Suffer the Little Children is surprisingly romantic and yes, even a bit “light comedy”, surprisingly due to the matter, uncovering a traffic of children prostitutes.
It’s for sure on the recent trend of fiction inspired by the “odd” couple of historical private investigators Sherlock and Holmes; on the difference of that story, where the special relationship between Sherlock and Holmes is only hinted, here Nick Romney and David Malvern are in a full man on man relationship, something that is acknowledge, albeit with discretion, even by David’s own family. Nick was an abused child who left his aristocratic but uncaring family as soon as possible; he spent his teen years between odd jobs and even the life of a kept man; when he meets David he is only 20 years old but he behaves like a man much older. David is the scoundrel son of a baronet; without a real pursuit in life if not being a disappointment for his loving parents, David is not a bad man, but he has no direction; meeting Nick gives him a purpose, making Nick happy. David’s family is glad to see him “settled” down, even if the chosen companion is a man. And then they are living their relationship with discretion… or at least they private relationship.
Indeed, Nick, with the help of David’s father, a barrister, at first had collaborated with Scotland Yard, and now is a private investigator; David, other than taking care of Nick, is also his living recorder, and after each case is solved, he sells Nick’s adventures as a serial to a London newspaper. They are sharing a two bedroom apartment at the second floor of a townhouse owned by a widow, and so decency is save, even if the second bedroom is not used.
When I say that the story is somewhat “light” it’s due to Nick and David’s relationship; even when they are in danger, even when Nick’s past is troubling him, their relationship never suffers. They are able to admit their feelings to each other, there is always a strict bond between them and I have never felt like their love was on the stake. They are also very physical on their expression of love, even if it was more intimate than sexual; actually I think the level of erotic details was quite low, and the romance side was more prominent.
Sometime I had a “steampunk” feeling, even if indeed there is nothing of unrealistic in the setting or language, only that sometime Nick’s skill in finding the clues was more CSI like than Victorian age.
Amazon Kindle: Suffer the Little Children
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (January 26, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott