Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Daniel Bradbury and James Walker have a lot in common. Both of them find themselves in dire straits after having been kicked out of their houses by their parents and both of them die within hours of each other.
On Christmas Eve Philip Potter comes home to be informed that his lover James killed himself. Soon after that he meets Beau Carter, a high school English teacher.
As Philip finds himself a suspect in Daniel’s murder, he finds himself desperate and turns to a surprising ally to clear his name and solve the mystery.
That is my attempt at writing a blurb for this story, but I don’t think it quite covers it. Mostly because this book has a lot going on and the blurb would turn out longer then this review if I attempted to cover everybody so I am not. But as such the official blurb of this book is a good preview for what’s in store for you.
I read this book in starts and stops, procrastinated a lot and then one day decided that I am not going to let up till I finish this book and that is how I finished this book. The reason for the multiple starts and stops in the beginning is the fact that I didn’t find the first half of the book very interesting. This is because the first half of the book is essentially a setup for how things go down in the latter half of the book. What this entails is basically an information dump where the author introduces a bunch of characters and fleshes them out really nicely. But there is just too much happening to hold your interest. Also a lot of things happening in the beginning are quite tragic which kind of sets an atmosphere of gloom over the book which just doesn’t let up for quite a few chapters.
This book is kind of like a murder mystery without much of a mystery. There is someone killing teenage boys who turn tricks for a trade and he is definitely not stopping at one. The only thing we know for sure about this murderer is that he drives a yellow Continental car. This book has a lot of characters interacting with each other in multiple ways that complicates the search for the murderer.
I liked Philip instantaneously seeing him being so nice and charitable. Also the author manages to get us to like Potter really easily by introducing Beau, who is quite annoying. So I guess the fact that I could see Philip in contrast to Beau really increased my liking of Philip.
But the characters who make this book really worth reading are Terrence, Anthony, Harold and Daniel. Terrence is this fire-cracker of a guy full of life who wants to avenge his boyfriend, Daniel. Daniel was someone I liked from the moment I started reading about him and his death was something that really set the tone for this book. Anthony is a PI hired by George Walker on the behest of Philip to find out the person who murdered Daniel. I loved Anthony a lot especially his interactions with Terrence which were awfully endearing. Harold Clarkson is a boy who likes to dress up in girl’s clothes, but he knows his father will never understand. What I liked about Harold can be summed up in the fact that I had him pegged as gay from the get go but when he himself says that despite his father’s thinking that guys who like girlish things are homosexual he definitely doesn’t think of himself as one, made me realize that even I render judgement without knowing the whole story.
George Walker is James’ uncle and also a lawyer. When Philip ends up needing a lawyer on account of him being a suspect he goes to George as he is the only lawyer he knows but George and James end up sharing quite a few interests and develop an unlikely but charming friendship.
This book is really well written and once you pass the halfway mark it also becomes very interesting. As such the story is not much of a mystery since the murderer was narrowed down to two possibilities early on in the book, but the back forth on who is really the murderer and how he is finally caught manages to keep the story interesting till the end.
Cover Art by AngstyG. This book has an appropriate cover. It manages to capture the tone of this book, the yellow Continental car and Philip’s state of mind after James’ death.
ebook, 2nd Edition, 222 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by DSP Publications (first published October 11th 2013)