Chris Quinton offers up an incredibly well-crafted short story that I would desperately love to see become a full-length novel in her latest release, The Fall Guy. Focusing on the era when the Pinkerton boys were still in full swing and aiding the New York police department as detectives for hire, we follow one of their finest as he tries to unravel the possible kidnapping of a maid indentured to the wife of an influential and shady city magnate. When Agent John Brady finally tracks down the thief who both robbed the couple and made off with their maid, he discovers that there’s a lot more to the story than he had formerly been told. Now John must fight to make sure that the accused remain alive in order to expose the corruption that had led to the maid running for her life. It doesn’t help that the man she chose to help her was a known thief who seems to have more than a passing interest in John.
I really enjoyed this little gem. While it was decidedly short, clocking in under 50 pages, Quinton manages to create a fully fleshed out character when it comes to John. Not only did I get his back story, but also much of his way of analyzing both a suspect and potential lovers. The short was such that I felt I had just experienced a “day in the life” moment through the eyes of the narrator—in this case, John. There was a near instant prickle of awareness that affected both Cesare and John, alerting them that they’d found someone who may well be worth the risk of falling hard and fast over despite the inherent danger of being gay in the 1920s. Their attraction was fully believable and made me so happy to see. Even though I had just met John, I wanted him to find that special guy just because he was such a nice man—one who deserved a someone special. While I might have wished that John didn’t mention the “L” word quite so fast to Cesare, I understood the author needed to establish something long-term as quickly as possible due to the brevity of the story. Other than that little niggle, I felt the overall pacing was good and tight, the story compelling, and the two men both sexy and fun to learn about.
The Fall Guy by Chris Quinton was a neat little action/adventure story that kept my attention quite handily. I really would thoroughly enjoy seeing a full-length novel about John and Cesare in the future. I’m betting they have plenty more story to tell us.