Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Forest of Corpses

Title: A Forest of Corpses
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60820-164-8
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Santa Barbara Homicide Detective Alexander Spider and his lover, Jason Zachary, have been together for seven months. It’s been a time of change and a rebuilding of the trust they once had in each other and their dominant/submissive lifestyle. Both are committed to the other and their relationship but Alex is still afraid he’ll lose control and he’s unwilling and unable to let go and give Jason the pain/pleasure that he wants and needs.

Jason comes up with the idea that he and Alex spend time together roughing it while hiking and camping for a week in the Los Padres National Forest. Alex is a city boy, who isn’t interested in the great outdoors, but he’s willing to do anything to make his nature-loving partner happy so he reluctantly agrees. During the trip, Alex learns a lot about both himself and Jason and over a period of days, begins to enjoy himself. The trip turns into a dangerous nightmare after the two stumble across a group of heavily armed marijuana drug growers and a couple of decaying corpses. It’s during their mad rush down the mountain that Alex gets shot.

A Forest of Corpses is the sequel to P.A. Brown’s The Geography of Murder and due to the ongoing plotline, I recommend they be read in order. Please be aware that the story is written in alternating first person viewpoint.

Once again, Ms. Brown has given her readers a book filled with great depth of character, grit, passion and desire. Alex and Jason are still as much in love as ever; they’re just having a few problems. I like these two guys. Alex is a big, domineering Alpha and despite his Dom personality, deep down he’s got a soft, loving heart and he wants Jason to feel safe and happy. Jason is just as crazy about Alex and he’s determined their relationship get back on solid ground.

The author has done an amazing job expressing what’s going on in Alex and Jason’s life, including their problems. Yes, initially Alex and his partner are solving a crime but that’s where the similarity to the first release ends. The backbone of this story revolves around Alex and Jason fixing their relationship and later, trying to survive. The camping trip through the woods was very well done, letting me feel Alex’s initial unhappiness and his developing joy in the out-of-doors. The descriptions of the areas they hiked through, the interaction between the few hikers they came across and their blistering hot lovemaking is very well done.

But where Ms. Brown excelled was the portion of the story from corpse discovery to the end. It was during these pages that the previous leisurely pace suddenly turned lightening fast as Alex and Jason struggled to survive the armed gunmen chasing them. I thought the scenes of the severely wounded Alex as he lay hidden were excellent, allowing the reader to feel his pain, frustration and disorientation as life endangering infection set in. She did an equally nice job with Jason on his frantic search for help, and his mama-bear assisted solution to dealing with the drug dealers is creative, unique and totally surprising.

Okay, I’m going to stop now. Just take it from this satisfied reviewer, get this book, read it and enjoy. I have great hopes that we’ll be seeing more of Alex and Jason again in the future.


P.A.Brown said...

Thanks, Mystical Nymph, for the review. The hallucinations that Spider goes through at the end are based on my real life experiences when I was ill in 2007. Very scary and something I've never forgotten.

mystical nymph said...

I really can't say enough good things about this story. I loved it and hope you write about these guys again in the future.