elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Mystery / Thriller Novel (1° place): L.A. Heat by P.A. Brown

ALSO Best Overall Gay Novel (2° place) & Best Characters (3° place)

First of all, how can you write a post on a mystery without giving up the mystery? Telling nothing about the story of course! So I will try to focus on the main characters, and for the mystery part of the story, sufficient to say that the author got me fooled and led me to the wrong path as she probably wanted since the beginning.

David is an average LAPD detective; he is not an hero, nor in his work or in his private life. He is a cop by the book, he does his work with commitment, and he is still human enough to feel pain when faced with some of the worst aspect of his job. Like now, while he is investigating a serial killer who targets very young gay men in West Hollywood. It's not only the poor bodies they find that make David sick, it's also the knowledge that he is facing something he has always tried to hide or maybe forget, the fact that David is gay. Everyday he listens the nasty comments that his coworkers direct to the gay community, and now maybe he has also the feeling that those poor young boys get less attention and respect from the Police Department since they are gay. So David has a very personal interest in the case, an interest that becomes even more personal when they start to find a path that leads directly to Chris.

Chris is exactly at the opposite from David. Gay and out, Chris is leading an almost perfect life: beautiful home, expansive car and money-making job. There are only some trouble: Chris doesn't like his work as IT in a firm where he is constantly mobbed since he is gay, he is tired of the endless string of one night stands and his beautiful home is empty. So Chris' perfect life is not so perfect as it seems, and he is maybe nearer to David than expected.

Apparently David and Chris are not a good match. David is nothing special, he is not the hunky cop that could star in Chris' wet dream, but Chris sees something in the quite and reassuring man; even when the police starts to suspect Chris, Chris' anger is never directed to David. On the other hand, David is clearly attracted by Chris, but more than a physical thing, it's a repressed desire, Chris is exactly who David would like to be, someone comfortable with his sexuality, someone who has a job where he can be whoever he wants (even if he has to suffer nasty colleague). As always when two heroes don't match, they end to be the perfect match instead. Chris is probably drawn to David since the man is not asking or denying, David is not struggling to hide him being gay, he simply doesn't live it, and Chris wants so badly to be the man who will ignite that fire. David is drawn to Chris not since he is the "first" gay at hand, but since Chris is someone who could be an equal partner for David; even if in danger, I have never had the feeling that Chris was an helpless man, and that is probably the same impression David had. I don't know, probably David needed to have a proof that being gay doesn't mean being weak.

The style is dry and direct, but it's not without romance. The intimacy between Chris and David is sweet, light and not full of angst, and above all, it's a nice thing that there is intimacy, more often than not a mystery tend to be "cold" since it seems like that allowing to the heroes to be in love and prove that love, is like de-valuing the mystery in the story.


Amazon Kindle: L. A. Heat

Amazon: L.A. Heat

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: p.a. brown, genre: contemporary, length: novel, rainbow awards 2009, review, theme: cops

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