Judith's Reviews > Snowball in Hell

Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon
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's review
May 24, 2012

really liked it

4.75 out of 5

Another stellar effort by Josh Lanyon set during WWII and dealing with a corpse found in the Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. The seasoned LAPD homicide lieutenant is widowed having buried his wife, his high school sweetheart, just months previously. Nathan Doyle is a war correspondent who has come home to the States after sustaining a very serious injury and is now working at the Los Angeles Tribune-Herald. Their attraction to each other is instant but because of the times, almost imperceptible. It is a dangerous time for gays--not called gays in those days--referred to as mentally ill, perverts or psychologically impaired, and to "come out of the closet" is the kiss of death for any kind of life considered ordinary. Yet the internal struggles continue, and in the midst of this very messy murder investigation involving a prominent LA family and nightclub, is told the heart-wrenching story of these two men. Lt. Spain has been in love with his wife for years, yet during his time overseas as a Marine he knew times when he could not deny his inner needs. Doyle has been so distressed over his orientation that he even considered extended treatment in a mental facility hoping to be "cured." These two men do find each other, yet one gets the feeling that their struggle goes on, not only with their own inner strife but against a society that would throw them in jail if caught acting on those urges. This is a very emotional short novel and one that is wonderfully set in a time in Los Angeles when life was played fast and loose in so many ways and yet on other fronts was repressed and damaging to so many. It is truly a very readable and entertaining piece of writing and gives the reader insights not only to the times but into the hearts of two people who are seeking authentic relationship, caring and respect.
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