You throw in the political pressure to blame it on a young, homeless kid with AIDS, some stumbling blocks thrown in Parker's way, his very bigoted partner, the fact Parker himself is so deep in the closet, and what you have is a powder keg waiting to implode. The fact that Parker is just returning to work after his lover was killed in a boating accident six weeks prior, the guilt is still eating away at him for not being able to save him, and Parker's mind and his emotions are not where they usually are.
One murder becomes two, and two becomes three. The murder mystery comes to a climax of disreputable and dishonest politicians, corruption, mob related behind-the-scenes bribery, coercion and murder, and Parker, along with Slade the investigative journalist, are smack dab in the middle of it all. When Parker's partner arrests and beats a suspect, causing the young man to die, all hell hits the fan and Parker gets outed and his lieutenant recommends he take a leave of absence to "get his head on straight.
At all. The author has written a gritty crime drama that is exciting, sometimes predictable, but overall I enjoyed it a lot. The characters and writing are strong and compelling, although I felt that the story lost some of its momentum as it neared the end. However, that did not detract from my enjoyment. The ending brought about some revelations I wasn't anticipating and made it very exciting.
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Thank you, Jon, for an intriguing beginning to a new series. Mar 01, Ulysses Dietz rated it it was amazing. Oddly enough, this is not really a mystery story, since the reader pretty much knows who the bad guys are from the start. Oh, there are several surprises along the way, but the punch this story packs is less about unravelling the mystery than it is about figuring out how Kendall Parker is going to get there.
I got so caught up in this that I took a whole day to read the book cover to cover. Also, this is not a romance. Emotionally, this is a tough book to get through, because Kendall Parker is deeply closeted — more out of perceived necessity, we come to understand, than out of self-loathing. His world is profoundly imbued with homophobia, starting with his police partner and his boss.
Honestly, it felt like the s to me, rather than the s. And not only is Parker closeted, he is grieving, something else that is revealed gradually as the book unfolds. The clues are there right away, but the author is frugal with his reveals, doling them out carefully to maximize their impact. The narrative builds up speed as the story unrolls, starting with a tense preamble, written from the dual perspectives of a murder victim and his killer.
Then the author brings Parker onto the scene as if he were any detective in any murder mystery. Everything comes to a head for Parker — professionally and personally — in the last twenty percent of the novel.
The Kendall Parker series could have ended here. It is full of incident and interesting characters. It is a complicated, interwoven series of crimes that drag Parker into both emotional turmoil and life-threatening situations. The ending is solid, satisfying and, ultimately, the metaphorical emergence of a butterfly from its chrysalis. It is not an end at all, but a beginning. There are a lot of people I want to meet again.
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View 1 comment. This book was not for me. I can see why people like it but it just isn't my thing. First off there is no romance and I like a little romance in my books. Second and the biggest issue I had with this book was that I never really liked any of the characters. Jason is a whiny, self absorbed kid with no loyalty to anyone. Kendall is also a bit of a whiner and a drunk. I can't believe no one called him out on his drinking on the job - this really bothered me. Then there is a reporter who i 2.
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Then there is a reporter who is so caught up in getting the story that he comes across as not much more than a work-aholic. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I was trying to figure out who the villains where along with the characters instead of being told.
Pretty Boy Dead
I will say that it's well written and the police procedure parts seemed to be really accurate and detailed especially the autopsy scene. However, that just wasn't enough for me. I want to root for my characters and that's hard to do when I don't like them much. Nov 03, Maygirl7 marked it as not-for-me Shelves: ku , m-m , mystery. Clunk clunk clunk writing.
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. Michaelsen did the research to include realistic police procedures, actions, and dialog. I'm a year veteran of big city policing and usually avoid stories like this. It was a joy, professionally and personally, to read Pretty Boy Dead.
Bravo, Mr. Oct 16, Cindi rated it really liked it Shelves: series , wilde-city-press , for-review , , m-m , on-blog. A closeted cop who is surrounded by homophobic coworkers. An interesting cast of characters who may or may not be who they seem. An enjoyable mystery. Note that this is not a romance so do not go into it expecting it to be.
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This book was provided by Wilde City Press in exchange for a fair and honest review. View all 4 comments. Nov 02, Mark McNease rated it really liked it. A well written and engrossing story I was engaged by this book from the first page. There's an attention to detail that makes it clear the author does his homework and then some.
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I liked the character of Kendal Parker a lot and was engrossed by the descriptions and insights into both the characters and their environment. It all felt very real, an excellent read. Jan 08, James rated it it was amazing. I really enjoy a good mystery. And to say I was thoroughly entertained throughout this tale would be the understatement of the decade. Michaelsen trapped me in the first paragraph and I was not set free until the very last sentence.
Everything necessary for a first-rate thriller is in here, and in all the right places.
First of all we have the introduction of characters all neatly in a row only to have them scatter as their personalities expand and the story develops.