THE NINTH MAN
By Dorien Grey
Ebook division: GLB Publishers
San Francisco Private Detective Dick Hardesty is presented with what seems to be a cut and dried case of suicide by a distraught sweetheart unable to accept the coroner’s verdict. Kyle Rholfing offers a substantial retainer if Hardesty will only accept the case into the death of Rholfing’s lover Bobby McDermott. Before long Hardesty finds himself facing the fact that the police are largely ignoring the obvious; the death of 6 gay men over a two month period and taking place from similar circumstance is most likely due neither to natural causes nor to several suicides. Unable to find a link between the various victims Hardesty believes he must be searching for a serial killer only to discover both a link and heartbreak for himself as the new sweetheart he has found turns out to be not as first appeared.
Despite some profanity and a bit of graphic sex I found this tale to be both gripping and well written. When first sent the book to review I was warned it was a gay mystery which contained graphic sex and had steeled myself for being shocked or repulsed. I, middle class, white, wife and mom of two, was not. To be honest I don’t much care for graphic sex whether hetero or homosexual, especially when it is obviously thrown in to try to cover bad writing or a flimsy story line. Author Grey accomplished neither; the sex scenes in this manuscript are an integral part of the story, and the narrative is both believable and gripping along with being well written. Grey’s characters are so well thought out I found myself rooting for the ‘bad guy.’
This ‘grab you from the first line’ account begining when unlikable Rohlfing swishes into Hardesty’s office is an entertaining read filled with characters who are as human as those presented by Erle Stanley Gardner. The mystery slowly unravels to reveal an understandable, heartbroken assassin who has sound reasons for the murders he has committed. The interwoven personal issues found among the various characters forcefully point out that the caring felt for one person by another often will motivate the most mild mannered into action heretofore thought impossible to contemplate. When our loved ones are harmed most any of us will seek redress; when none is available through accepted means most any of us may contemplate taking action into our own hands as has been portrayed in author Grey’s bittersweet tale.
THE NINTH MAN offers the reader a peek inside the very human issues experienced by both gay and straight communities; issues which are not the sole property of either. THE NINTH MAN is a well thought out bittersweet romantic mystery thriller and well worth the reading. Some profanity, some graphic sex language. Highly recommended.
Learn more about Dorien Grey by visiting GLB Publishers
Po Box 78212 San Francisco 94197
Reviewed by Molly Martin