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Pretty Boy Dead (Kendall Parker Mystery) Paperback – December 10, 2016
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"One of the best gay mysteries I've read in a long time. It leaps ahead of so many books in this genre on the strength of its suspense and depth of its characters, and stayed with me long after the last chapter." - Chris Beakey, author of Double Abduction
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"Pretty Boy Dead is amazingly good - and one of the best gay mysteries I've read in a long time. It leaps ahead of so many books in this genre on the strength of its suspense and depth of its characters, and stayed with me long after the last chapter. Highly recommended for those who like swift, compelling stories."
Chris Beakey, author of Double Abduction, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Unfortunately gay mystery genre will be very often misinterpreted, partly thanks numerous characters in MM Romance genre. Police officers, private investigators or special agents are more thrilling professions than accountant, and offer more possibilities for a hot MM romance than other occupations.
So, if your imagination about gay mystery is two hot guys doing nice naughty things to each other during the main part, and incidentally put on uniforms to go to work, only because they look good in it, then you shouldn't read it.
Homicide detective Sergent Kendall Parker has lost his lover in an accident weeks back. Though people in his environment, including his cop partner since 5 years Perelli, doesn't know that Michael was more than just a friend to Parker. Because he is deeply deeply closeted. No wonder, working in such a homophobic Police Department in Atlanta. When a dead body has been discovered in Piedmont Park, not far from a gay bar, it raises first the suspicion that it could be probably bigotry, or hate-crime. And Police is not very motivated to solve the case. There is not only Parker who doesn't believe in it, but also investigative reporter who got a strange call the night before the corpse has been found. The investigation leads to a gay nude club, into high political circles, and to a mob-connected relative of a crime family in Chicago.
There are two kind of mystery's books. In one of them you have to rack your brain up to the end to find out who is the murder, in others you get to know a murder at the beginning, and you have just to witness and judge an investigation's routine. Pretty Boy Dead is a mix of both kinds. We know, WHO killed a young man, or better to say, WHO recruited a hit man, but we don't know WHY and as the story proceeding, it becomes clear that everything WE BELIEVED to know is WRONG.
I like the ending, the writing is great, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope only the author will put a bit more of private Ken into the series. He is sensitive and loyal and simply a good guy. No, it doesn't have to be turned into a MM Romance, but the character of Kendall Parker has a potential to become popular detective in the genre, and a bit romance could be only a win-win all around.
A well done solid mystery.
There are a lot of thoughts running through my head with this book. I will start off admitting that romance is my preferred genre, but I like to explore other fictional genres. I’d hate to pass up a good book just because it isn’t romance.
There were many things happening in the beginning of the book, sometimes it seemed too busy. There were also many characters and many viewpoints that the author focused on in various scenes and it made it hard to focus at first. The main character was Sergeant Kendall Parker. As an Atlanta homicide detective he is living a lie, and hiding his sexuality in a department where many officers, including the Lieutenant, believe that victims of hate crimes deserve it. His work partner’s own bigotry sparks conflict between the two. On a side note, in a gay fiction novel, when the main character fights with his partner it will not lead to a heated kiss or more, like it might in a m/m romance. I also noticed that in a m/m romance featuring detectives or FBI agents even the crimes seem more romanticized, and easier to solve.
For me, the plot was very interesting, there were twists and turns, and the attitudes taken at the death of a gay man made it seem like there were many “bad guys” to choose from. There were a few scenes that seemed unneeded in the story and I struggled to see how they fit in to no avail. I was also disappointed that Hopper didn’t prove to be a larger character in the story, as the intended scapegoat. The reader is informed in the beginning who the killer is and the motive for the murder, so it wasn’t a mystery that could be solved along with the main character. The story seems to be a look at how the detective feels solving a murder that hits close to home due to his own secrets and a view of how some individuals in society and law enforcement view crimes against people they find undesirable.
While there were a few things that didn’t work for me, I ended up really enjoying the book. After struggling a little in the beginning with the multitude of characters, the book flowed easily and I was engrossed in the story. I hardly missed the romance. The journey that Parker took in finding his strength and letting his guilt of the past go was a very strong ending and has me anticipating the next book.