Title: No Good Men (The Caro Mysteries #1)
Author: Thea McAlistair
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 16, 2019
Genre(s): Historical Suspense / Mystery
Page Count: 225
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In 1934, almost everyone struggles to pay the rent, and Alex Dawson is no exception. To support his writing habit, he moonlights with his mentor Donnie as a bodyguard for the mayor. It’s dull work, until the night a handsome, golden-eyed stranger catches his eye–and both his boss and his mentor are killed when his back is turned.
Jobless and emotionally adrift, Alex vows to find the murderer before the corrupt police can pin the blame on him. But he soon discovers he’s in over his head. The golden-eyed stranger turns out to be a mob boss’s cousin, and a suspicious stack of money in Donnie’s dresser leads Alex to discover that his mentor and the mayor were involved in something more crooked than fundraising dinners and campaign speeches. As the death count rises amid corruption, mob politics, and anarchist plots, Alex realizes that the murders aren’t political or even business. This is the work of a spree killer, and Alex and his new boyfriend are the only ones who can stop them.
I’m always up for a good M/M historical and the blurb for “No Good Men” caught my eye because of its Depression era setting, right after the end of Prohibition and before the start of WWII. We get an introduction into the world of seedy nightclubs, dirty politics, and mob murders. The plot delves into a series of murders and the amateur detective efforts of Alex Dawson, unemployed former bodyguard of the murdered mayor and a freelance writer.
The author does a good job of giving several secondary characters some in-depth development, enough that we start to get a sense of the era and the dynamics of the time. However, the two main characters are very lightly fleshed-out, in particular Alex’s shadowy lover Severo Argenti (Sev) who gets little in the way of broadening his background and personality. Also, with the sex off-page throughout, it’s difficult to get a sense of the dynamics of their relationship.