science fiction, new weird, old weird, very weird - and everything else
not always save for work. never nice.
It's always good to be back with private eye Nick Nowak and his found family in 80s Chicago, but part #10 of the Boystown series is kind of a mixed back. It feels a bit like a rushed job, with some continuity issues: In book #9, Nick was told what exactly his boyfriend Joseph is up to on Fridays, their cheat-night. Here, it's written like that never happened and Nick still doesn't know. Also, some secondary characters are described two times in two subsequent chapters using the same words, like the paragraph was copy&pasted and then forgotten about.
Nick is working two jobs here, background-checking his friend and society-lady Sugar Pilson's fiancé, while also trying to uncover a scheme by a fishy accountant and equally fishy private eye for his former employer, Peterson-Palmer. I wasn't too invested in the white-collar crime, even when it turned more lethal in the end. I mean, Nick spends a great deal of this story going over accounts and checking funds, and that's not exactly riveting literature. The part featuring Sugar's beau felt a bit half-baked, but I guess we will see more of this story in coming sequels.
The book is at its strongest when it concentrates on Nick's private life and his little circle of family and friends. I loved his Christmas morning with Joseph and Ross and I wish we had seen more of them, because both felt a bit deprived of personality here. But in this book the stage belongs to Mrs. Harker, Nick's ex-mother-in-law (his deceased boyfriend's mother), who has some tough stuff to deal with, and becomes a more fully fledged character for it. Nick also goes through some further development and it's quite imptessive to see how different he is from the man we met in part #1.
I just really wish he would stop running into fists and knifes and guns.