”Need you.” Two words that years before had meant something coming from the lips of someone Charlie believed had loved him. Those two little words effectively do their part to tempt Charlie to Whistle Pass, Illinois, where, rather than finding the man he’d fallen in love with in the trenches of World War II, he discovers an ambitious politician (and married man) in his place, and also learns, in a painful way, that politics in this city are intimately acquainted with corruption.
Danger, extortion, betrayal, and homophobia welcome Charlie and his incriminating photograph to Whistle Pass, a picture that is allegedly being used to blackmail Mayor Roger Black with a threat that could derail that man’s ambitious pursuit of the office of state representative if the photo is ever leaked to the press. In short, Charlie is Roger’s dirty little secret, and someone is hell bent for election to make that secret, and the photograph, go away—permanently. The only problem with that plan, however, is that Charlie Harris is nobody’s fool and won’t go down without a fight.
Involving hotel manager Gabe Kasper in the danger that has suddenly become Charlie’s life was not a part of the plan, but recognizing a kindred and sympathetic spirit in Gabe, that’s exactly what Charlie unintentionally does when he hands the photo over to the man for safe keeping. Falling in love with each other was also not part of the plan, but that’s exactly what happens as the two men become embroiled in what amounts to a nasty domestic situation with further reaching implications, revealed as the twists and turns keep wending their way through this story.
Whistle Pass has a lot to offer: mystery, intrigue, suspense, some homegrown justice, and an unlikely—some may say near impossible—romance between two men in 1955. Charlie’s particular affliction and the sense that he’d found safety and no small measure of comfort in Gabe was a lovely contrast to the hope they might overcome the odds of building a successful relationship in a time when their attraction to each other was equated with mental illness. It lends a bittersweet feel to the novel, while the setting and KevaD’s writing gives the book a noir-ish sense that complemented the plot very well. The well written characters, both major and minor, only added to my need to finish this book in near record time.
This book languished in my TBR pile for what seems like forever. The best compliment I can pay to it is that I could kick myself for waiting so long to bump it to the top of the heap.
Buy Whistle Pass HERE.