A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh. – Leonard Cohen
Tom Paretski is pretty proficient in the art of divination; not the kind of divination that means he can prophesy but the kind that means he can find things that are hidden—like water, for one thing. And dead bodies, for another. It’s a talent that makes him invaluable to the very same police force that had at one time found him entirely suspect because of his ability. It’s what also makes him a very good plumber.
It’s also a dead body that puts Tom back in touch with his old high school nemesis, Phil Morrison, the guy who, along with his group of fellow bullies, used to torment Tom mercilessly for being queer. So mercilessly, in fact, that it could very well have cost Tom his own life if not for an incredible stroke of good luck—if you want to call coming away with scars and chronic pain as a lifelong reminder of that accident good luck. And if you want to call this bit of karma irony, Phil’s now a Private Investigator. And he’s also openly gay. And he’s still gorgeous. And he still trips Tom’s trigger in every possible way. And it seems that feeling might be entirely mutual.
Phil’s been hired by the victim’s family to try and unravel the mystery surrounding her death, including clearing the name of Tom’s former school mate and recovering drug addict, Graham Carter, who also happened to be the victim’s boyfriend at the time of her death, and it’s not long before Phil has Tom involved in the investigation, an investigation that turns up plenty of suspects but few solid clues that would help reveal the killer’s motive, let alone an identity.
Unraveling the mystery of Phil Morrison becomes as much of a challenge for Tom as figuring out who killed Melanie Porter, and why. There’s so much resentment and mistrust mixed up in the attraction, so much pain and guilt mixed up in both their shared and separate pasts. It causes a fair amount of friction between them, and the revelation of their want of each other is by no means an instant patch on the deeper scars that have come to shape who they are. But the tension and friction is lovely.
Pressure Head kept me wound up tight from beginning to end. It’s a fast pace mystery wrapped up in a contentious relationship that owes a fair amount of its tension to the mutual attraction between the two men who, with a dozen years between them and high school, put paid to the past and give their future together a chance.
I don’t know if this is book one in a possible series, but if it’s not, I sure do want it to be.