Monday, October 03, 2016

Review: Terror in Tulsa by Buck Powers


Title: Terror in Tulsa

Author: Buck Powers

Release: 10th September 2016

Genre: M/M (thriller)


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Tension Mounts

Backlash from the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage threatens to escalate into violence. The Republican-dominated Oklahoma Legislature introduces more anti-gay bills than any other state. Security concerns mount as Gay Pride Weekend approaches. Signs of trouble erupt as a popular right-wing radio host inflames anti-gay passions and skinheads vandalize vehicles parked in front of the Pride Center in downtown Tulsa. The city refuses to provide extra security because of budget constraints blamed on the downturn in oil prices.

Militia Surrounds Building

Pride opening night confirms the worst fears. A militia group wielding AR-15s surrounds the building, terrorizing those inside. Someone calls 911, but the operator refuses to place the call. Others try but get the same result. The operators mention the state’s new Religious Freedom law. Placing the call would violate their religious convictions. Celebrants decide to take matters into their own hands.

Major Players

Josh Rendell, the director of the Pride Center, largest in the nation, makes history by flying the gay flag over downtown.
Tom Benson, director of Helping Hands, a social service agency housed in the center, instigator of the gay threesome that ensnares his two best friends.
Andrea Minotti, ex-wife of Enzo, disgraced ex-police officer, temperamentally unstable, troubled by gambling and alcohol addiction.
Enzo Minotti, sexy police detective, assigned to investigate threats against the Pride Center; his working relationship with Josh leads to something neither man expected.
Dana Gilmore, ambitious newspaper reporter; on the trail of a secret state plan to divert public funds to a gay conversion program.
Ben McAda, Dana’s colleague on the Tulsa Globe, and Josh and Tom’s best friend. The metrosexual cool Brady District is his element, and the sexy dude from the newspaper with the shadow beard becomes the mystery man everyone wants.
Christie, officer manager at the Pride Center, ace paralegal and Pride Center nerve center.
Rita, Christie’s girlfriend, also troubled by gambling addiction. Rita’s startup business and her connection with Andrea Minotti, threaten to shatter her fragile relationship with Christie.
Bobby Joe Riser, unemployed refinery worker, exudes a rough sensuality that attracts women and men alike. For now, Riser is GRUNT Church volunteer coordinator, but Minister Doug Evers has bigger plans. When Riser realizes what’s in store, his life changes forever.


Cheryl’s Review

I must admit to having a little difficulty reviewing this book because it’s written in a style I don’t normally go for. I can’t say I took to it, but I’m absolutely certain others will.

The story is told through a series of perspectives woven together. For me the narrative was very distant, and dry. This might well be because the books I usually go for are high on emotion. This book has very little.

One big plus is that the characters were extremely diverse and some of them were fascinating. I enjoyed watching Andrea’s character develop in particular. Personally, I would have liked more thoughts and feelings from a closer perspective but that wasn’t the style of the book, and I think a lot of people will like that about it. The author definitely has an unique voice and uses it well.

The story moves on through many different perspectives on different sides of each argument and all the diverse storylines progress toward one outcome in which they were all involved. I have to say that, again from my own perspective, the ending was anticlimactic and lacking in detail. The entire book led up to the Pride Parade, but the parade wasn’t described at all.

Again, however, it was definitely very cleverly written, and the characters and storylines wove together well.

The style of writing is, I think more akin to crime writing that the genres I generally read and reminded me of the Bette Noir genre. This is definitely not a bad thing and was well done.

There’s a fair smattering of sex through the book and it says a lot for the quality of the writing that I didn’t skip through them all. Anyone familiar with my reviews will know that I tend to do that a lot. There’s only so many ways to describe sex but on the whole this author does pretty well.

On the whole, even though I didn’t like the book I can definitely recommend it as worth a read. The story is cohesive, the editing quite well done, the voice true and the characters well rounded. There’s not much emotional depth but I suppose the style of writing doesn’t lend itself to that. However, there is more than enough story with twists and turns, surprises, and quirks to keep you going nicely through to the end.

It was a good, easy read, but there was no at which anyone was in real danger and there was certainly no terror. I don’t think it lived up to its name at all and this might turn readers off when the story doesn’t meet that expectation. It was much too tame for me.




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