Rating: 5 stars out of 5
It’s February 1985. Nick struggles to recover from a gunshot wound, while taking on the case of a woman with a mental illness, who may or may not have witnessed a murder. As he attempts to determine exactly what the woman saw and how much danger she may be in, he juggles the approaching DeCarlo trial, an ill Mrs. Harker, and the sexually precocious Terry. Valentine’s Day with boyfriend Joseph produces some big changes in their relationship.
Life is evolving, but there’s no guarantee it’s for the better.
I find it interesting how Marshall Thornton has written each book as almost as a mirror held up against the life (both inner reflections and daily outer living) of PI Nick Nowak. In some books the stories flow along with his struggles, both emotional and physical, occasionally ending up with some light and hope for Nick and the readers.
But with Heart’s Desire (Boystown #11), the latest in this incredible series, the struggle gets darker, heavier for many around him, including his mother in law (sort of), his friend with HIV, even his building super. Oh, and himself, still fighting to recover from being shot It’s going very slowly.And Nick can’t understand why he’s physically not himself, including no sexual relations with his boyfriend.
Joseph would like Nick to reject jobs that need surveillance, the very things have have gotten him injured. That’s not something that Nick thinks can he do, and while he’s thinking about his relationship and his health, a case comes his way in fhe form of his super’s sister who believes she’s seen a dead body and refuses to go back to her apartment. Should be easy excerpt that the sister has mental illness and there’s no body. A typical case for Nick because it’s convoluted, dark, and, connecting the dots for Nick manage to bring him up against people that impinge on other parts of his life.
There are so many obligations and emotional strings tugging at Nick now. Mrs. Harker has terminal cancer and facing that and her role in his life is rough for Nick, equally so for Terry, the young student who spends most of his time with her and how has a “mature” boyfriend, another factor Nick and his friends are having issues with.
Marshall Thornton threads all these incredibly complicated storylines through the novel and Nick’s life with such craft and such raw, gritty writing that the narrative and characters stick to your heart, making you think, making you hurt for them. And in this series and because we know the era and history, we fear for them. We know what they are dancing around…the elephant in the room. The tests that some haven’t or won’t take. AIDS. It’s the dark shadow that looms over Nick, his lover, and all his friends and any future they might have.
Heart’s Desire (Boystown #11) by Marshall Thornton is a must read story in a must read series. I’m not sure how many the author plans. If he intends to finish the 80’s, because we are at 1985 now and he other series, Pinx Video, starts in the 1990’s. I want more and yet I fear what’s to come.
I can’t recommend this story and series more highly enough!
Cover art: Marshall Thornton. Works for branding the series and storyline.
Sales Link: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Published August 10th 2018