Jack’s boyfriend has broken up with him and he’s alone…again. He finds himself depressed and thinking about having someone to spend his life with. This leads to Jack thinking about his first love, Bing, the boy he always thought was his true love, and he decides to use his summer vacation (he’s a teacher) to return to the town where he grew up. It’s there he hopes he can find Bing and figure out why they lost touch. Maybe he’ll get some closure…or maybe he’ll find more than he bargained for.
Oh, but this was a fun one! I’ve never read anything by Rob Rosen, but when I picked up Midlife Crisis, I read some reviews of his previous work. After that, I knew I was in for a treat. I’m all about mysteries, especially mysteries that don’t take themselves too seriously. To me, that’s a great combination and makes for a great reading experience. I got this and more, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to read this one.
I want to start with Jack. I liked him right off the bat. He made me laugh with his sort of self depreciating, and maybe a little snarky, narrative. Speaking of narrative, Midlife Crisis is written in the first person, and that really works with a book like this. Jack is beginning to feel his age, and even though he denies he’s going through, well, a midlife crisis, he does feel the need to find Bing. He has a bit of a fantasy that he and Bing will reunite and life happily ever after. I find that to be rather sweet.
Along with Jack, there are quite a few characters who are important to the story. His parents are adorable and charming. His mother, in particular, is hilarious! There’s also Jack’s BFF, Monroe, who’s sarcastic, but supportive. Next is Dave, who bullied Jack in high school because he was gay. Now, Dave is a nurse at the hospital in their hometown…and he’s pretty gay himself. Finally, there’s Bing. He’s difficult to find and seems very surprised to see Jack. Along with all of these people, there are a lot of characters who fill small, but important roles in the story. All of these people, when combined, create a rich and compelling atmosphere. Also, as I mentioned before, there is so much humor! These characters are as quirky as any small town residents, but this is like a perfect storm. The author manages to make the side characters fleshed out without letting them take over the book. The balance is perfect.
Now, I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, or give too many details of the mystery itself. I believe it would be best if it’s read to get the full effect. I will tell you Midlife Crisis is a well written story where all the puzzle pieces fit together seamlessly. Why did Bing disappear? Where’s his father? What really happened to his mother? Everything is neat and tidy and very compelling. I read this from beginning to end in one sitting. I like to rate mystery stories by how long it takes for me to have that A-HA moment when everything comes together. Lots of times, I tend to figure out the whodunit well before the actual reveal, but Rosen did such an excellent job with this book, it took me right up to that reveal to fully grasp what was happening. I’m always full on impressed when I have an experience like this.
I highly recommend Midlife Crisis. It has something for everybody…great characters, a well done mystery, some very sexy scenes, laughs to spare, and an adorable, but lazy, dog called Chompers. Trust me when I say treat yourself and pick this one up.