track I’d have been ecstatic, unfortunately a case in Zach’s past comes to play but it has nothing to do with the case Beck and Zach are working on. Having another case thrown into the mix like that was distracting and at times annoying, not for any other reason than it was like reading two separate books that was written as one story. If the stories had somehow ended up related in some way that would have been great, I just didn’t like being pulled between both and I didn’t think enough information was given on Zach’s case. I kept wondering if this was book 2 of a series and I needed to read Zach’s story to understand what was going on but it’s not and that whole story line just didn’t work for me in this book. I think it would make an excellent book on its own, Zach’s case was dark and intriguing, perfect for a mystery.

If you’re looking for a book where the romance is the focus this may not be the book for you but if you don’t mind the romance being secondary and the mystery being the focus you might want to give it a try. I will definitely be picking up another book from Whitley Gray.