To my utter shock, when Elisa’s Reviews updated her Rainbow Awards finalists page, one of my three entries had stuck around. Not my book about a trans man struggling to fit into the gay club scene, not my angsty story about a vegan boy and his boyfriend’s desire to over-compensate, but the story about a couple who are forced to bury a body–and rekindle their relationship in the process.
Huh. I didn’t see that coming. It’s always been my thought that this book is pretty dark. Even if it ends in a “typical” romance style (happy ending, so no Greek tragedy here)–there are still a lot of difficult issues to navigate. It’s a dense story, nearly all of the action happening over a period of one night as they actually bury the body and clean up the crime scene. It’s methodical in that way–a kind of “CSI in reverse” as Carl, the protagonist, says. In addition to homophobia and sexual assault which spring up around the issue of the murder, the book also tackles racism and ableism in the everyday world. Carl and John are not the average, everyday couple that I see in romance novels. And this isn’t exactly your run of the mill Mystery/Thriller story, which is the category it’s in right now, either. It’s an odd, twisted, and sometimes ugly book–which I hope managed to lift people’s spirits by the end of it.
And maybe it has. I don’t know–but it managed to stick around, and for that I’m really grateful. I don’t anticipate it winning; I didn’t expect it to get this far. So really, I’m already ahead. 😉
Here is the blurb for this if you’re curious:
Carl Bodewell and John Fitzgerald broke up nearly a month ago, much to Carl’s relief. When he gets a call from his ex, he dreams of telling John off. He’d love to never have to deal with the man again But John has been attacked, and he killed the attacker in self-defense. Now he needs help disposing of the body.
As the two begin to clean up and hide the evidence, Carl thinks back to the beginning of their relationship, their trip to Maine together, and their eventual break-up. Carl has always believed he ended the relationship because John was too clingy. But after seeing the crime scene, hearing the story behind it, and remembering his own past, Carl begins to doubt all the things he used to take for granted. By morning, Carl wonders if seeing other people was really such a good idea, especially if John is really the only man he can depend on.
And of course, you can buy it here.