Review of In The Name Of The Law by Sue Holston

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars

Mitchell Dawson and Ivan Stanislav are detectives with the Baltimore Police Department where they have been partners and best friends for years. Ivan is engaged and soon to be married. And Mitchell is miserable. Mitchell fell in love with the oh so straight Ivan the moment he met him and now wonders how he will continue on watching Ivan with his wife.  The night of the engagement party Ivan’s fiance’ dumps him after a argument.  A night of drunken consolation leads Mitchell and Ivan to the bedroom and uninhibited sex.

Morning comes and neither  man acknowledges the events of the night before.  It takes Ivan being shot for Mitchell to realize that second chances don’t come around very often and its past time for him to speak up and confess his love for Ivan.

Sue Holston has crafted a very nice short story with a “gay for you” theme with In The Name Of The Law.  Her character of Mitchell Dawson is beautifully realized, with more layers and depth than I would expect from a story of this length.  Ivan Stanislav is a less complete character study. A Baltimore Police Detective and renown horndog he is completely heterosexual until the night his fiance (who is of course a bitch) dumps him.  One drunken night of sex with his partner flips his sexuality switch over to gay, a happenstance that always causes me to shake my head.  It takes a much longer story to make your case for this change in sexuality believable and 46 pages is just not long enough.  With Ivan a less substantial character, Mitchell’s love and longing for him never feels completely real. It is this disconnect that lead to a lower rating for the story.

One more quibble here towards something that happened in the epilogue. Both men tell their Captain that their partnership is both domestic as well as work related and he agrees to  keep their secret.  Realistically that would not happen.  Rules and regulations prohibit that and it is doubtful a Captain would risk his or hers retirement to keep their secret. Nor would they have wanted to put their Captain in such a bad position. It would have been far more believable if the author had them continue to work together and keep the change in relationship secret until either got  promoted out of the partnership.  That would have given Sue Holston’s story an additional touch of authenticity it needed.

With Baltimore as her setting, Sue Holston’s attention to detail and geographic atmosphere is terrific.  Baltimore is about 30 minutes away from me and I can tell you she has done her homework with this great city.  Nothing beats eating our Chesapeake Bay crabs and having a Clipper City Gold Ale from a rooftop deck overlooking the Inner Harbor. I look forward to reading more stories from this author in just such a setting.

Cover: Cover art by Posh Gosh.  Very nice cover.  Loved the harbor in the background.

Available from Total E Bound Press.

Chances to win this, $20  gift certificate and other books visit the following blogs for the rest of the Raise Your Glasses Tour:

Saturday, May 12th: A.J. Llewellyn hosts H.L. Holston
Sunday, May 13th: H.L. Holston hosts Scarlet Blackwell