Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries

Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries - Marshall Thornton There are so many good reviews already, that this is just a quickie.
I really enjoyed this compilation of three good, old fashioned detective stories. Set in 1981, Nick Nowak is a gruff, no-nonsense private eye straight out of the Philip Marlowe era. A former Chicago police officer who two years prior lost his job, his family and his boyfriend Daniel, he is really just existing. He is obviously still consumed by guilt and pining for Daniel. He screws his way through the book, basically everyone he crosses paths with. This is not a romance, but a story of a damaged man, trying to make his way through the days. The mysteries are good and are all wrapped up within their story, but the characters do come back and appear later on.

The 80's is my decade and the book really captured the feel of the times. Reading it and knowing that the AIDS pandemic is about to explode and so many of these men are likely to soon fall ill to the then unknown disease that was, at the time, a death sentence adds an extra layer of darkness to the story. I've seen a number of reviews complaining about the unsafe sex, but that was the time when nobody knew just how bad things would get and it was not even close to the issue it is now. The author did a great job of bringing me into this world and I am really looking forward to the rest of the story.

Big thank you to Lena for her recommendation!