Blog Tour: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter #bookreview #TaintedLove @TSHunter5 @RedDogTweets #SohoNoir #LGBTBooks

SOME RELATIONSHIPS ARE JUST MURDER 
It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in. But when Chris is brutally murdered, the police just write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. Joe realises that his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why. Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer? A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.

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Happy Saturday lovelies! I can’t believe it’s the weekend again, is it me or is time speeding up?! Maybe I have no sense of time because of all these glorious books I’ve been reading, such as this one! Massive thanks to Red Dog Press for sending me a paperback copy, and including the cutest bookmark!

To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from Tainted Love. Both the title and the cover are highly suggestive and I wondered whether the content would be equally suggestive or perhaps very explicit, to my mind it could go either way. As it turns out, it’s actually neither and Tainted Love is really rather cosy across the board: typically for cosy murder mysteries, we just know that Chris has been murdered. Yes, there’s some blood, but there’s little to none explicit violence throughout the story. Likewise, there is little to none explicit sexual content. So any and all tender souls may rest assured and pick up this novella too 😉

The story is set in the 80s and although I don’t remember very much of those years, I felt very nostalgic! With a few well-chosen words regarding clothes and by mentioning songs like Tainted Love, Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Like A Virgin, the 80s vibe is 100% there. Hunter does not waste words in any way and so in far fewer pages than the average novel, you do get a well fleshed out story, with well-rounded three-dimensional characters, many of whom are gay. Yes, this novella is set firmly in the gay scene and said scene in the 80s was not the best place to be. While there are still some present-day Neanderthals who think that gay-bashing is the way to go, the situation was way worse a few decades ago and some of the characters find that out and/or found that out for themselves. No words are wasted on those situations either, these are things that are mentioned in passing but that open your eyes and make you stop and think. In terms of the murder mystery, there are many questions for the longest time: was Chris murdered by a bigot, was it a scorned lover, was it random, was it premeditated? Since the police don’t think Chris is worth their time, it’s up to Chris’ roommate / former cop Russell and Chris’ best friend Joe to find the culprit. When Russell suddenly realises he knows whodunnit, I was on the edge of my seat, exclaiming together with Joe: who?!

A fun novella that I read in one setting. I can’t wait for the other Soho Noir novellas, both to have the complete rainbow on my book shelf and to read some more noirish cosy crime!

Recommended!

As from 18 April, Tainted Love is available directly from Red Dog Press here! You can even order your copy with a personalised message!! Or you can get it from Amazon here.

OR! You can enter a RaffleCopter Prize Giveaway and win a signed copy of Tainted Love, a fabulous “Go Away I’m Reading” tote bag, a rainbow button badge and chocolate, courtesy of the lovely folks at Red Dog Press! Click here!

Don’t believe a word I’ve said? Not a problem! I’m pretty sure these fabulous bloggers will have you convinced in no time!

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