One of the many perks about writing for Bilerico is that we often get to review great books and movies. So while I was off getting married in San Francisco (it's a long flight between Florida and California), I had the chance to read Blind Fall, the newest novel from Christopher Rice.
In Rice's fourth novel, he takes the tough issues of being gay in the military, gender roles, masculinity, duty, and, of course, murder. His novel revolves around John Houck, an Iraqi war veteran who got distracted in the line of duty and was saved by a friend, Bowers.
When Houck goes to visit his friend after returning home, he is shocked to discover that Bowers has been murdered. Even more shocking is when he discovers that the man he suspects of the murder, Alex Martin, is not the killer but Bowers' long-time partner. The two mismatched men are soon bound together in a quest for justice and revenge.
I've always had a soft spot for Rice's books. I was a huge fan of his mother (vampric goth writer, Anne Rice) so I started reading his work from the very beginning. I have enjoyed watching his writing style grow and mature with each book.
This book was especially interesting to me because the play on masculinity and gender. It was interesting to me how Rice's characters straddled the line that many in the gay community seem to struggle with- both admiring rugged masculinity and virility (some to the point of fetishism) to fearing it when out of their comfort zone.
Many parts of the book were strikingly honest- like the straight protagonist's struggle with finding out his good friend was gay and struggling with it or the general discomfort of many of the gay characters with a rough straight man in their presence. This tightly wound novel will keep you reading to find out where this journey leaves all the characters involved.
I don't want to give away too much of the book, since Rice's books are always rich with character development and fun twists. I will say it was a great read and I highly recommend it!