Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pretty Boy Dead: A Kendall Parker Mystery by Jon Michaelsen

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Publisher: Wilde City Press (Nov. 2013)
Pages: 277

Five Stars Out of Five.

A body is found in an Atlanta park, the victim of a horrific gay bashing, and it is identified as “black sheep” son of a rich tycoon, who had been working as a stripper (and possibly prostitute) for a local organized crime figure. Assigned to the case is closeted Detective Sgt. Kendall Parker, recently returned from a leave recovering from an accident that was fatal to a friend. There is no shortage of fingers being pointed at possible killers with various motives, including a city councilman who was photographed with the stripper. The pressure on the police to solve the crime is turned up by an aggressive newspaper columnist who seems to be on a personal vendetta against Parker.

The book is well-written, with reasonable situations and developments, and offers an intriguing look into the thought process, personal demons, peer pressure and bureaucratic nightmares that can plague a homicide detective working on such cases. As a diehard reader of gay mystery series, I enjoy that insight, which is lacking in many other in that genre. The ending hints at further stories in this series, and I look forward to this author’s efforts in providing them.