After finding himself still depressingly single on his thirty-second birthday, Jeremy Haniver accepts an invitation to move to San Francisco. Though he falls in love with the Castro and the city, it’s not enough to cure him of his loneliness or the depression that dogs him. He almost throws his life away, but fate intervenes when Jeremy meets Mark Caparelli.
Mark is a former Marine and a detective with the San Francisco PD. Unfortunately; he’s also seeing someone else—at first. Life finally seems to be going Jeremy’s way, until a homicide breaks up his first date with Mark. Jeremy desperately wants to get over his past and start a new life with Mark, but they have to catch the killer first… before he catches them.
Review: This book was not quite what I expected when I opened it up. It turned out to be more. I had expected a romance, a somewhat typical m/m romance. Yes, it does start that way when Jeremy meets Mark and Mark begins to woo Jeremy. Yep, I said woo. But the book soon develops into a driving mystery when a sailor on leave tries to pick up Jeremy at Pier 39 and winds up murdered that same night. Jeremy then becomes driven to find this man’s killer and bring him to justice. He feels that no one should be forgotten, especially since there is no one in San Francisco to mourn his death or remember his life.
One thing I never quite got was why Jeremy tried to throw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. (Not a spoiler – it happens in the first chapter.) He’s unhappy for various reasons. That I get. But there doesn’t seem to be a straw in Jeremy’s case – the one final thing that pushes him over the edge, so to speak. For some reason, that bothered me throughout the book.
However, I found the relationship between Jeremy and Mark to hit more on reality than on fiction. Mark had to chase Jeremy and Jeremy didn’t give in so easily. They dated for quite some time before actually having sex. I found this remarkably un-romance novel-like and I loved it. A true relationship was able to develop and there was no question that they fell in love rather than in lust.
All in all I felt this was a touching story. Jeremy retains his faith in God even after he is shunned from the church. Mark retains his faith in Jeremy even when Jeremy challenges everything Mark requests of him. I had never read anything by Sacher but he brings this all together very smoothly and skillfully. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of his writing.