- File Size: 2608 KB
- Print Length: 202 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Rocket Man Press (December 4, 2018)
- Publication Date: December 4, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07KJD42KW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Gay Noir Kindle Edition
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "House of Earth and Blood" by Sarah J. Maas
"Truly epic" - Laurell K. Hamilton Learn more
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The 3 novellas are independent of each other. I enjoyed the first one most because it is the classic tale of a private detective in the style of Sam Spade. The plot is intricate yet easy to follow with each scene building on the last. Felix and his secretary, Joanie, get into and dig themselves out of a plot involving Russians and nuclear subs. Along the way, they engage in all manner of legally and morally grey areas.
The other stories are equally complex with characters who all float in the moral middle of life. The facts are more gruesome. The deaths are uglier. The endings are more ambiguous. I suspect many will favor the latter two.
These are not main characters who are incidentally gay. Their sexual identity plays a central role in each story.
The other characters are each interesting in their own way. Joanie doesn’t do much secretarial work. She’s more of a partner but the times (post-war England) wouldn’t allow it. Without hesitation, Felix treats her as an equal.
Above all, the story is king. Tightly written, the plot doesn't get bogged down with descriptions or internal monologues. Noir is the ultimate "show not tell" and this book captures the style perfectly.
I am not generally a fan of short-form literature (this is my problem, mind you); but I really enjoyed all three of these, because the author makes them complete, engaging experiences. The Honeytrap features a small-time private eye in Spitalfields, London, who gets caught up in a cheating-husband case that quickly devolves into something complex and dark. The Deluded centers on a young would-be writer, whose guilty innocence lures him into an emotionally-fraught triangular relationship involving Jewish refugees and stolen jewels. Finally, Estranged focuses on a gay teenager in 1950s Hollywood, struggling to come to grips with who he is in the face of neglect and emotional manipulation.
In all three of these novellas, the main character finds himself in over his head – and the tension in the narrative is based on whether he will come out of his situation in one piece – physically or emotionally. Each story also exposes characters whose motives are truly selfish and sinister, in some cases against the reader’s expectations. Who is the real victim? Who is the bad guy? The young men in each case are sympathetic and naïve to some extent, but not out of ignorance or ill-will.
By drawing the parallels between each story, I don’t mean to imply that they’re all alike: each is very different in texture and tone, carefully written and vividly detailed. Interestingly, all three stories could carry on into a second book – they’re just open-ended enough to make me wonder what might happen next. To me, that’s the sign of a good writer.
I have to say that I found The Honeytrap to me favorite, followed by Estranged and then The Deluded. Don't get me wrong, just because I placed Deluded last don't think it wasn't good because it was but I will say it took me a few pages to get into the story. Deluded is told with flashbacks which not every author is able to pull off but Olivier Bosman has, it just took a little bit to get into the feel of the story but once I did I was definitely eager to discover the whos, whats, and whys.
As I said above, all three mysteries definitely fit the noir genre which alone makes this an entertaining collection to lose yourself in but there is more to each one that really kept me on the edge of my seat. Most people who think of "noir" picture Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, at least I know I do, but there is so much more to the genre. I can't say I picture any of the characters being Bogey I loved that there was a certain something that made each story's characters their own and not just the typical garden variety cookie cutter detective who blurs the line of right and wrong to get the case solved. Now that's not to say they are squeaky clean and won't cross that line but Olivier Bosman doesn't just follow a noir recipe to tell these stories.
Gay Noir is a win-win from beginning to end that left me wanting more.