Paul Solomon is a homicide detective in Baltimore. He and his boyfriend of eight years have been broken up for over a month, and he’s finally been asked to leave the house. Paul’s going to crash with his partner and friend, Tim Cullen, but will have to get out of there within a week. As if that’s not enough, he and Tim are assigned a case with two dead high school boys in a car, and there’s next to nothing to go on. Now, Paul has to guide Tim and himself through a complicated case, while dealing with a complicated personal life. Is it all too much?
Ohmygoodness, what a GREAT book! I chose this one because I’m a fan of cop stories and murder mysteries, and I was definitely not disappointed. Now, you’re going to have to bear with me because I don’t want to give anything important away. I’m going to give you a bare bones description of the plot, but this book was so amazing, I want you all to read it for yourselves without spoilers from me.
First and foremost, we have Paul Solomon…excellent cop and hot mess. The story begins with him being thrown out of the house he’d been living in with his ex. It’s complicated as they’ve been broken up for a month, but every time they argue about him moving out, they wind up having angry sex. It’s the real deal this time, and Paul has to figure out a living situation ASAP. Paul has a penchant for drinking too much and it’s really taking its toll. However, as I said, he’s an excellent cop who gets results. He’s also openly gay at work. Occasionally he’s hassled, but most of the other guys are ok with it and have his back. His main supporters are his partner, Tim, and the lieutenant, Cherise Masters (Paul’s former partner).
Paul and Tim are called into Masters’ office and personally handed a sensitive murder case. The scene with the dead boys seems to have a gay undertone, and because Paul’s gay, she seems to think he’d be the best man for the job. Here’s where I tell you that I don’t consider Good Boys a gay romance. I think it’s more a cop story with gay elements. Yes, Paul is gay, and there are gay characters, but there is no couple at the heart of the book. Paul goes on a failed date (the reason will be explained), and he does call up an ex he hasn’t seen in years, but nobody falls in love. I was ok with that. It fit the story. Paul’s not the most lovable person in the world, but there’s potential there. He just has to accept that.
The mystery was excellently written. I was hooked from the moment the dead boys were found in the car. There were lots of people tied to them and tons of twists and turns. I can safely say, never in a million years would I have guessed the whodunit and the reason for said whodunit. It’s obvious to me that the author did a lot of planning before writing this book. Every I is dotted, and every T is crossed. Everything and every character fit together like a puzzle. Every time I thought I would have an “Aha!” moment, I was surprised. This impressed me because I almost always figure out the solution before the big reveal. Speaking of the big reveal, that would be my single knock on Good Boys. I was so caught up in the whole thing, I had high expectations for it, and I felt a little disappointed. It would up just being…over. The killer was exposed, a bit of an explanation was given, and THAT WAS IT! I literally shouted, “WHAT THE WHAT??” Even though this happened, it wasn’t enough for me to take off any points because the book as a whole was just that good.
I’m going to give you a quick rundown of Paul’s personal life. It takes a back seat to the mystery here, but I do believe it’s important and will be explained in a deeper manner in future installments of the series. Paul lived with Andy. They were in love for a little while, but they’d just kind of fell out of it. They would argue, have angry sex, and move on to the next time. Andy finally makes him leave, but he still plays a part in Paul’s life. Next, we have David. Paul meets him in a bar and thinks he’s cute. He finally finds the courage to ask for his number, and they have a great date…until Paul finds out more about David. Finally, there’s Owen. Paul was in a short relationship with him when Owen was 22 years old. They broke up, but Owen gets his number to Paul, and Paul decides to call him. They wind up having sex, and it’s supposed to be a friends with benefits situation, but it seems there will be more than that.
I am so excited to see where all of these relationships will fit within the next installments of the series. There are infinite possibilities! I love Paul. He’s gruff, but I suspect a tender and caring man underneath that exterior. I’m just so pleased. I haven’t read a cop/mystery story this good in a very long time. I highly recommend this one!