Book Review: ‘A Friend In The Dark’ By Gregory Ashe And C.S. Poe

Written on 08/07/2021
Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter

Read this 4-heart review by Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter

TitleA Friend in the Dark
Series: An Auden & O’Callaghan Mystery #1
Authors: Gregory Ashe and C.S. Poe
Published: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Self-Published/Emporium Press
Cover ArtistReese Dante
Genre: Mystery/Thriller; Dark Erotic Romance; Contemporary Romance
Length: 251 Pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; Angst; Hurt/Comfort; Mental Illness; Opposites Attract; Slow-Burn; Wounded Warrior; Cliffhanger; CW: Abduction, Assault, Murder, Violence


About A Friend in the Dark

Rufus O’Callaghan has eked out a living on the streets of New York City by helping the police put away criminals as a confidential informant. But when Rufus shows up for an arranged meeting and finds his handler dead, his already-uncertain life is thrown into a tailspin. Now someone is trying to kill Rufus too, and he’s determined to find out why.

After leaving the Army under less than desirable circumstances, Sam Auden has drifted from town to town, hitching rides and catching Greyhounds, until he learns that a former Army buddy, now a police detective in New York City, has died by suicide. Sam knows that’s not right, and he immediately sets out to get answers.

As Rufus and Sam work together to learn the truth of their friend’s death, they find themselves entangled in a web of lies, cover-ups, and accelerating danger. And when they witness a suspect killed in cold blood, they realize they’re running out of time. 


Gregory Ashe and C.S. Poe lay the groundwork for an incredible series with their novel A Friend in the Dark. Ending in a true cliffhanger, this exciting story had me clamoring for more! The connection between the main characters is the high point for me, but there’s also an engrossing mystery woven in with the romance. I know fans of these two outstanding authors are going to be very happy with An Auden & O’Callaghan Mysteries series.

Thrust together after the murder of their mutual friend, Sam and Rufus literally stumble upon each other and join forces to find the killer. Following clues like breadcrumbs, they gradually uncover a whopper of a mystery… which I’m not about to spoil here. But the threads of this one run deep, and I can tell we’ve got something great to look forward to in the upcoming books in this series.

Gregory Ashe and C.S. Poe build these complex characters gradually, revealing key details throughout the story. Sam and Rufus are struggling with some serious impediments, like fears, phobias, and underlying issues with serious mental illness. It’s fascinating to see how they communicate.

Gregory Ashe and C.S. Poe lay the groundwork for an incredible series with their novel ‘A Friend in the Dark’. Ending in a true cliffhanger, this exciting story had me clamoring for more! 

For me, it’s all about the romance, and the chemistry between Sam and Rufus is so compelling. With casual hook-ups as their norm, their growing intimacy affects them differently, and just as they begin to open up… Oh, that gut wrenching cliffhanger ending!

I’ve said it before, Gregory Ashe is a master of the slow-burn, and together with C.S. Poe, they’ve crafted a great one with Sam and Rufus.

Just as an interesting aside, in his newsletter Gregory Ashe describes the writing process for A Friend in the Dark. I think it’s pretty cool that these two authors were physically together, writing on the same Google Doc. Lucky for us, Mr. Ashe also states that four more books are already planned. Looks like we’ve got a lot more Sam and Rufus in our futures.

A copy of A Friend in the Dark was provided to Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, by C.S. Poe, at no cost and with no expectations in return. We offer our fair and honest opinion on behalf of our readers.