by S. Watts Taylor
Book Thoughts Publishing

"As bomb squads combed trains, subways, and buses in search of incendiary devices, forensic experts analyzed the scant belonging of the dead man, whose body they subjected to intense inspection and scrutiny."

Tom Clark has secured a good spot in life, working as a White House reporter and following the President around, waiting for scoops. When the apparent suicide of a childhood friend occurs in a very public Washington D.C. spot, Tom's life suddenly grinds to a halt, and he finds himself dispatched from his cushy Air Force One seat and thrown into a web of conspiracies bigger than he had ever anticipated. As the journalist noses deeper into his friend's death, he uncovers a scandal on a national scale that someone will do anything to keep quiet. Putting an end to it hinges on the correspondence left behind by a tormented homosexual man, entrusted to none other than Tom.

Although the story begins on a grand scale, it reaches back from its vague political shadows and focuses instead on Tom, his recently deceased old friend, and a number of friends, relatives, and government officials sucked in by association. What emerges is a story of homosexual rights and relations, discrimination and harassment, and the corruption of powerful people with powerful secrets. Both homosexual and heterosexual male characters are sometimes heavily stereotyped as either jacked-up jocks or sexual deviants, and some are purposefully unlikeable. Still, there are some poignant moments as we learn of the circumstances that led to a tragic death. Touching heavily on the gay community and the issues they face, the story moves along at a contemplative pace as Tom learns more about the deep-rooted misery that a traumatic incident can hold over someone. This is an intriguing look into a world dominated by politics, sex, and the terrible fate of anyone who dares cross the two.

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