Author: Lloyd A. Meeker
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Release: 28th August 2013
Genre: M/M (mystery/thriller)
Who’s blackmailing the high-profile televangelist whose son was famously cured of his homosexuality fifteen years ago? Now in 2009, that ought to be ancient history.
It seems there’s no secret to protect, no crime, not even a clear demand for money—just four threatening letters using old Enigma songs from the 90′s. But they’ve got Reverend Howard Richardson spooked.
Proudly fifty and unhappily single, gay PI Russ Morgan has made peace with being a psychic empath, and he’s managed to build a decent life since getting sober. As he uncovers obscene secrets shrouded in seeming righteousness he might have to make peace with a sword of justice that cuts the innocent as deeply as the guilty.
This bite-sized story originally submitted for an anthology introduces us to the character Private Investigator Russ Morgan. For an introduction to a new character it was just the right length to give the reader a feel for Russ. He has a talent in as far as he is extremely empathetic and can sense auras around people giving him a slightly paranormal edge to his investigations and this helps considerably in judging people's' intentions, whether they are telling the truth or not.
In this story he is confronted with a classic case of blackmail. Reverend Howard Richardson has a lot of secrets that he doesn't want the public to get their hands on or hear about. This is where I hate the so called commercial side of religion. Full of hypocrisy and do as I say but not as I do. Seriously, religious bigotry at its worst. Here he is raking in a fortune preaching high morals but practices none of them himself, you're archetypal wolf in sheep's clothing who preys on people's' beliefs to make a fortune and doesn't really care two monkeys about the pastoral care of his flock but only the lifestyle it provides him. Pay enough, pray enough and all your sins will be forgiven that is unless you're gay. Here there are horrendous conversion therapy camps and this is where he sends his son to make an example that the gay can be prayed away! Poor James, when we get to hear what happened to him my heart just bled for him and the psychological cruelty of it all. Obviously with the blackmail starting this could threaten to bring his whole dynasty collapsing down around his ears. His lawyers hire PI Russ Morgan. Has James fallen off the righteous road? Are there more hidden secrets the good reverend is keeping from us? Well, all I can say is there are a lot of revelations that left me disgusted at the hypocrisy of this man and his evil intent just to earn money.
I liked Russ a lot!! Why? Well, we have a mature gay man around 50 who has also battled his own demons against alcohol in his past and won. But more than that it is refreshing to read about a character who is not twenty something, ripped with bulging biceps, perfectly formed triceps, pumped up and always as horny as hell. Maturity brings a certain sovereignty with it and this is extremely evident in Russ. That for me was his attraction right there! Some people do get better with age I reckon. For me the older Sean Connery in the film The Hunt for Red October was a lot sexier than the young Bond version. So yes, I’ve fallen for Russ for sure.
When he meets Colin the young mid-twenties assistant to Kommen, Rev. Richardson's lawyer, he is obviously flirting with Russ but the doubt creeps in for Russ of what can such a young man possibly see in someone my age. Well, I guess we would all ask that question but the attention can be flattering and Russ enjoys it for what it is and just enjoys the company of the young man. Not sure where this is going but would definitely like to find out in any further books.
I really liked this little warm up story that will lead to more Russ Morgan mysteries. The writing is tight, the narrative and characters engaging. The plot perfectly paced for a short story. Also a big fist bump for the outcome when Pastor Richardson gets his just rewards served up on a cold plate of revenge that had me whooping with joy! YEESSS!!
Meet Lloyd A. Meeker
Lloyd Meeker can't help what he writes – stories arising from the between places, the mystical overlapping between the worlds of matter and spirit, and the wild beauty that dwells there. It’s his natural habitat.
In addition to his written work, which includes novels, essays, poetry and short stories, he has served since 2008 as a final-round judge in the Queer Foundation’s annual National High School Seniors Essay Contest, which promotes effective writing by, about, and/or for queer youth, and awards scholarships to the winners. Finalists are selected from schools across the United States by members of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Happily ensorcelled by music, subtle energy healing, and the wonders of nature, he lives with his very understanding husband in southern Florida, among friends and family, orchids, and giant hibiscus that take his breath away every morning.
His novel The Companion was named a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards.
He is also the author of the titles Blood and Dirt, Traveling Light, Enigma, Blood Royal, and A Cape of Good Hope Christmas.
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