I am personally a great fan of Marshall Thornton’s Pinx Video Mysteries series and, with the release of book four, I am once again reminded of how much I enjoy this eclectic cast of characters. Before I begin, if you have not read this series you should go back and start with book one, Night Drop, as each one builds on the last and none can really be described as a standalone. In this latest book, Rewind, we pick up with Noah pretty much right after his last brush with death during a pretty shocking start to the novel. Waking up, covered in blood and holding the knife, poor Noah finds his date dead and all suspicion pointing at him. Let’s put aside the fact that Noah has been struggling with being HIV positive and avoiding dating altogether, but what are the chances of finally breaking the drought and having your lover end up dead? Only in Noah’s world can this kind of thing happen.
Noah met C.B. in a local support group—in fact, C.B. was the group leader. As this story unwinds, we will come to discover that Noah was not C.B.’s first conquest within the group—in fact the guy dated most of them and was still going out with one of the guys when he started dating Noah. As usual, Noah’s neighbors and friends, Marc and Louis, as well as Leon, immediately set to both exonerate Noah and help track down the murderer. Javier is back—for those who may not remember, he is the detective who has been attracted to Noah for a while, but since Noah has always rebuffed any overtures Javier has made because he doesn’t want to reveal he is HIV+, the two have had this incredibly slow burning attraction throughout all three past novels.
Despite the fact that Javier is still in the closet, he had started dating. We find out at the beginning of this book that he has broken up with his boyfriend and immediately I hoped that this might be the moment we finally have some sort of movement on the attraction front. Unfortunately, that was not to be, for you see Noah must reveal a secret to Javier here and, while I wish I could say that Javier took it well, that would be a lie. Still, by novel’s end there is a glimmer of hope that Javier is ready to apologize to Noah for the way he reacts. I love how author Marshall Thornton never closes that door fully—I cling to the hope that soon we will finally see these two hook up and reveal how much they actually like each other.
Because Thornton is so very good at crafting his mysteries, I was in the dark as to who the murderer was to the very end. As usual, Marc and Louis bring their rather zany brand of humor; this time they are dieting and replacing carbs with wine and it makes for some really fun moments that keep the novel from feeling too dark or morose. These two, along with their friend Leon, really offer up the snappiest of dialogue and keep Noah from not only becoming a hermit due to his desire to keep his status private, but also prevent him from winding up dead. I love how these four men interact with each other and the friendship they have; for me it’s some of the finer moments in these novels.
Rewind was a great installment in this series. Once again, a murder is solved, Noah is forced to let even more friends into the secret of his health status, and the ending is both a little ominous and hopeful. Noah receives some news that has him worried and Javier leaves a message that may very well open a door if Noah so chooses to go through it. All in all, this fourth book was just as exciting as the others—something that keeps me returning to this series each time.