Title: Night Drop (A Pinx Video Mystery #1)
Author: Marshall Thornton
Publisher: Kenmore Books
Release Date: September 15th 2017
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery, Historical
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
It’s 1992 and Los Angeles is burning. Noah Valentine, the owner of Pinx Video in Silver Lake, notices the fires have taken their toll on fellow shopkeeper Guy Peterson’s camera shop. After the riots end, he decides to stop by Guy’s to pick up his overdue videos, only to find Guy’s family dividing up his belongings. He died in the camera store fire—or did he? Noah and his charmingly meddlesome downstairs neighbors begin to suspect something else might have happened to Guy Peterson. Something truly sinister.
The first in a new series from Lambda Award-winner Marshall Thornton, Night Drop strikes a lighter tone than the Boystown Mysteries, while bringing Silver Lake of the early 1990s to life.
What a crazy genre’s cocktail!
Mystery, drama, comedy and fun.
Marshall Thornton’s new novel is without any doubt a historical fiction, set in LA in the early 90s. Here I have to confess (to my shame) I mistaken it first for a apocalyptic fantasy (not my preferable genre, BTW).
1) I knew NOTHING about the riot in Los Angeles in 1992 .
2) I googled and couldn’t believe what I read: a situation close to civil war, an outbreak of violence and bloodshed that cost 63 people their lives!
Aside from the atmosphere during the riot, there is a great feeling of the 90s. Absolutely phenomenal how the author with his writing and myriad elaborate details manages to transfer his readers in this era.
Night Drop OF COURSE is a murder mystery, with a dead body (-ies). I don’t mean those who lost their lives in the riot BECAUSE of it. But just imagine, that someone in this chaos might have seen a good possibility to suppress uncomfortable truth and even to get rid of some inconvenient person(s). Fortunately our main character, Noah Valentine, as an owner of a video rental shop, has watched enough mystery movies in his life to be able to become a skillful sleuth when the circumstances required it.
At the late on the page 10 you’ll want this novel to be a movie. The focal point of life in this story is an apartment of Noah’s neighbors downstairs, Marc and Louis, a gay couple who takes care of Noah. In their small apartment they have lunch, dinners and long after-dinner conversation, here their friends come together, events and cases are discussed and opinions are shared. An enjoyable microcosm in Silver Lake, a wonderful world to escape to (with a glass of chardonnay). I pretty much enjoyed the language play and the interactions of different characters.
But what kind of movie it should become? A delicious soap opera? (it is supposed to become a series, after all). Or a sitcom? Yes, a sitcom, because there are so many situations that are hilarious. The borders between SERIOUS and lighthearted are blurred. Yes, it is funny, campy, very easy breeze-y and cruisy reading. The characters are wonderful, the dialogues are extremely good and it has THIS WOW-effect at the end. When you think you know everything, lean back and are prepared to get your quiet sweet ending, the author dropped that bombshell.
Don’t worry, it is not a cliffhanger, it is just a decent change of the genre. Again.
Now I would like to know how Marshall Thornton is going to resolve the situation he put himself into…
One more reason to looking forward to the next book!