Johnny Diaz is a features reporter at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Prior to that, he was a media reporter for The Boston Globe's Business section, where he covered TV news, radio, print and advertising. Johnny was also a features writer for The Globe's Living/Arts section for three years. Before that he was a general assignment Metro reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Miami Herald. As a reporter there, he shared in the 2000 Pulitzer award coverage of the federal seizure of Elian Gonzalez and the chaos that erupted in Miami afterwards. Johnny is the author of Boston Boys Club, Miami Manhunt, Beantown Cubans and Take the Lead. The Spanish version of Take the Lead is called "Tomar La Iniciativa,'' and will be published Jan. 22, 2013. Johnny is currently writing his fifth novel set in Providence, Rhode Island.
Readers can visit his website: www.beantowncuban.com
"Miami Manhunt" was published in July, and perhaps with good reason: It's a good "summer read." That old chestnut about being an ideal book to take to the beach because it's light and breezy proves true here. The story revolves around three friends, all gay men in their late 20s. Ray is a local newspaper journalist who has yet to find the ideal man. Ted is a local broadcast journalist working his way through the men of Miami. And Brian is a toyboy, a plaything kept by a rich publisher who spends most of his time out of town; the two are partners, but without the passion that once defined their relationship. Their stories all are about finding Mr. Right, and each character has a very different journey. The characters in "Miami Manhunt" are very well-drawn and believable. They really drive this novel. And their stories all are intriguing--until about 3/4 of the way into the book, that is, when things for everyone start coming together a little too neatly. But perhaps I was expecting something a little more realistic (the odds of the ways in which Ray and Ted meet their boyfriends are slim) from a book designed to be something else (which would be the aforementioned "summer read"). All together, this is a good book and a fun read, an excellent follow-up to the author's previous work, "Boston Boys Club."
So many glowing reviews posted here, but I didn't feel the magic. This is one of the dullest novels I've ever read. With the characters' lifestyles and location, you'd think their lives would be interesting. But a "day in the life" as the approach goes here isn't at all gripping.
First off, there's nothing sexy or even particularly romantic going on, let alone guys just having fun. But I do recall one character who fancies himself in love dealing with love in terms of "lust" which is hardly the same thing. However, the character (an overaged boytoy who is as tired of his partner in life as his partner is of him) seems too immature and naive to be believed, and unfortunately hasn't remained sufficiently physically attractive to please his partner.
Two other characters looking for love are a local tv personality and a film critic, and we spend too much time on their jobs with them. As a reader, you end up reading reviews of imaginary as well as RL films, and with the on-air personality who profiles local happenings, and not being familiar with Miami, I can't speak to the locales or organizations he gives mention of, yet a familiarity with Miami shouldn't be a prerogative for reading the novel.
I'm writing the review and realizing I have totally forgotten all the details surrounding the fourth lead, but I think there was one. However, all the lead characters take turns in narration, with each chapter devoted to telling a segment of the story from a character's POV, and all of these guys all sound alike, speaking with the author's presumed voice, though that shouldn't be the case as their backgrounds are all different.Read more ›
Ok, I finished Miami Manhunt. OH MY GOD!!!!! This was an amazing read. I did not know how Johnny Diaz was going to out do himself after Boston Boys Club, but he did. I really loved all the characters, but really loved Ted and Ray. Brian and Eros, I felt I was left hanging somewhat, but that is just my view point.
I do not want to give too much away, but when Ray had the accident and does not fight for his boyfriend, I was at the point of tears, but was not happy either.
If you are on the fence, jump over and buy the book...You will not be sad.
The author's second novel (after "Boston Boys Club") covers a subject that its target gay male readership can definitely identify with: the problem of looking for love, and knowing what it looks and feels like when you find it.
Ray Martinez is one of three late-twentysomething gay friends in Miami, who meet up every Friday night to update each other on their week, as well as check out the new faces and bodies, at Score, a popular nightspot. Ray is the movie critic for the Miami News, lives with his lively mutt Gigli (named for the particularly memorable - and not in a good way - JoLo/Afleck film he reviewed), and is somewhat jealous of his straight twin brother, Rasco, whom he feels he is more respected by his Cuban-American family, as well as due to the fact that he is soon to be married. Ted is a reporter and "lifestyle" show host on a local television station, and, although he enjoys the recognition and adoration that status brings to him, feels a bit intimidated by the buff beauties who make up the Miami gay singles scene, and longs to meet someone who will be attracted to who he is, rather that he does for a living. Then there's Brian, the only one of the trio who is technically "coupled", though at this stage his relationship with longtime partner Daniel is devoid of all semblances of romance ... or sex ... and they have an "understanding" that they are both free to have outside sexual daliances, though no more than once with the same person. That rule is in serious danger of being broken, ever since Daniel met the sexy and romantic Eros, who makes him realize how much he is missing in the relationship.Read more ›