Friday, August 5, 2011

Spin Out

Title: Spin Out
Author: James Buchanan
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60820-393-2
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Sequel
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Deputy Joe Peterson has three major dilemmas to contend with at the same time. He is in a relationship with ex-con Kabe Varghese.  He is in the middle of searching for the killer of a local boy and he is in jeopardy of losing his job. 

Spin Out is the sequel to Hard Fall.  The setting is a small town in Utah; most of the residents are Latter Day Saints. The plot illustrates the influence prejudice has on the character’s psychological state.  When the community discovered Joe is gay, he was excommunicated from the church.  Some of the people refuse to even acknowledge Joe when they see him in public.  The plot has an element of mystery, with Joe conducting a murder investigation of a young man first reported missing.  Joe and Kabe found the victim while they were out deer hunting.  The plot details crime solving procedures including building a profile of the victim and highlighting the personalities of others involved in the case.  More suspense is added with a formal hearing by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to address the issue of Joe engaged in a sexual relationship with Kabe and did so knowing that Kabe was on probation at the time.  Although under the guise of standard legal procedures, the hearing clearly exhibits a homophobic overtone. 

The detailed characters are believable.  Living in a small town ruled by religious bigotry it is easy to understand why Joe chose to hide his sexuality.  At the time Kabe came into his life, Joe was lonely, as well as at the end of his emotional rope.  Being in a relationship with Kabe helped Joe find purpose in his life again.  Kabe has a chip on his shoulder, as a result of making poor choices in the past that landed him in jail for two years. Kabe’s relationship with Joe has had a positive influence on his personality as well as his outlook for the future.  In Kabe’s mind, Joe is the best thing that ever happened to him.  

James Buchanan has created an excellent saga I found extremely captivating. I particularly enjoyed the focus on the legitimate points of discrimination the state’s legal system so conveniently disregarded.

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