Elisa Rolle's Reviews > The Elegant Corpse

The Elegant Corpse by A.M. Riley
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Apr 24, 2009

Read in May, 2008

Another book by A.M. Riley that I hardly will forget. Roger Corso is a detective by the book; forget all those detective from television fiction, tough men who do what they have to do even if what they do is slightly (or heavily) not legal. Roger is a freak controlled and perfect detective.

When he arrives home after a one week vacation and finds a mummified corpse in his living room, he calls the CSI and starts to investigate. And everytime he finds a proof he relates to his superiors, even when the proofs lead to one of his best friend, his former Master. Yes cause Roger is now a Master himself, one of the old league, a leatherman with whips and mask; Roger is not the mild mannered queer type that it's so fashion in the twenty-one century, Roger is a big man, muscle and discipline from the '80. And now that his former lover and sub is dead, Roger lives an apparently quite and ordinary life, saved going one night every month in a BDSM club managed by an old friend. Like other ordinary men go to play pool or booling, Roger plays with whips and S. Andrew cross.

Sean is the young brother of the victim Roger finds in his living room. Gary, the victim, disappeared more then 20 years before, when Sean was still a little child, and now Sean is alone, since the death of both his parents. He is a troubled guy, living in a precarious way and having no control on his life. He is the classical type who pushes the right bottoms on Roger, a man who needs someone to control, someone who needs to be controlled, a mutual exchange of powers. But Sean is very young and Roger fears to be again in a committed relationship. Actually Sean's behaviour is very strange, he is a more than 30 years old man who behaves like a nearly twenty.

Maybe the strenght of this couple is that both of them are so clearly made to be together and the reader knows that they will be together, what he is expecting is the climax, not of their relationship, but of the mystery which plays along with the romance: who is the serial killer? everytime you think to have found the right man, soon after he is the next victim and you need to start again. The mystery is pretty good, I should admit I'm not an expert, but sincerely I discovered the killer only cause all the others were dead.

I think Roger is somewhat a Dom disillusioned; he has seen too much, made too much and now nothing seems to have the same impact on him as before. He is a survivor, he has escaped the AIDS plague, but many around him not, and now he is alone. I don't think he needs someone who turns up his little world, he needs someone who will share it with him: sorry, he has not the age to start again, he is arrived to a point in which he needs stability and comfort. Sean instead is a little like a Peter Pan, someone who is arrived to a point when he needs to grew and instead he seems to always avoid it.

The book is very complex and wonderfully intertwined, full of supporting characters who are themself worthy of an entire story. And it's also a little bit nostalgic, it seems like a last greeting to a dying era.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Kelly H. (Maybedog) Great review! It sounds like only occasional BDSM for the cop in the beginning, but then maybe the D/s pervades everyday life after they get together. Is it just sexual/hobby/fun & games stuff or is 24/7 D/s? I am fine with the former but I'm really uncomfortable with the latter. This book sounds really good so I was hoping to get a better idea of what to expect. Thanks in advance!

message 2: by Elisa (new) - added it

Elisa Rolle Kelly wrote: "Great review! It sounds like only occasional BDSM for the cop in the beginning, but then maybe the D/s pervades everyday life after they get together. Is it just sexual/hobby/fun & games stuff or i..."

Dear Kelly, I read this long ago, so I have some lingering feelings, not a 100% impression: my feeling is that, knowing also the author, this isn't a BDSM for fun novel, but more a psychological involvement. There is not play for the sake of game, but more like a dependent relationship between the two. Hope this helps, Elisa

Kelly H. (Maybedog) Thank you so much, Elisa. That helps.

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