Richard Derus's Reviews > First You Fall

First You Fall by Scott  Sherman
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Jan 03, 2012

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Read in April, 2009

Rating: 3.5* of five

I received, unpacked, cataloged, and finished 'First You Fall' by Scott Sherman in one afternoon. Flawed, a first novel for sure, but very funny in many places, poignant in others, and a worthwhile read. Gay rent-boy sleuth has never resolved his feelings for closet-case first love; they meet again when rent-boy's good friend allegedly commits suicide, and first love is one of the cops investigating; hijinks ensue.

For a book featuring a rent-boy, there is surprisingly little...ummm, well, a fast consultation shows graphic sex in the book. The author talks about sex a lot, but that's sorta what you expect in a book with this main character. That SHOULD win over a mainstream audience. There was only marginally less sex in the 'Brandstetter' mysteries by Joseph Hansen, and they were hugely popular.

The mystery aspects of the book weren't its strongest selling points. I was sure I knew who the murderer was, and I was right; I had the murderer's motive all wrong, though, and that made a nice surprise. The satisfying resolution to the red herrings strongly appealed to my orderly side. The romantic complications were believable, and while I have never been a rent-boy (never pretty enough), I have been down the road that Kevin, our main character, traveled, though without the happy ending. Life so needs a better script, don't y'all agree?

Recommended for mystery fans, straight or gay, who like to root for the underdog to win; also to fans of the reluctant sleuth genre. The truly homophobic should not even try this book. The mildly, "ewww ick" homophobic might see something worthwhile here.

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