Well... wow, for starters. This certainly has a different feel to the majority of a lot of M/M romance, even to the author's previous stories that I've read.
It's gritty, well plotted and reads like a film, maybe like a British crime film where the mood is gray and the setting is on the bleak side, where you wonder if all the characters will be left for dead at the end of it.
Not that it has much in the way of violence, but it has an atmosphere of threat, of things about to go wrong with nothing left to salvage.
A film that could have Daniel Craig in the lead, not as James Bond, but as the silent middleman observer type who falls for his boss's wife and finds himself up a creek without a paddle.
I didn't actually picture the actor in my mind while reading, but it's in the way Freeman the protagonist/narrator is a man of few words, with a face that gives little away, a bit of an antihero, possibly not quite always walking on the legal side of things, a very independent character, alone out of choice - maybe bacause of his past but probably partly because he's just built that way. That is until he crosses paths with Kit, a young rent boy of sorts stubbornly surviving in the seedy shades of the city, who is like a spark of vibrant energy shooting it's way down to light up and shake the deep slumbering underwater currents of Freeman's emotions. It really does read like a good script with all the main character parts laid out and nicely fleshed out. I read it at one sitting, with only a few coffee making brakes, seeing the scenes unfold before my eyes.
I found it a very visual read even though it wasn't overly descriptive in setting and feature. It was satisfying in the way that it made me actively engaged in the progress. I wasn't quite biting my nails wondering what was coming next, but then, I don't bite by nails.
It's not really a fast paced action thriller in that way, it's slower and more observant, it's not a mystery with red herrings littering the pages either, but it does have things to reveal and does so with a nice flow to things.
I won't go into the plot, and I'm sure there will be plenty of really good reviews about this coming up. I'd recommned it to anyone, really. If it's only fluffy romance you read then it might not find it's way on your reading list, but it's not all sombre and bleakness so you might give it try anyway and suprise yourself. It's not just about Freeman and Kit even if they are at the fore front of it, their relationship has a really nice curve to it within the story and not the cheap instant brew kind but rather a full bodied java where the taste lingers still hours after consumption. And before I sound like I'm trying to sell beverages here,
full five stars recommended reading, a really worthwhile addition to the top shelf of my M/M library.