Tuesday, 12 January 2010

M/M Challenge, The Elegant Corpse by A. M. Riley

Detective Roger Corso is open about his sexual orientation. He's less forthcoming about his leather lifestyle. There's only so much his coworkers can take. He thinks he's doing a pretty good job of keeping it covert, but then something happen that changes his mind.

Someone delivers an elegantly clothed corpse to his home. His couch to be precise. And that corpse is carrying a leather flogger. Roger's taking that personally.

Additional distraction comes in the form of the victim's younger brother Sean. He's annoying. Knows something about the murder he's not telling. Wants something from Roger--and is everything Roger ever wanted. But before he can make Sean his, he's going to have to solve the mystery of the elegant corpse.
I liked this. The mystery was intriguing - though I admit I did work out who'd done it before the reveal. (Those hours of watching CSI, Law & Order and Cold Case paid off.) What I especially liked were the characters. We discovered them through the story, through Roger's observations.

Roger is slightly OCD but that's never hammered over our heads. We pick it up through his mannerisms. I love the way he reacts against Sean's chaos.
“Who was that jerk off?” asked Sean. He was sitting in Roger’s chair, one foot propped on his desk.
“Why are you here?” “How did you talk them into letting you in here?” and “Get your feet off my desk.” All warred for prominence in Roger’s brain, so his mouth opened and nothing came out.
I love opposites attract stories.

The other thing I really enjoyed about this story was that Roger had a female partner who was a character in her own right. She wasn't just there as a cipher.
Mary Anne. “I love you dearly, Roger, but I don’t want you having kinky sex in my house, okay?”
This story does have BDSM so if that's not your thing this is probably one you should avoid. But the scenes felt like part of the building of the relationship and there is a clean delineation between the love scenes between Roger and Sean, and the sadism used by the murderer.

If I had any niggles it would be with the editing in one particular part and why I have dropped a grade. Roger is coming to terms with the fact that he's moving on from the death of his previous lover Patrick. (Patrick died five years earlier). A dream sequence is ruined because Patrick's name is switched with that of another character - Peter. I think in such an important part of the story the incorrect name should really have been picked up in the editing.

Sean was also a little hyper in some parts.

I also wish that the story could have been longer. But that's a good thing. :)

(Challenges M/M - 1/20+, 52 books in 52 weeks - 1/52)


Jenre said...

Glad you enjoyed it Lesley. I found this book to be very well written and enjoyable. I can't be watching enough police dramas on TV, cos I didn't guess the murderer ;)

Tracy said...

Oh dear - a corpse on the couch huh? That would put me off sex for a bit. lol

Thanks for the review Lesley. I haven't read this author before so I'll check it out.

Thanks for the card sweetie - that was so nice.

LesleyW said...

Jenre - apart from that one editing slip I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't get who it was straight away and I couldn't tell you why I thought it was this person. But Sean does something and I just thought aha!, that's who it is. No spoilers here. :)

LesleyW said...

Tracy - funny you should say that. It also had that effect on Roger. :) Glad to know the card arrived safely. I wasn't sure if I'd posted it in enough time.