Title: To the Ends of the Earth
Author: Michael Gouda
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 28th 2019
Genre(s): Suspense, Humor
Page Count: 60 pages
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
What do you do when when your lover is out to kill you?
After university, Johnny dated a mysterious and influential man who never disclosed his profession. Now, following a quarrel, Johnny suffers a series of attacks—attempts on his life that his lover has the power and influence to perpetrate.
With nowhere else to turn, he must rely on his childhood best friend. But can Johnny trust him? With time running out and the world against him, Johnny must solve the mystery himself if he wants to survive.
If you are looking for a down and dirty Summer read – pass this book by. If, however, you are wisely looking for great fun in a gay mystery, you’ve reached the place.
To the Ends of the Earth is a delightful, cynical vehicle for our amusement. Author Michael Gouda makes it seem so easy. The writing is very tongue in cheek. (Please carefully note, I said “in cheek”.) From the beginning, the narrator’s voice is self-deprecating, and his views of life are pleasantly jaundiced. Our hero, Johnny, is a young man seeking self-improvement in his love life and his employment, but never seems obsessive about either. His “true’ love turns out to be a one-night stand, but with whom he intends to slow down, becoming friends, perhaps leading to being lovers. Nonetheless, being a healthy gay man, they rather quickly end up together in the shower, with Johnny experiencing fantastical multiple orgasms. Soon he gets an offer to co-habit. Is that instant love? Well, as Johnny says to himself: “Hang on, Gloria. . . . Hang on for a bit.”
Mystery blooms! Johnny’s lover is employed in some secretive work. He periodically takes to the road, without explicated purpose. And as a tale out of Blue Beard, Johnny is haunted by the strict limits on how much into his life lover’s life Johnny is permitted entry.
And then, plot noir, the reader is swept into physical threats and eerie dangers to Johnny.
While Johnny takes off on the run, Mr Gouda’s tongue is still immovably fixed in that cheek. Here is Johnny, hiding out in a miserable flop house, sharing a hallway toilet. “I pissed in my sink, though I had to shit in the communal lavatory, often decorated with the defecations of others.”