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Risk Return (Return on Investment Book 2)
Aleksandr Voinov
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Pride and Prejudice
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Patrizia Collard

subtle character development

Death Claims - Joseph Hansen

The Dave Brandstetter mysteries read like super authentic period pieces. That's of course because they are in fact aged-contemporary stories, giving a beautifully preserved rendition of the era, the setting and the social attitudes towards homosexuals. It's like a literary museum.

I love Hansen's portrayal of Southern California in the early seventies. Not just Los Angeles, but all the remote surrounding areas, many of which were undeveloped. I'm not sure if Arena Blanca is a real place, I've never heard of it, but I sure can imagine it.

I found this to be just the right mix of personal development and crime procedural. The author flits between these two story lines. The personal story is a continuation from the first book where we find Dave and his new lover are at a crossroads. Both bring baggage and they must confront what to do about it. A romance this is not, but still you see a side of Dave that has hope for the future. The story does give a firsthand account of what it to be gay a few years after the enlightening 'summer of love'. Attitudes towards sex were relaxing, but still being gay was still quite stigmatized. Actually the term homosexual is used quite a bit, and it has such a clinical sound to it today.

I love the character Madge.

A surprising number of typos, especially for an older book.