How to Save a Life - Sloan Parker 3 1/2 - 4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

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Kevin is a reporter going undercover at a gay club, he’s trying to discover what connections the club has to the disappearance of several young gay men, easy, but he’s never admitted his sexuality even to himself. Meeting ex-cop Walter has Kevin admitting what he really wants but is Walter covering for his friend, the owner of the club, or does he truly want to find the missing men? Walter is called in when a young man goes missing from inside his friends club, when he meets Kevin he knows the younger man isn’t there for men, just a glance told him Kevin is in the closet. Discovering Kevin has information about other disappearances has Walter offering to investigate together, but Kevin and Walter have more to worry about when the kidnapper sets his sights on Kevin.

This is a great suspense, mystery story. Kevin has hidden his sexuality for years, denying he is gay because of the guilt he feels over the loss of his brother. Walter has his own ghosts from his past, losing his lover and being involved in a robbery gone bad has left him wary of having anyone get too close. The Haven is an exclusive club for gay men, young men have disappeared after working or visiting there, both Kevin and Walter want to get to the bottom of the mystery and decide to work together. Falling in love wasn’t something either man planned and they both have to come to terms with their relationship, Kevin finally admits he is gay and Walter wonders if a relationship with a younger man is wise.

This story is well written in places and the mystery and suspense is good, some scenes you have to suspend reality to get them to work especially the fight scenes, but there is a lot in this story that works. The whole mystery of the disappearing men is slightly sinister, I found it fascinating the way it was woven into the storyline and that it was connected to the sabotage of The Haven. The kidnapper is completely off his rocker and the brief flashes of his perspective let you know just how sick and twisted he is. I really liked the pace of Kevin and Walter’s relationship, they take it slow as they investigate and Kevin gets used to admitting to himself that he is gay.

Walter has a huge hang up about Kevin being younger than him, there are nineteen years difference, and it really hits Walter hard. Kevin has no qualms about being with an older man and confronts Walter before nearly giving up on him. Both characters have their personal demons to work through, but it doesn’t interfere with the hot sex between them, it starts off slow but the build-up is well worth it. I think that this story does well, but it trips up a bit in places, like tying in a corrupt police officer, who hates Walter, with the kidnapper was pushing it a little too much, it really wasn’t needed, it just made it more complicated.

I will recommend this to those who love mystery and suspense, ex-cops and reporters, May/December romances, coming out of the closet, hot sex, falling in love and a happy ending.