Reviewed by Steven LaVigne
When John Simpson contacted me about reviewing his mystery novel, Murder Most Gay, he was concerned that it wasn’t appropriate for readers of White Crane, because its an “erotic thriller.” I assured him that I’d still like to read it, and could determine its value later. I’m glad I did, because Murder Most Gay is a delicious, entertaining contribution to the great tradition of cop and detective tomes.
The book is told in first person by Pat St. James. Fresh out of the Academy, he finds himself sharing coffee and donuts with his superior officer on nightly patrols. That is, until evidence shows up that a serial killer is targeting gay men, attracting prey at bars and cruising areas and leaving their violated bodies all over town. Finding himself attracted to Dean, a successful investment banker, Pat finds himself in the difficult position of keeping his sexuality hidden at work. That is, until he and fellow gay rookie Hank are assigned to the case. The book draws the reader deeper into this intriguing case, as the murderous rampage reaches an almost epic nature before it’s concluded.
John Simpson has a method for storytelling that keeps the reader consistently at the edge of their seat. This is tough to put down. He even pays homage to the writers of classic thrillers, by creating descriptive sequences that are, for example, reminiscent of the manner in which, Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, was discovered in Hollywood. When he’s writing erotic passages about the sexual relationships Pat has with three different men, he’s created a tone similar to the manner Judith Rossner took in her terrific novel, Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
Erotically charged, but absorbing as well, I think Murder Most Gay is a sexy, intelligent and thought-provoking novel about the world we live in and the difficulties the men in blue face on a daily basis. I'm certain that White Crane readers will enjoy this.
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