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In the fifth book of the award-winning Boystown mystery series, it's fall 1982 and Chicago is gripped by panic after five people die from poisoned Tylenol capsules. Amid the chaos, the Bughouse Slasher takes his eighth victim, this time striking close to private investigator Nick Nowak. With the Chicago Police Department stretched to its limit, Nick takes matters into hisIn the fifth book of the award-winning Boystown mystery series, it's fall 1982 and Chicago is gripped by panic after five people die from poisoned Tylenol capsules. Amid the chaos, the Bughouse Slasher takes his eighth victim, this time striking close to private investigator Nick Nowak. With the Chicago Police Department stretched to its limit, Nick takes matters into his own hands. But what will he do with the Bughouse Slasher once he finds him?...

Title : Murder Book
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781608208616
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 184 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Murder Book Reviews

  • Otila
    2019-05-21 02:15

    Re-read as audiobook March 2-5, 2015 OH. MY. GOD. Thornton broke me with this one. It's shocking, compelling, emotional and heart wrenching .I still don't know how to review this book without spoilers so instead I'll just talk about the audiobooks.The audiobooks for this series are fantastic! Admittedly, it took me till book 2 to really appreciate Brad Langer, the narrater, as Nick. Not because he's not good. On the contrary, he's got the Chicago accent down and the rough voice that a smoker like Nick would have. It's just that I had a certain image in my head of Nick, that I guess included his voice, after reading the 6 books that it was tough for Langer to replace it. Now, though, he is Nick Nowak. If you haven't read this series...This may not be for everybody. It's not a traditional romance. Nick is broken but so very fascinating. Just give him a shot. I hope you love as much as I do. Readthis review for some better convincing.

  • Lena♥Ribka
    2019-05-09 03:20

    OUTSTANDING.Murder Book is the 5th book in the Boystown series and the second full length novel in it. And it is probably the best one. I.AM.OVER.THE.MOON.In one of the interviews, that Marshall Thornton had given before starting the 5th book, he said: "I’m planning something very shocking for the first page."I can assure you, he did it!!! AND HOW!!!He grabbed you from the very first page and didn't let you go. I don't want to babble a lot, it is not the first book in the series, and if you keep on reading after the first book, you can understand what I mean! You'll understand my emotions. I know I made a mistake when I recommended the first book of the series almost to everybody, I was just too euphoric. I know, I should have warned you, I should have better explained that it is not a typical candy contemporary romance with a syrup sweet HEA, I should have said that it could possibly push your boundaries, that the thematic could be considered for some people provocative...I didn't do it and I am so sorry! Because...please....don't talk about this series like it is nothing but a collection of uncontrolled senseless sex excesses on crack. IT IS NOT.Marshall Thornton is a great storyteller and he would probably shock you more than once along the story but he will also surprise you and reward you with the real great characters, amazing writing and excellent mystery. Please give the series a chance, please believe me, it's worth it. I want you to LOVE it...Please, please, please...LOVE it.

  • R * A Reader Obsessed *
    2019-05-17 22:20

    4.5 StarsWell crap. That sucked.Let me clarify. This has never been a joyous, swoony series where the guy gets his guy and they live happily ever after, and no obstacle is too big, no problem too hard to solve. This is a story about a man who has not had it easy. He's been unlucky in love, he's lost his dream job. He's been disowned, ostracized, attacked, persecuted and hated simply because of who he's attracted to. Despite these challenges, they pale in comparison as Nick suddenly finds himself in the most epic shit situation. He has never been so devastatingly low, and he's forced into solving the toughest, most important case of his life.So the stakes are high. There's no question that justice must be delivered. Losing is not an option.Don't worry. Nick prevails as he always does, but a celebration is not in the cards. There is no sugarcoating here because life isn't pretty, it certainly isn't fair. In the past he has soldiered on, he has persevered and he has squeezed out some good wins. But this win is hollow and empty, and I fear because this kind of loss can never be regained, Nick won't want to come back. Honestly, I can't say I blame him.Hence, this was a gawd awful punch to the guts and the reason why it sucked. In the best, worst possible way.

  • Ingela
    2019-04-28 00:23

    Written July 3, 20145 Stars - the best part so far - gripping, touching and totally a Nick Nowak big shot. Book #5I just loved this one... A big warm applause from me!***********************************************************Once again, we meet Nick and his by now hard hunting, of a cruel "gay-boys" murderer, has become a personal vendetta. ~ Both so horribly awful and sad but also so heartbreaking nice and touching. Romantic after-wisdom and love always makes me jump on the bandwagon.I'll not nag a lot about how good this fifth part was but just note that I urgently need to read book the sixth part, Boystown 6: From The Ashes: A Nick Nowak Mystery. ...Sadly, hasn't #6 yet been released as an audio book so I'll have to read the story all by myself again. I'll miss Brad Langer's excellent narrating of these books. His voice for our hero Nick, and his attention to the context and the narrative style, is magical well made. ***********************************************************A highly recommended series for romance readers which also loves crime stories. The Boystown series is about gay men in the 1980:s Chicago. There is this cool, tough, horny gay MC —the unforgetable— private investigator Nick Nowak. I LIKE - big applause and tribute-roar!!*************************The Boystown series by Marshall Thornton:#1 (3.8 stars), #2 (4 stars), #3 (4.5 stars) and #4 (4.7 stars)+

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2019-05-03 21:07

    4.5It is impossible to write about this book without spoilers, so I'll just keep it short.The first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence of Murder Book is like a slap in the face. I had to read it more than once to let it sink! You think you know how it will happen and you get a beginning like this. Nick Nowak doesn't deal well with pain. He avoids it any way he can. He works through it and if you've read the previous books, he has other ways of avoiding things he'd rather not think about. You can see from the book description that Murder Book is about the Bughouse Slasher. It made me angry. Why exactly, I am not sure. Nick, most likely.Don't expect this to be a story with a clean-cut ending. That is one of the most important things to remember here. That kind of ending wouldn't work at all. That and the fact that Nick Nowak is an uncommon character you come to like if you stick to the series. And, to be honest, it would be a real shame if you don't.For some reason the tropes, weird resolutions and author's decisions I would hate otherwise work well in Boystown books and that is worth a star of its own. You don't have to like everything in a book to appreciate it.

  • Laura
    2019-05-07 01:06

    Murder Book, book 5 in Marshall Thornton’s Boystown series, is impossible for me to review and discuss without spoilers. So I have to hang up the Caution Spoilers Ahead sign. Spoilers may be in the text and behind tags. ****Spoiler Alert****Spoilers Ahead****Marshall Thornton had me at book one. His direct, honest, gritty style and look at the world around him is captivating. And Nick! PI Nick Nowak has become one of my all-time favorite characters. A voice you have to listen to and follow. Gruff and hilarious! The man can go from snide to sexy in a *snap*. Both Thornton and Nick have impressed and charmed me more and more, deeper and deeper with each book and visit to Chicago. All that said though. Even though I already knew and experienced Thornton’s brilliant way with words, tone, and pace. He still managed to bring me to my knees with a stunning, brutal, and heartbreaking move. I was not prepared. I mean I was, but not like that. Not like that! It was bloody brilliant!This is a huge spoiler. Do NOT click if you plan to read this series. (view spoiler)[ We knew thought Detective Bert Harker would eventually die of AIDS. I was mentally preparing myself for the loss and at times trying not to think about it. Yes, I was using Nick’s “let’s not think about it right now” technique. But then –BOOM! To have Harker killed by the very man he was hunting was a shock to the system. I felt sucker punched! I was completely looking the other way when Thornton threw the punch! An amazing and ballsy move that made Bert’s death feel so real to me. So quick and unfair. And all that was on page one! Page one, people!!! The loss sends Nick spinning from anger to numb and back again. Spinning down a road of questions and leads and revenge. Can Nick find the killer before he strikes again? Before he gets Nick? Suspense, grief, and anger all mesh together on the page. It’s brutal and heart wrenching to see and feel. My biggest surprise—well after the initial shock of page one—was the murder book. Harker recorded and pieced together a book of leads, lists, and theories for tracking down the Bughouse Slasher. A killer that has haunted Harker on the job and off. Whenever Nick flipped through the precise and carefully constructed pages, it felt as if Bert was right there next to him. With him. Bert was alive in these pages—in his work and in the hearts of the people that love him.(hide spoiler)]And Nick being Nick—once again turns to sex and booze to forget. To get lost in. He doesn’t want to think about what happened and what he did or didn’t do. So he goes numb. Sleepless nights in the dark. Drinking. Forgetting. Fucking.”I wanted to stick my dick into his mouth, but more than that I wanted to be consumed, I wanted to be absorbed.”This was a powerful punch to the Boystown world. One I will never forget.Two of my favorite lines:“I drifted a little. Sleeping some; if you can sleep within a dream.”And“Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flame anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all its own unfathomable whim. You can’t shake it; you have no choice but to burn.”

  • Rosa, really
    2019-04-30 00:32

    I wasn't going to write a review for this book. (I was feeling lazy, I suppose, or waiting for some kind of review genius to hit me.) But then I saw a review on Amazon that stated this book is not as compelling as the previous installments.What the what?!?Leaving aside that everyone has a right to their opinion and I am completely against trolls slamming other reviewers for any reviews of their favorite authors that contain any hint of criticism -- that said -- and with all due respect -- I strongly disagree with that reviewer. (I really want to say that that reviewer must be FUCKING HIGH, but I'm trying to be nice. And failing horribly.)Just when Nick Nowak, our dark hero, our ironic PI, is perhaps starting trust again, at least in one individual, Mr. Thornton rips the GD rug out from under us. From the very first page of Murder Book (and DO NOT look at the first page unless you enjoy MAJOR SPOILERS) he changes the course of Nick's life in a way that hasn't happened since before the series began. It is shocking. It is brutal. It is heartbreaking. It is necessary. And it is brilliant.How does Thornton do it? How does he express so much emotion with such spare language? I want to rip the pages apart word by word and try and glue them back together, just to see if I could do it. (Answer: I can't. It's one of kind.)Clearly I am biased. I'm not male, I'm not gay, I've never lived in Chicago or any city of that size. I barely remember the early 80s. I hate mustaches. And the fact that Nick owns a three piece tan corduroy suit makes me shiver in horror (luckily it doesn't make an appearance in this book). But I relate to Nick's pain, his humor, his isolation, his need to solve mysteries so perhaps he can solve the mysteries in his own life.You are seriously missing out if you skip this series. If you don't get it, I don't get you.(Ok, that's kind of a strong statement. Normally I'm a nice, understanding person. Kinda. I respect other people opinons. Generally. But, seriously, Goodreads readers, you need to read this series.)And, yes, it's because I said so.Other books in this series:Little Boy Dead: A Boystown PrequelBoystown: Three Nick Nowak MysteriesBoystown 2: Three More Nick Nowak MysteriesBoystown 3: Two Nick Nowak NovellasBoystown 4: A Time For SecretsBoystown 5: Murder BookBoystown 6: From the Ashes

  • KatieMc
    2019-05-11 03:24

    My favorite so far. In addition to being sexy private-eye stories, the Nick Nowak books are historical in a time and place with which I have very a personal connection. Book 5 really hit home for me, I am talking late summer of 1982 and Tylenol. The first death occurred in my home town, a suburb of Chicago and as soon as the Tylenol was implicated, cops were driving up and down the streets in their cruisers shouting in their bullhorns "DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL". It was primitive but effective. Keep in mind, many people didn't even have cable TV or answering machines at the time, and Al Gore was still busy inventing the internet. So while the Bughouse slasher may have been an invented character, Mr. Thornton artfully mixes his this plot with real events and places. The Tylenol crisis of 1892 was shocking (view spoiler)[and an interesting case study in corporate crisis management (hide spoiler)] and so is Boystown 5. The Tylenol crisis came on fast and was resolved relatively quickly, a microcosm of the AIDS crisis that is playing out in real-time during the stories. As readers, we all know the serious heath risks that Nick and friends are facing, but they don't know this, yet. Hopefully very soon, they will hear the metaphorical cops shouting into their bullhorns "DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX".BTW, I loved how Nick managed to (view spoiler)[solve Bert's hidden murder book quest (hide spoiler)] after drinking a bottle of Scotch for lunch. That's why he is all kinds of win for me.

  • Sofia
    2019-05-27 04:21

    Grabbed me from the first word and hauled me through to the end in a huge ball of emotion. Why this was so when it is just a common tale of loss is witness to the book itself. Thornton’s spare, no frills, writing appeals to me. He makes me feel without forcing or urging me to and this I appreciate. I also like how Thornton writes women. Unlike some writers who write women terribly, Thornton writes women as they are, just like he writes his men; no embellishments or exclamations. Examples of this being Gloria, Sugar, Carolyn and Mrs Harker.All else I need to say about the book is spoilerish so (view spoiler)[As soon as I read the first paragraph, I was stunned. I was expecting Harker to die, but not like this, this was a shock. So I went into mourning. I had too, I liked Harker, he was important in this story, not just a stop gap.In Nick we have the ultimate, cynical, lonely hero. Nick, who has worked so hard to cut himself from the pain of loss, like he had to go through after the bashing, has now to go through it again after the slashing. His anger, grief and pain are tangible and relatable. He has lost his anchor and even sex his usual cure-all is not working. The hurt and loss is too great. His inability to save Harker, further strengthens his belief that he has no control in his life. Despite all this he can’t give up trying to save others, as if through this saving, he can save himself. I wonder what Nick will become like after this.(hide spoiler)]I would recommend this to anyone who does not need to be told to feel to feel.

  • Jenre
    2019-05-08 05:30

    Poor Nick Nowak, he's really put through the wringer in this story. Marshall Thornton looks like such a nice, genial chap from his author photo, you would never guess that he had a liking for cruelty towards his characters, but in the case of the fifth book in this consistently gripping and marvellous mystery series, I did feel tremendously sorry for Nick for pretty much the whole book.The book begins with the death of Harker, Nick's lover. They've had an uneasy relationship, mainly because of Nick's wariness in allowing himself to become attached to anyone, but gradually Harker had softened Nick and they were in love. Nick knew that Harker would eventually die from AIDs and was prepared to help Harker through the next few difficult years. Now Harker has been murdered by the Bughouse Slasher - a case that Harker had been working on before he retired from the force on disability and continued to work on privately - and Nick is left in complete shock. Nick isn't someone who does emotion well and so, after a couple of weeks of privately falling apart, he spends the rest of the book being horrid to everyone whilst following up on the clues that Harker left in his murder book on the Bughouse Slasher.This wasn't an easy book to read. That doesn't mean that it was bad, it wasn't, quite the opposite in fact. It was compelling and wholly absorbing with a mystery that kept me guessing along with a side plot where Nick investigates a case of fraud. As a study in one man slowly coming to pieces it was acute and painfully realistic and that was the most difficult part to read. The thing is, despite all his flaws, I like Nick and always have done. He's rude and objectionable pretty much most of the time and his people skills are rubbish, but under that there's always been the sense of a man who's been badly let down and hurt by those he cares about the most, and so armours himself against further hurt by pushing people away. Harker's death is such a blow to him that it heightens all the defense mechanisms and he becomes almost impossible. He pushes away anyone who tries to comfort him. More than that, he's cruel to people in a desperate attempt to regain some control over his grief, and yet he's constantly bewildered by the kindness of others. Nick's also desperately hurt by Harker's actions which led to his death and wanders through the book in a sort of haze, latching onto the murder investigation as a way of suppressing the hurt and grief, in the hope that catching the killer would give some relief. Just occasionally we get flashes of the decent man Nick is underneath the bravado, especially in his dealings with Mrs Harker, who he really doesn't like but knows he has to protect for Harker's sake, or the way he rushes to the hospital when he thinks a friend is ill. My heart went out to Nick time and time again, and I marvelled at the delicacy and insight that the author brings to the character of Nick and his situation. This is truly great writing.As with all the books in this series the characterisation works alongside the dogged and dreary investigative work. Nick moves about Chicago, catching taxis, public transport or just walking as he chases down each lead moving slowly closer to the killer. There's an element of cat and mouse to this mystery too as Nick discovers more about the Slasher and the Slasher keeps one step ahead of him every time. The eighties setting remains authentic and just occasionally I found myself thinking how much more difficult everything is without access to mobile phones or the internet, and yet Nick still gets the job done. Another aspect to the series is seeing that time period through the eyes of a gay man, as AIDs becomes more well known but there's still unprotected sex with strangers because no-one is yet aware of the risks. There are fewer sex scenes in this book because Nick is grieving and frankly isn't in the mood most of the time, and the sex is often perfunctory, a way of releasing tension, showing yet more insight into Nick's state of mind. I didn't personally find any of the sex scenes, apart from one very poignant scene, sexy and I think that was the point. Nick can't even lose himself in one-off encounters and when he does he hates himself for being weak.This is a gay mystery story, not a romance, and so don't expect to see Nick happy by the end. The last scene was very downbeat and we leave Nick at a very low period, hiding from his friends and those who care about him, wallowing in self disgust, despite having solved the mystery. It was a difficult way for me as a reader to leave Nick and I really hope that the poor guy gets a break in the next book.So, as I said, this wasn't an easy but to read. However, it was brilliantly written with a depth of characterisation that I strongly admired. This series has me completely hooked and I can't wait to read the next one.

  • Irina
    2019-05-23 21:34

    First thing I'd like to point out, THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE! Those expecting a love story, may be left disappointed and unfulfilled. However, even for a romance-junkie like me, it became an all-time favorite series. I don't find myself in such a whirlwind of emotions very often, but here they kept creeping up on me and catching me unaware.“Emotions came in waves. But not like the lake, where the waves could be gentle and healing. No, these were shock waves. Electric and jolting.”Marshall Thornton is an exceptional writer. With very precise and effortless observations and descriptions he shows rather than tells the story. It's so easy to get transported into Nick's world and see it through his eyes. A truly amazing experience.“I could have gotten on the El and been home in twenty minutes or so. But I couldn’t stand the idea of being that still, that patient, that close to people. So I walked. I walked by a couple of construction sites, by a row of brick townhouses one after another, by a Bible college that promised all the answers and delivered none. I walked and walked and walked. I couldn’t tell you if it was cold or warm. The sky was gray but downright sunny compared to my mood.”I liked that Nick is portrayed as a real person with all his faults, doubts, mistakes and fears. It's easy to dispise his actions but impossible to hold a grudge for long. The guy is simply irresistible. He knows it and he doesn't hesitate to use it, sometimes hurting people in the process. But that only makes him human.“You’re young, you don’t get it. So let me explain something to you. When a guy lets you suck him off and he doesn’t return the favor, the way I just didn’t return the favor, that means he doesn’t like you all that much.” Sorry, couldn't resist this quote :)I thought it was quite enlightening to read about the problems gay men faced and dealt with at the early 80s. I'd like to believe the world has evolved considerably since then, and can't help but compare.The mystery is very intense and expertly thought out. Some time during the last few chapters, I kept holding my breath and felt my hair raising. The case of the book 5 has been slowly built throughout the series and gained a painfully personal twist to it, so it became an obsession for me to find out as soon as possible who did what. I couldn't read fast enough.Boystown series exceeded my expectations by far. To me, each instalment was better than its predecessor and I was consistently being kept on my toes. I guess, I still am, because I can't wait to start the next book and be a part of Nick's world again.

  • Trix
    2019-05-06 23:07

    What a ride!All the warnings I received before starting this were on the spot. (view spoiler)[I was shocked by the start of the book and the punches kept coming. Harker was not a favourite character of mine and yet I mourned his death. It was a heavy blow to Nick and it was only now that I saw how deeply Nick loved Bert.I seriously did not expect Harker to become the Slasher's next victim. After finally confirming he had AIDS, I figured the illness would progress to its end. Harker struggling to hold on, bed ridden in some hospital with Nick hovering by. Instead, I was treated to a harsh slap of reality where Nick comes home to find his lover missing. I was really touched by the frantic search Nick did right after Harker's disappearance, his willingness to contact Connors to ask for help, the numb isolation that surrounded him after learning what happened to Harker. The rage, the sadness, the desperation, the hollow feelings. It was raw and honest and heart wrenching. Nick's emotions were so vividly depicted, I felt I was there with him.And then the second part of the book kept me on the edge of my seat. It was such a dramatic read. I kept thinking the Slasher could be anyone, jump from any street corner or dark alley. I feared Nick would do something reckless or foolish, anything to escape the pain. The only relief was knowing there are other novels beyond this one, assuring me Nick would survive whatever was thrown at him. But really, the last dozen pages I was practically reading with a hand over my eyes. And the finale, Nick hating himself for taking a life, feeling cheated by Harker out of months of being with him... it begs to read on and see how Nick fares later on.Favourite quote: Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flame anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all at its own unfathomable whim. You can’t shake it; you have no choice but to burn. (hide spoiler)]

  • Ulysses Dietz
    2019-05-17 04:26

    I've read all of Marshall Thornton's "Boystown" series, evolving from the first triad of novellas in book 1 into the latest, single-volume number 5, chillingly titled "Murder Book." It's the best of a strong series; compelling and moving and appalling by turns.For any aficionado of gritty, urban murder mysteries, Thornton's Nick Nowak is an appealing character. He's a gay Sam Spade, a tough guy who's into guys. His unromantic no-bullshit Polish cop roots serve him well in the context of not-quite-glamorous-yet Chicago of the early 1980s. Nick's ultimate appeal is the side most people don't see: the side that hurts and loves and suffers.For a gay man of my generation, there is a particular ugly frisson of recognition in the personal narrative that unfolds over the course of the series and comes to a kind of conclusion in the present book. The unpleasant dual narratives that have intertwined in the last three volumes are the appearance of a serial killer known as the Bughouse Slasher; and the even more frightening appearance of a new disease that seems to be affecting mostly gay men - including Nowak's lover, Bert Harker. Those of us who survived this era will ache in sympathy with Nick's position.Thornton's writing is old school: crisp, descriptive, but unornamented. It perfectly represents Nowak's increasingly bleak view of the world, putting the reader in the place of Nowak's increasingly anxious circle of friends. We want to reach out to him, to try to make things better - but in his bitter anger, he just pushes us away.This book is not the end of Nick Nowak. Marshall is already at work on book 6. Let's hope it's as good as this one - if maybe a little happier.

  • agirlwithoutwings
    2019-05-10 21:15

    One problem about this series is that when you finish one book, you are on so much haste to continue the next that you don't want to spend time reviewing! But here, it's impossible to keep quiet about it! This book made me so DEPRESSED, and ANGRY, and ANGRY and DEPRESSED! I feel I have lost something!(view spoiler)[Well, I had a tiny feeling that Harker might get killed, instead of dying by his illness, but what I read here? And telling it like that?! And in the first page?! It nearly killed me :( With Harker gone, who was the only character I'd liked up to here, (I can't still believe what is happening, and what has happened!)(hide spoiler)]I now really could FEEL Nick! Well, he's a kind of character it's hard to get completely, but here, I could feel all he went through! and it was PAINFUL! I like Nick's character development. On the other hand, the mystery seemed a bit unresolved here, I can't still fully get why Harker did what he did!The writing is stunning and the narration is so awfully good it seems like it's become part of your life!

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-05-26 02:34

    Leading into this book, the twin threats of the disease newly identified as AIDS, and violence against gay men, including the Bughouse Slasher case that Harker can't let go of, formed a slowly intensifying, predictable arc. Until now. Author Thornton breaks the pattern as this book opens, and the reader and Nick are both left struggling to regain their balance. This is a dark installment, as Nick learns just what Harker actually means to him, and as loss and change hits harder throughout the gay community.Nick is such a stoic man that he buries what he feels in brief laconic phrases, and in actions that speak louder to the reader than any of his words. He uses sex for distraction, as he always has, and yet finds it doesn't work the way it once did. He learns things about Harker that are at once a betrayal of sorts and yet deepen his understanding. And in the end, Nick has to make choices when his intellect, his conscience and his heart can't agree. A masterful, if bleak, tale of one more big step in the personal journey of Nick Nowak, PI, amid the gay men and street-level realities of 1980's Chicago.

  • Tricia
    2019-04-26 01:24

    This series has unexpectedly become a favorite; however, its favor did not evolve until I read/listened (I purchased the first three books in audio and read the remaining two)to the entire series. The first book was incredibly entertaining, full of steamy encounters and barely suggesting an emotional depth to the PI protagonist, Nick Nowak. Honestly, it was borderline porn-erotic fiction. So, that got my attention on a more base level of interest and kept me reading. I was surprised as the character of Nick develops through an ongoing series of short mysteries. Not only does Nick continue his adventures, but characters introduced throughout the series return and intertwine in the successive mysteries. By book three, I was hooked. The stories are very well written; the mood is dark and urban. Nick begins as a callous, shallow, hedonistic man and with amazing subtlety develops into a compassionate and deeply feeling character, connected to each of the new supporting characters encountered throughout the stories. The mysteries are enthralling, but what goes on in the world around Nick makes the series an almost historical depiction of the early AIDS epidemic and the gay experience in Chicago. One mystery takes characters back to 1959, sharing the heart wrenching intolerance of the mid-western city. Be warned, it is not a story of convenient happy endings. The fifth and most recent story is tragically heart breaking, the first line of the first chapter had me near tears. Very explicit in an erotic sense, dark and moody, full of interesting characters, the series was enthralling. For anyone who lived through the 1980's and lost friends to AIDS when so little was known, the story will undoubtedly stir very real heart ache.I must also add, that the audio books are incredibly well done.The sixth book is due sometime in April, 2014.

  • Joy
    2019-05-21 02:08

    "Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flames anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all at its own unfathomable whim. You can't shake it; you have no choice but to burn."I was trying so hard not to cry towards the end of the story--- when I read the above quote I lost my battle--this is such a great series--well written--highly recommended

  • Wusswoo
    2019-05-21 02:31

    Mr Thornton can do no wrong - I love his books and particularly this series - of course now I want more. The more I read (in general) I realise that I love a flawed MC, maybe it's because I, myself am so flawed, I don't know, it seems far more realistic. Right off to find something to tide me over until the next book comes out!

  • Jennifer☠Pher☠
    2019-05-18 02:20

    Started out by breaking my heart. Very, very disconcerting.I of course immediately started book 6 and again can't review properly.It's like an addiction. A Nick addiction.

  • Dan
    2019-05-26 05:06

    One of Marshall's best in my humble opinion. A roller coaster ride of emotions and angst. The cemetery scene had me on the edge of my seat.

  • Connie Cat
    2019-04-27 01:23

    This book didn't go the way I expected it to go. And it broke my heart right from the very first line of the very first page. But it was a compelling story and I couldn't stop listening. Moving on to Book 6. The last of the books out for now. Hoping for a sliver of peace for Nick.

  • Alona
    2019-05-07 23:20

    5++++If I will find it in me to write something that will be able to transfer what I feel, I will, but I doubt that I will!Can I just, in a more personal note say:Thank you mr Thornton for an amazing ride (and -please write faster?)And, thank you Lena! Can I catch a flight and give you a hug?

  • Ije the Devourer of Books
    2019-05-03 04:21

    Hard hitting from the very first word. Gripping, emotional, twists and turns, great characters that feel real and so much more. Definitely the best in the series so far. A fabulous reading experience.

  • Christina
    2019-05-05 03:29

    4.5 Stars

  • Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆
    2019-04-30 05:17

    I was not expecting that first line. At least not like that, and not so SOON.I started the book, expecting a fun Nick book. Instead I got stabbed in the gut, from the beginning.I already loved the Nick Nowak series, and considered it a favorite...but this skyrocketed my opinion. The Nick series has always had substance, but this here was the meat and potatoes to the meal. They have never been pretty little romances. The series are about a Nicks life as a whole, not just a love interest. (view spoiler)[Now, I liked Harker, but I never love loved him. I rooted for him, because I though he was good for Nick. I was heartbroken because Nick was heartbroken.(hide spoiler)] I think the series is stronger because of this book.Nick coped pretty well while he had a purpose. He hurt, but he kept going.Now that his goal has been met, IDK what he'll do. I can't see him going back to his regular scheduled program. I think things are going to get a lot darker for Nick, before they get better.I can't wait to continue on to the next book. This was an emotional one, and I expect there will be more in the future. This book, just bumped the series from low on my all time favorites, to pretty high up there. As much as I try to spread the books out over a little time, I don't think I'll be able to. I need to know how Nick is doing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Carey
    2019-04-26 01:10

    It's kind of interesting that this book is actually IMO the most romantic one so far. I enjoy these books a lot, even though Nick is everything I despise in a person. It's ironic that this book had the least amount of sex, but we had to wait for poor Bert to die before Nick became somewhat faithful. Really enjoyed the mystery, kind of felt like it could be the last in the series, or start a whole new adventure. The first paragraph shocked the crap outta me!

  • Paul
    2019-05-05 04:13

    It really did take me a long time to warm to this series but I'm glad I've stuck it out. This Book was so sad. All I can add to this is for the younger generations is if you want to learn about how the AIDS epidemic started READ these books. I was lucky enough to be 13-16 through the worst of it but I still watched a lot of people die. The way these books are written is exactly how it happened but the worst is yet to come if he goes there.

  • CrabbyPatty
    2019-05-01 21:21

    "Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good." After the absolute devastation of Murder Book, I ache for Nick and his unbearable sorrow.

  • Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
    2019-05-15 01:11

    Marshall Thornton- I want my heart back dammit. Cause it's been crushed. Fucking crushed

  • Maame
    2019-05-19 23:20

    What can l say, Mr. Thorton, as usual did a wonderful job. Frankly to me l think this is the best one yet. Book 4 was a bit hard for me to get through because Nick's lover was sick and he hardly paid any attention to him. It took me a while to read that book 4 because of that aspect but he sure made it up in this book by how he grieved for him and showed more emotion.I bought it the first day it came out but the minute l read the first paragraph of chapter one l was afraid to go on because l figured he was probably going to go around and fuck everything in sight while not caring. I was pleasantly surprise.The mystery as usual was excellent. I enjoyed it very much and hope this is not the last one.