Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Dorien Grey
GLB Publishers, November 2002
234 pages
ISBN: 1879194759

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Dorien Grey proved his writing ability with his earlier novels in the Dick Hardesty series. He has subjected his protagonist to all kinds of horrors from homophobic threats and fires to the dubious pleasures of frequent, brief but unmemorable erotic encounters during Hardesty's 'slut phase', which followed the break-up of his long-term relationship.

Hardesty is still pursuing his career of private investigator after forsaking the steadier, if less fulfilling, one of public relations officer. Although the (unnamed) midwestern town Dick calls his home has been freed from the homophobic rule of Chief of Police Rourke, there is still a faction within the police force that hates and despises gays. Into this morass plunges a college friend of Dick's, Tom Brady.

Brady is the son of a wealthy father, heir to an hotel chain. Nonetheless, he has declared his intention of forsaking the family business in order to become a policeman. Tom has taken pains to mask the fact that he is a practising homosexual, having married the woman who has been seen by outsiders to be his childhood sweetheart. Lisa is, in fact, a lesbian, but husband and wife find their arrangement eminently convenient.

Tom and Dick reanimate the intimate relationship they shared throughout college, with the blessing of Tom's wife and her lover, Carol. Dick introduces Tom to the delights of gay society in the town -- a great pleasure for Brady who is tired of being confined to a closet and welcomes the opportunity to be accepted by his gay peers. Disaster strikes the law enforcement officer when he performs an act of bravery, saving the life of a fellow policeman as well as some gay civilians, but doing so outside a gay bar.

In the meantime, Tom's father is in discussion with a union group which has as its head an old enemy of Tom's from the time of their schooldays. Joey Giacomino is determined to exhibit his sterling abilities to his imprisoned father. Joey seems to be the owner of a less than average IQ and is in danger of destroying his own reputation on more than one front.

Dick, meanwhile, has befriended a teenage hustler (read 'male prostitute') who has arrived in the big town determined to make good. Jonathan is an eager, enthusiastic boy who thinks sex-for-sale is an excellent career choice and a shortcut to wealth. That is, until one of his tricks turns violent.

Tom Brady finds himself at the centre of a career-destroying row. He is ostracised by his fellow officers for being gay but the gay community's wish to hail him as their very own hero threatens to disrupt the social balance of the town as well as revivifying the old gay-bashing principles of Rourke's despised ethos.

Grey's writing provides fascinating insights into the life of the homosexual community, if his books do, in fact, reflect that lifestyle accurately. His picture of inimical straight society despising homosexual practitioners is poignant and disturbing. He is a very interesting writer with an unusual style of writing which is, despite its eccentricities, clear and easy to follow. One can hope that his mysteries, which should attract readers of all persuasions, can do something to bridge the gap between seemingly disparate readerships.

Reviewed by Denise Pickles, October 2004

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]