Marshall Thornton is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. He is best known for the Boystown detective series, which has been short-listed in the Rainbow Awards three times and has twice been a finalist for the Lambda Book Award - Gay Mystery. Other novels include the erotic comedy The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood; Full Release; The Ghost Slept Over and My Favorite Uncle. Marshall has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing awards. He has also had plays produced in Chicago and LA, and stories published in The James White Review and Frontier Magazine.
Boystown 4: A Time For Secretsby Marshall Thornton
In the first full-length novel of the Boystown series, it's late summer 1982 and private detective Nick Nowak is asked to find a retired gentleman's long lost lover. Instead, he finds himself embroiled in a decades old murder connected to the man who wants tobe Chicago's next mayor. Meanwhile, an ambitious young reporter develops a friendship with Nick's lover Bert, making Nick wonder exactly where their relationship may be heading.
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"Everything works out for the best." It always irked me when people said sh*t like that. I didn't believe it for a minute. Things did not work out for the best unless you bent logic into a pretzel." –Nick Nowak This review contains spoilers for books 1-3. First of all the mystery in this one was the best so far. This being the first full length novel, instead of a series of novellas, we get a much more complicated case. When Nick is hired to find a man's long lost lover, he stumbles across a decades-old murder. While trying to find the murderer and later bring him to justice, he is confronted with the corruption of Chicago politics and just how deep it reaches into the Chicago PD. This book also shows us more of Nick's relationship with Harker than in the previous books. I really sensed Nick's deep love for Harker here. It's shown through Nick's jealousy over the young reporter flirting with Harker. But mostly seen through Nick's desperation at not knowing how to handle the fact that it's more than likely that he will lose the man he loves. This series has always had this sense of impending doom just looming below the surface. Well it's in your face now. Harker is diagnosed with what they called GRID at the time and he and Nick have to deal with the fact that most of these cases end in death. Harker seems to be dealing with it better than Nick. Nick tries to bury his feelings and problems in work and anonymous sex. Then there's the Bughouse Slasher case that Harker is apparently still obsessing over. It makes you think that Nick will eventually have to confront the killer again. This series is gritty and real and Mr. Thornton gives us a character that you can't help but love, eventually, despite all his flaws.