on May 19, 2004
UPRISING by Randy Boyd is that rare creature, a gay political thriller. This kind of story is most often found in the work of Michael Crichton and John Gresham, not on the gay fiction shelves. I can actually only think of one other book like this one, Felice Picano's totally engrossing THE LURE. Both books deal with undercover espionage within gay political groups and both entertain their readers as well, if not better, than their straight counter parts.
UPRISING features Othello, one of the biggest music stars on the planet, and a closeted homosexual. After finding out that he is HIV positive, Othello has a burning need to help jump start a gay revolution. To this end he enlists two other high profile closet cases, one a media mogul (think Ted Turner) the other, Americas greatest basketball player (think Michael Jordan). Together these three become the "Wise men" anonymously funding gay charity work and covertly funding gay counter-bashing across the country. Into the picture steps Raider Kincaid, an undercover FBI agent and the walking epitome of everything Othello has ever wanted in a boyfriend. He is a former lacrosse star and blonde Adonis out to bust this gay conspiracy. He is a man's man, but is he as straight as he thinks he is?
It is my sincere wish that more novels like this were available in the gay market. Randy Boyd has truly created an exciting piece of fiction here, full of breath taking close calls and heart pounding bravado. At the same time we the reader care about the characters in this novel. All are three dimensional and beautifully thought out. Some might argue that the entire premise is too far fetched to be believed, but isn't that what a political thriller is all about? Does anyone really think THE FIRM was viable? NO...but that didn't stop it from selling a gazillion copies. If the story is riveting, and this one certainly is, we are able to suspend our disbelief and dive right in to the churning narrative pool. I could not stop eagerly swimming through this book until I reached the highly dramatic conclusion, and what more could work from this genre ask for?