5 Stars, Poppy Z. Brite, Three Rivers Press

Prime: Rickey & G-man #3 by Poppy Z. Brite

Oh, temptation. Life is full of it, sweet and evil temptation.

Rickey and G-man have given in to a few enticements over the course of their years together—booze, drugs, money; the kind of money that will get Rickey exactly where he wants to be in spite of the fact that he has to wager a little bit of himself as collateral just to get there. But the one thing they’ve never been, in fourteen years together, is unfaithful to each other. Is that really so remarkable? I suppose it depends on how much you believe in the idea of falling in love with your best friend at the age of sixteen and then never wanting to be with anyone else. Funny thing about temptation, though, is that it’s persistent. The moment your defenses are at their lowest, that’s the time it’s sure to show up like the proverbial bad penny, and that penny’s name just so happens to be Cooper Stark.

Cooper was once the darling of the New York restaurant scene: celebrity chef, cookbook author, handsome and wealthy, and he almost, almost tempted a young and star-struck Rickey into a one night stand when he was a student at the Culinary Institute of America. That single indiscretion might’ve put a permanent end to his relationship with G-man, but as Shakespeare once said, “All’s well that ends well,” and Rickey’s big old heart won out over his horny little head.

Drugs and ego were Cooper Stark’s downfall and though he’s still a brilliant chef, he’s now working in a struggling restaurant in Dallas, a city that wants a side of beef with its beef, and it just doesn’t seem to appreciate the cuisine in which Cooper specializes. The owner of the restaurant, one Frank Firestone, a man who’s more than a little crazy and has some sketchy connections to the District Attorney of New Orleans, offers Rickey ten-thousand dollars for a week in Dallas to overhaul the menu and turn the restaurant into a profitable venture. Ten grand is a whole lot of temptation for a couple of guys who want to buy out their silent partner at Liquor, so Rickey takes the job and earns his ten Gs because he apparently has the gift of gimmick. And yeah, guess what, that attraction between him and Cooper is still there, and this time around, Cooper’s got an agenda of his own.

Paranoia and scheming apparently is a way of life in New Orleans politics, (or politics in general, come to think of it) and there’s a rather elaborate plot by the DA, Placide Treat, to take Lenny Duveteaux down, which starts with a rather craptastic review of Rickey and G-man’s restaurant. If Lenny goes down, though, chances are that Rickey and G-man and Liquor will go right down with him, so before you can say, “I’ll have fries with that,” (don’t do it. Rickey would kill you.) there’s guilt and betrayal and conspiracy and murder and an explosion and a dead bastard son. And then things get really weird.

Julie Andrews can have her raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. I’ll just take Rickey and G-man. They’re a couple of my favorite things, like the sizzle to my steak, like the comfort food of my literary soul.

Prime is by far may favorite book in this series. At least, so far. Not only was it kinda funny (Rickey has a bad butt rash in this one. Don’t ask.), but it was also a taut and tense read. The friction between Rickey and G-man was pitch-perfect. These guys are in a real relationship filled with real issues and they work through these issues the best way they know how. In the end, there’s no question they’re going to be okay, and that’s really okay with me.

Prime can be purchased at all major etailers as well as via the publisher, Three Rivers Press/Random House.


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