BLURB: A murdered male stripper. A missing go-go dancer. A city councilman on the hook. Can Atlanta homicide detective Sergeant Kendall Parker solve the vicious crime while remaining safely hidden behind the closet door?
When the body of a young man is found in a popular midtown park, police and local media quickly pin the brutal killing on a homeless gay kid with AIDS. But Homicide Detective Sgt. Kendall Parker isn’t convinced, even when the suspect is accused of assaulting a police detective with a deadly weapon.
City leaders want the heinous murder solved yesterday and they jump at the chance to pin the crime on the drug-craving teen. Besides, it’s an election year and remaining in office is their top priority, even at the sacrifice of the young man. Sgt. Parker isn’t easily persuaded and is determined to prove Hopper’s innocence, despite protest from his colleagues and the great citizens of Atlanta. And all threatens to expose the deep secret Parker has carefully hidden from his comrades for years.
REVIEW: Normally I lean more towards the contemporary romance end of the M/M spectrum, but sometimes I like to step out of my little box and see what else is out there. I have always been a fan of a good detective/mystery book. When this book came up on our list for review, I decided I would give it a go.
Detective Sgt. Kendall Parker is a very unlikely hero in this book. Not only is Kendall buried so deep in a bottle he can barely find his way out, but he is chugging on that bottle while clinging to the back wall of his very tightly sealed closet. Now, as much as you may want to write this man off for some of his choices the more you read, the more you realize Kendall is doing the best he can in a truly horrible situation.
Kendall is just returning to work form a six weeks leave of absence. Further into the story, we find out that his lover was killed in a boating accident and Kendall blames himself for not being able to save him. This is one the biggest reasons he has for the nightly drinking binges. He is also dealing with being a gay detective with not only a very homophobic partner, but a boss who makes any Teabagger look like a left wing liberal.
When he and his partner catch a murder case in Piedmont Park, they find a victim of a brutal beating. With further investigation, they find out their victim is not only a gay male dancer but the son of a very wealthy local businessman. Soon one murder victim turns into two and possibly three. It seems that all of the bodies connect back to a dirty politician and a local mobster. Kendall has to fight not only his co-workers, but the press the entire way through this case. He not only makes some new connections but he renews an old friendship thought long dead.
Like I said before, I love a good mystery and this was a GREAT one. I like to try to figure “who done it” while reading any mystery, and this book kept me on my toes. Some of the players were much more obvious than others, and there was a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. If you are looking for a great mystery, you can’t go wrong with Pretty Boy Dead. The police procedure seemed to be spot on, and the personal relationships were very well fleshed out.
This was in no way a romance. There is a hint at a future possibility for love, but I think we will have to stick with the series for a while to get there. The ending left it wide open for future books, and I can’t wait to revisit Kendall as he moves forward.
You can buy Pretty Boy Dead (A Kendall Parker Mystery) here:
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7 thoughts on “Review: Pretty Boy Dead by Jon Michaelsen”
Wow – to say I was humbled to find a link to this review in my email today is an understatement! Thank you very much, Jackie, for your very kind and thoughtful review. I love how you picked up exactly what I was trying to portray with Sgt. Kendall Parker. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and review my novel. Thanks again!
Oh Jon, thank you so much for the opportunity. I am looking so forward to the next one! I loved Kendall!!!!
Lol..yeah, I am in love with Kendall myself. And, there will be more of him, and the possibility of love, at least once he can get past his loss and personal demons. Question is: Will he remain with the police force, or strike out on his own??
I know which way I am leaning in my mind, but of course that doesn’t mean it will happen. ;)
Nice review. I’ve had this on my TBR list but every time I try to buy it I can’t find my credit card and Wilde City Press doesn’t seem to have any presence in the Kindle store. Now I’ve seen this review I’ll make more effort.
Oh, thank you, Elin. :-)
It should be in Kindle ebook later this week. It’s in ebook right now only on the Wilde City Press
In print on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble, but should show up soon in e-book. Thanks for your support!