Troubling Cases in GOOD BOYS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M police mystery/romance from Keelan Ellis. GOOD BOYS is an interesting look through the eyes of a police detective, on a difficult case, whose life is in rather dramatic transition.

About the book:
Good Boys, The Solomon Series, Book One
Paul Solomon is a homicide detective in Baltimore, a city with a high murder rate and a complicated relationship between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect.

He’s also a gay man who has been out on the job since he first joined. Being out on a tough police force hasn’t always been easy, but living with integrity is important to him.

Paul’s love life becomes as tumultuous as his job with the demise of his relationship of eight years. While dealing with the emotional and physical upheaval in his personal life, a case comes across his desk that hits a little too close to home—the murder of two gay teenagers.

Paul and his partner, Tim Cullen, must solve the double homicide, and Paul has to find a way to move on from his failed relationship.

How about a little taste?

“Good morning,” Andy said, sounding much more like a co-worker than someone who’d been his boyfriend for nearly eight years.

Paul couldn’t detect any anger or even regret about the previous evening, but there was no warmth in his voice at all. He looked at the man sitting on the living room sofa, seeing him more clearly than he had in a while. It was impossible to tell that he was hungover, even though he’d had at least as much to drink as Paul had. He was wearing a beautiful wool-silk blend sweater with a pair of slim, dark jeans that had surely cost more than Paul’s entire suit. No tie today, so he must be working from home. His blond hair, just now starting to be touched with silver, shone in the sun coming in through the window. At forty-four he was in amazing shape and still as gorgeous as the day they’d met. Paul wondered, as he often did, why he couldn’t make himself feel the way he once had about him.

“Hey,” Paul said, “I’ve got a lot of shit to catch up on at work, so I should get going.”

Andy rolled his eyes, winced slightly, and touched his temple. “Don’t worry; I’m not looking for a conversation this morning. I wanted to make sure you know that nothing changes just because we fucked, okay? That was goodbye sex. You still have to move out.”

Anger flared in Paul’s chest. As if he didn’t know that already. Despite his desire to get out the door, he found himself warming to an argument. “Yeah? No shit. Did you think I thought we were getting back together or something? Jesus, we broke up six months ago. If that was an option, I think it would have happened before now. Did you think I was hoping the third time would be a charm?”

“Paul,” he said, softening a little, “I can’t do this right now. I know you’re pissed. I know you don’t want to deal with it, but I can’t move on with you in my house. It’s too confusing.”

My Review:
Detective Paul Solomon is 38, relatively single and newly pressed to leave the house of his former boyfriend, Andy. Paul and Andy had lived together the past six years, but their relationship died years ago. They officially broke up a year ago, but Paul just moved into the guest room of Andy’s house. Now, they scratch each other’s itches, but Andy wants Paul out, so he can finally move on.

Having few friends of his own to lean on, Paul ends up temporarily staying with his partner, Tim, a newly divorced man with partial custody of his three year-old daughter and a hopeless crush on their amazon Lieutenant. Tim and Paul get assigned to a double homicide, two teen boys–who happen to be gay–have been found in a car near a cemetery in a shady area of Baltimore. They were childhood friends, perhaps boyfriends, and no one knows how or why they were killed. I really liked the procedural nature of this read. It’s intriguing, unraveling the secrets of two boys who were essentially good, and ultimately died for their kindness. It was a well-spun tale that had interesting twists. I honestly didn’t see the murderer until the final clue was revealed, which was refreshing.

The story is Paul’s to tell, and he’s a personal mess. Tim advises him to meet a guy, and he does. Not the right guy, it seems, due to some personal problems that plague the sweet and frail David, but he does reconnect with an old flame, Owen. They’d dated way back when and Paul thinks Owen might be a fun fling, when it’s not likely to work out that way–not anymore. This is a no-steam read. All the sexytimes happen off the page, leaving the mystery and crime solving to take center stage. That’s cool. It was interesting to read about a gay cop doing serious cop work, and interacting with his friends, exes, suspects, colleagues and witnesses. He’s a decent man with a complicated life, mostly because he’s not able to commit. Paul’s an intuitive man; he knew he was letting Andy go, far before Andy gave up on him. He’s a professional, yet human enough to let his cases to infect his personal world.

I know that this is the first in a series, and I’d love to see how Paul grows, now that he’s on his own. He seemed to take some big strides in just the week or two that we get in this story. I’m hopeful that he’ll build some strong friendships and even a serious relationship, while also being a cool detective. Also, I wouldn’t mind a little sexytimes. Just sayin’.

Interested? You can find GOOD BOYS on Goodreads, Wayward Ink Press, Amazon (US, UK, AU, and DE) and AllRomance.

About the Author:
Keelan Ellis is an east coast girl for life, a progressive, a lover of music and musicians, a mother of two very challenging girls, a loyal though sometimes thoughtless friend, a slacker, a dreamer and a bad influence. She likes true crime podcasts, great television and expensive craft cocktails made by hipsters in silly vests.

Keelan can be found on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

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