A little more than ten years ago, an article in a local paper caught my attention. It wasn’t just that it was well written (which it was), but the subject matter, because it corresponded so closely with research I was already doing in preparation for writing my novel, truly piqued my interest. The article began with the information that doctors, investigators and social scientists were puzzled by a sudden increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Long Island. The thing that really made this outbreak all the more mysterious was that the great majority of these new HIV/AIDS cases involved heterosexual married women. Subsequent investigation revealed that most of these women had been infected by their husbands who, it was later found out, had been sexually involved with some of the young male prostitutes that regularly ply their trade on the streets of New York City. In one extreme case, one of those husbands murdered his entire family fearing he’d passed the HIV/AIDS virus on to them because of his extramarital dalliances with male prostitutes. Men sleeping with men certainly isn't new, even married men having sex with other males isn't a new idea, I believe it was Alexander the Great who said, "A woman to bear children, a boy for fun." What has seemingly brought all this to the fore is the attention it's getting from and through the media. Recent events headlined in national news were the arrests, respectively, of a famous celebrity and a senator allegedly trolling public restrooms for man-on-man quickies. In 2007 alone, there were at least ten instances of well-known or at least well-to-do married, "straight" men arrested by police or captured by the media either having sex or attempting to have sex with other men in public places, or in the case of the media; discreetly in motels or hotels. What confuses many of the friends and family (especially the wives) of these men is that they insist that they are "straight." Very few of these men ever admit to being homosexual, even when caught in the act of performing what is clearly a homosexual act. A few years ago a non-fiction book was published on the subject of men, specifically black men, secretly being sexually involved with other men. On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of 'Straight' Black Men Who Sleep with Men (Hardcover)
by J.L. King (Author) ...It became a best-seller.
My novel Chickenhawk was inspired, at least in part, by the revelations in those articles. In Chickenhawk, “Paki” Pakidorapopulos; a seemingly happily married family man, believes he has contracted the AIDS virus from the young Hispanic male prostitutes he regularly solicits. His illness fuels his growing paranoia and madness, and he embarks on a killing spree, targeting the prostitutes he believes made him sick. A private investigator, hired by the killer's suspicious wife, witnesses one of the murders and blackmails him... A homeless man, dying of cancer, who also witnesses one of the murders tries to get someone to listen... Clues and leads all seem to go nowhere, and meanwhile the body count keeps rising and the city threatens to turn into a powder keg. Two dedicated Manhattan North Homicide cops, Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti, try to stop him before he kills again as the mayor and D.A. use their efforts to catch the killer for their own political aspirations. Politics, murder, sex, religion, racism, sexism, all collide in a rivetting, roiling explosion of action, suspense, and drama that will keep you captivated to the last page. With true -to-life characters that are believable and engaging, Chickenhawk is realistic, gritty, graphic, and fast-paced...some of it reads like it was torn directly from the headlines. Read the review by Apex Reviews for more insight, or better yet…buy the novel.