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Murder Book

(Boystown #5)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In the second of the Boystown mysteries to be a finalist for the Lambda Award, it’s fall 1982 and Chicago is gripped by panic after five people die from poisoned Tylenol capsules. Amid the chaos, the Bughouse Slasher takes his eighth victim, this time striking close to private investigator Nick Nowak. With the Chicago Police Department stretched to its limit, Nick takes ma ...more
Kindle Edition, 184 pages
Published February 6th 2015 (first published April 4th 2013)
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4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  324 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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7++++ stars for wrecking me!

All the FEELS! This book got ALL THE FEELS!

When i started this series, i was like; i know where this is going so let me relax and enjoy the ride. The amazing writing massage is what i live for.


Little did i know, Marshall was there in the corner telling me;


I read the first sentence of this book and my heart broke into tiny little pieces. Gaaaaaaahhhh!!! Nooooooooo! That cover should have been my first warning.


I cried my little peanut heart out! Then i composed myself
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-mm, top-10
Re-read as audiobook March 2-5, 2015

OH. MY. GOD. Thornton broke me with this one. It's shocking, compelling, emotional and heart wrenching .

I still don't know how to review this book without spoilers so instead I'll just talk about the audiobooks.

The audiobooks for this series are fantastic! Admittedly, it took me till book 2 to really appreciate Brad Langer, the narrater, as Nick. Not because he's not good. On the contrary, he's got the Chicago accent down and the rough voice that a smoker lik


Murder Book is the 5th book in the Boystown series and the second full length novel in it. And it is probably the best one.


In one of the interviews, that Marshall Thornton had given before starting the 5th book, he said:
"I’m planning something very shocking for the first page."

I can assure you, he did it!!! AND HOW!!!
He grabbed you from the very first page and didn't let you go.

I don't want to babble a lot, it is not the first book in the series, and if you ke
R * A Reader Obsessed *
4.5 Stars

Well crap. That sucked.

Let me clarify.

This has never been a joyous, swoony series where the guy gets his guy and they live happily ever after, and no obstacle is too big, no problem too hard to solve.

This is a story about a man who has not had it easy. He's been unlucky in love, he's lost his dream job. He's been disowned, ostracized, attacked, persecuted and hated simply because of who he's attracted to. Despite these challenges, they pale in comparison as Nick suddenly finds himself
Written July 3, 2014

5 Stars - the best part so far - gripping, touching and totally a Nick Nowak big shot.

Book #5

I just loved this one... A big warm applause from me!


Once again, we meet Nick and his by now hard hunting, of a cruel "gay-boys" murderer, has become a personal vendetta. ~ Both so horribly awful and sad but also so heartbreaking nice and touching. Romantic after-wisdom and love always makes me jump on the bandwagon.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I'll n
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, thriller

It is impossible to write about this book without spoilers, so I'll just keep it short.

The first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence of Murder Book is like a slap in the face. I had to read it more than once to let it sink!
You think you know how it will happen and you get a beginning like this.

Nick Nowak doesn't deal well with pain. He avoids it any way he can. He works through it and if you've read the previous books, he has other ways of avoiding things he'd rather not think abo

Murder Book, book 5 in Marshall Thornton’s Boystown series, is impossible for me to review and discuss without spoilers. So I have to hang up the Caution Spoilers Ahead sign. Spoilers may be in the text and behind tags.

****Spoiler Alert****Spoilers Ahead****

Marshall Thornton had me at book one. His direct, honest, gritty style and look at the world around him is captivating. And Nick! PI Nick Nowak has become one of my all-time favorite characters. A voice you have to listen to and follow. Gruf
Rosa, really
I wasn't going to write a review for this book. (I was feeling lazy, I suppose, or waiting for some kind of review genius to hit me.)

But then I saw a review on Amazon that stated this book is not as compelling as the previous installments.

What the what?!?

Leaving aside that everyone has a right to their opinion and I am completely against trolls slamming other reviewers for any reviews of their favorite authors that contain any hint of criticism -- that said -- and with all due respect -- I stro
My favorite so far. In addition to being sexy private-eye stories, the Nick Nowak books are historical in a time and place with which I have very a personal connection. Book 5 really hit home for me, I am talking late summer of 1982 and Tylenol. The first death occurred in my home town, a suburb of Chicago and as soon as the Tylenol was implicated, cops were driving up and down the streets in their cruisers shouting in their bullhorns "DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL". It was primitive but effective. Keep i ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Marshall Thornton's "Boystown" series, evolving from the first triad of novellas in book 1 into the latest, single-volume number 5, chillingly titled "Murder Book." It's the best of a strong series; compelling and moving and appalling by turns.

For any aficionado of gritty, urban murder mysteries, Thornton's Nick Nowak is an appealing character. He's a gay Sam Spade, a tough guy who's into guys. His unromantic no-bullshit Polish cop roots serve him well in the context of not-quit
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grabbed me from the first word and hauled me through to the end in a huge ball of emotion. Why this was so when it is just a common tale of loss is witness to the book itself.

Thornton’s spare, no frills, writing appeals to me. He makes me feel without forcing or urging me to and this I appreciate. I also like how Thornton writes women. Unlike some writers who write women terribly, Thornton writes women as they are, just like he writes his men; no embellishments or exclamations. Examples of thi
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historicals, mystery, gay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First thing I'd like to point out, THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE! Those expecting a love story, may be left disappointed and unfulfilled.

However, even for a romance-junkie like me, it became an all-time favorite series. I don't find myself in such a whirlwind of emotions very often, but here they kept creeping up on me and catching me unaware.
“Emotions came in waves. But not like the lake, where the waves could be gentle and healing. No, these were shock waves. Electric and jolting.”

Marshall Thornton
What a ride!

All the warnings I received before starting this were on the spot. (view spoiler)
Kaje Harper
Leading into this book, the twin threats of the disease newly identified as AIDS, and violence against gay men, including the Bughouse Slasher case that Harker can't let go of, formed a slowly intensifying, predictable arc. Until now. Author Thornton breaks the pattern as this book opens, and the reader and Nick are both left struggling to regain their balance. This is a dark installment, as Nick learns just what Harker actually means to him, and as loss and change hits harder throughout the gay ...more
One problem about this series is that when you finish one book, you are on so much haste to continue the next that you don't want to spend time reviewing! But here, it's impossible to keep quiet about it!

This book made me so DEPRESSED, and ANGRY, and ANGRY and DEPRESSED! I feel I have lost something!

(view spoiler)

If I will find it in me to write something that will be able to transfer what I feel, I will, but I doubt that I will!
Can I just, in a more personal note say:
Thank you mr Thornton for an amazing ride (and -please write faster?)
And, thank you Lena! Can I catch a flight and give you a hug?
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series has unexpectedly become a favorite; however, its favor did not evolve until I read/listened (I purchased the first three books in audio and read the remaining two)to the entire series. The first book was incredibly entertaining, full of steamy encounters and barely suggesting an emotional depth to the PI protagonist, Nick Nowak. Honestly, it was borderline porn-erotic fiction. So, that got my attention on a more base level of interest and kept me reading. I was surprised as the chara ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flames anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all at its own unfathomable whim. You can't shake it; you have no choice but to burn."

I was trying so hard not to cry towards the end of the story--- when I read the above quote I lost my battle--this is such a great s
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr Thornton can do no wrong - I love his books and particularly this series - of course now I want more. The more I read (in general) I realise that I love a flawed MC, maybe it's because I, myself am so flawed, I don't know, it seems far more realistic. Right off to find something to tide me over until the next book comes out!
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, kindle-unlimited
Started out by breaking my heart.

Very, very disconcerting.

I of course immediately started book 6 and again can't review properly.

It's like an addiction. A Nick addiction.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of Marshall's best in my humble opinion. A roller coaster ride of emotions and angst. The cemetery scene had me on the edge of my seat.
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Marshall Thornton- I want my heart back dammit. Cause it's been crushed. Fucking crushed
Connie Cat
This book didn't go the way I expected it to go. And it broke my heart right from the very first line of the very first page. But it was a compelling story and I couldn't stop listening. Moving on to Book 6. The last of the books out for now. Hoping for a sliver of peace for Nick.

Ije the Devourer of Books
Hard hitting from the very first word.

Gripping, emotional, twists and turns, great characters that feel real and so much more.

Definitely the best in the series so far. A fabulous reading experience.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it

4.5 Stars
Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆
I was not expecting that first line. At least not like that, and not so SOON.

I started the book, expecting a fun Nick book. Instead I got stabbed in the gut, from the beginning.

I already loved the Nick Nowak series, and considered it a favorite...but this skyrocketed my opinion. The Nick series has always had substance, but this here was the meat and potatoes to the meal. They have never been pretty little romances. The series are about a Nicks life as a whole, not just a love interest. (view sp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It really did take me a long time to warm to this series but I'm glad I've stuck it out. This Book was so sad. All I can add to this is for the younger generations is if you want to learn about how the AIDS epidemic started READ these books. I was lucky enough to be 13-16 through the worst of it but I still watched a lot of people die. The way these books are written is exactly how it happened but the worst is yet to come if he goes there.
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Two-time Lambda Award-winning author, Marshall Thornton is best known for the Boystown and Pinx Video mystery series. Other novels include the erotic comedy The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood, Desert Run and Full Release. Marshall has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the ...more

Other books in the series

Boystown (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Three Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #1)
  • Three More Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #2)
  • Two Nick Nowak Novellas (Boystown #3)
  • A Time For Secrets (Boystown #4)
  • From the Ashes (Boystown #6)
  • Bloodlines (Boystown #7)
  • The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8)
  • Lucky Days (Boystown, #9)
  • Gifts Given (Boystown, #10)
  • Heart's Desire (Boystown #11)
“Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flame anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all at its own unfathomable whim. You can't shake it; you have no choice but to burn.” 7 likes
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