Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) CrabbyPatty’s Review)


Title: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1)
Author: T.S. Hunter
Publisher: Red Dog Press
Release Date: April 18, 2019
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery
Page Count: 85
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Blurb:

SOME RELATIONSHIPS ARE JUST MURDER.
It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

But when Chris is brutally murdered, the police just write his death off as another rent boy, fallen foul of a bad hook up. Joe realises that his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.


“Tainted Love” gives us the flavor of 1980’s fashion and music in this murder / mystery set in 1985 in the Soho area of London. Joe visits his childhood friend Chris in the big city, initially awed by Chris’ exciting life of establishing his fashion line, partying all night long with lovely boys, and meeting celebrities. But when Chris is brutally murdered, Joe realizes that perhaps Chris’ life was just a glamorous facade.

At only 85 pages, the author does a nice job with the setting, and gives us an array of interesting characters and suspects. Could it be drag queen Patty, Chris’ business partner, his landlord, the shady mobster-type, and what about the coded information Joe finds in Chris’ diary? We get an interesting series of leads, clues and red herrings that move us along the way as Joe and Russell learn Chris’ secrets and uncover his killer.

The plot had a few lapses here and there, but the murder/mystery held my interest and I was surprised to learn the killer’s identity. There’s no romance here, other than two sexual relationships briefly mentioned. The pace of the story was good, although the ending seemed a bit quick. This is apparently the first book in a series and I will definitely read more in the series. 4 stars.

Soho Noir Series


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Tainted Love provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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