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Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life Paperback – February 20, 2015
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Warning: This book contains a suicide of a main supporting character, that doesn’t have any resolution as far as I was concerned. Having lost a cousin to suicide and served on the Board of a local Suicide Prevention Group, I know that we don’t always know why someone completes suicide, but, in my personal opinion, I felt in this book that the subject of the suicide was dropped too quickly.
Mitch Rebecki has been spending a lot of time investigating a mobster in New York. More time than he should have been. Everyone wants him to back off, including his boss at the New York Times and the FBI. When Mitch gets a very disturbing delivery in his office one day, the NYPD and FBI are called, but they say there is nothing they can do, and again warn Mitch off the story.
That night he finds a similar package on his doorstep, but his time with what looks like unassembled bomb parts in the box! What’s next a real bomb? It is time for Mitch to get out of town and lay low!
When Mitch’s editor sends him to Sydney, Australia to work temporarily for the editor’s cousin until things die down in New York, Mitch will slow down and write fluff pieces, correct? Wrong. Even before he gets into the country Mitch is already in trouble with the guys at customs. Can you say body cavity search by a sexy young officer? Keep that officer in mind because he will show up for another cameo later in the book!
Mitch instantly jumps into areas he is warned against. Tackling the Australian version of the mob. Again he is warned off, but again doesn’t listen. It would have made a very short book if he had! Along the way he will draw the suspicion of the cops and the mob alike. He might also take a little time for himself as well…but he sucks at relaxing and taking time off!
This was an interesting read and take on a reporter’s life. I liked the story, but still felt a little disconnect with the characters, as more of the story seemed to be circumstantial rather than character driven. If you’re looking for sex scenes and romance, look elsewhere because this book didn’t really have either.
I enjoyed the book. It was well edited and I would say the writing is above average. It was an interesting afternoon’s read.
This is what intrigued me and I have now read a number of books where the MC(s) are gay but that’s it; they just are. One such book was The Dark Tide by Greg Herren, another super mystery thriller but doesn’t wave the rainbow flag as a book. This makes it for me personally refreshing to read a story that doesn't focus on the MC(s) “gay love life” with all it’s trials and tribulations that come with being gay but more their general life, events, circumstances and normal, everyday, goings-on. You know Mitch is gay; end of story.
Mitch is an investigative journalist and likes to stick his nose in where it’s not wanted and obviously gets him to trouble. So much so that his life is threatened in NY city by a gangster and organised crime boss, Cicioni. Until he is indicted Mitch’s editor who is Australian sends him to Sydney under a witness protection programme to work for an Australian newspaper whose editor is Tom’s cousin, Eva. His name is now Martin Delmonaco and he immediately awakens the suspicions of the Australian police and their curiosity. Especially after immigration at the airport when they can’t really find any history on him. Well of course not, it’s all been covered up by the FBI for his own safety.
The thing that fascinates me about such stories are the cultural aspects. Being an expat myself I could really appreciate Mitch’s culture shock. One brash, arrogant and mouthy New Yorker goes Down Under. Well, they may speak the same language there but culturally they’re worlds apart. I really enjoyed this whole aspect and made it for me one of the most entertaining things about it. At first he arrives with a whole load of resentment for just being there and is also being the typical “Yank” with a huge New York chip on his shoulder, at least from an Aussie point of view. We are all prisoners of our own cultural and cultures also rub off. I never thought I was typically English until I came to work and live in Germany and then you start finding yourself doing and saying things that meet all those typical English stereotypes that have you cringing and reflecting. After being here for well over twenty years my British friends are now saying that my behaviour is very German at times - lol! You see assimilation has taken over and rubbed off. By the end of the book the transformation has taken place with Mitch too, he has more or less settled down and found a life in Sydney, found friends, not to mention a lover and has acclimatised. Looks like Australia wasn’t as bad as he thought when he first arrived. Of course you have to be careful with stereotyping as we are all individuals, but hey, no smoke without a fire and stereotypes wouldn’t exist for no reason either.
Mitch has been put in a “parking position” career wise. Has been told to keep his head down, report on the local elections, do some lifestyle articles to send back to NY and basically remain a good boy. Well, this is Mitch we’re talking about and that is not going to hold for very long. And it’s not long before his nose smells a rat and he is digging around for the dirt once again. Although he is essentially the good guy and just wants to do his job which means getting to the truth for a story. He is assigned a photographer, Cody, and together they make a great team if not a rather unlikely one. Guess Eva knew what she was doing there. Mitch’s probing means that he gets to meet one of the hottest guys in town. An architect with star status, male perfection in motion, Mr Sex-On-Legs, Rory Pierce. Cody has always had a thing for him at least a bit of a photographic crush through the lens.
However, when the fantasy becomes reality I guess it puts a whole different light on the situation. Now here is where I had a small problem. I just couldn’t work out exactly why Cody did what she did. I know it was tragic, but it seemed to come completely out of the blue with no warning. I really would have liked a little more background on this or at least more on why and what Cody was feeling / thinking to make her do what she did. It really did leave me with a bit of a question mark over my head to say the least. Mitch is really the one who scores and I guess that Rory is actually quite lonely in his superstar status and then soon form a friendship that leads to more.
This book would have been 4.5 or 5 for me if there had been a little more character development regarding the dynamics and their relationship. I know this was not the main focus of the book but there were a few times I was left with questions with the direction their relationship took. It’s fine if the MC(s) are not involved romantically but in the case of Mitch and Rory just a little bit more of what they were thinking or feeling would have been nice. It was like one minute they are talking to each other and in the next paragraph their waking up to each other in the same bed and in between there was a tear in the film somewhere with a total blackout. It felt like I wanted to shake my Kindle upside down just to make sure that there weren’t any pages stuck together that I had missed something.
The other thing I feel I need to mention is the smoking. Yes, Mitch and Eva smoke like trains. I could imagine some might have their problem with this, understandably. However, for me it was no problem. Actually, it was a change to read about something that has almost become a taboo today. I think this must be the first book I’ve read in goodness knows how long where the MC smokes. If someone smokes, whether you like it or not, it is and does become part of that person’s persona. So Mitch is a high-flying journalist who smokes, a lot, but it’s part of his persona and you just can’t write about a character who smokes without writing about the smoking part.
So if you’re expecting a smouldering M/M romantic thriller with huge amounts of M/M sexual tension and sex scenes that will burn a hole in your Kindle then maybe this book won’t be for you. However, I enjoyed this book a lot purely for what it is and that for me was a story about investigative journalism, journalist helps cops to solve crime, end of story. If you can go with this then you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did I’m sure.