Monday, 21 May 2018

Queer Justice: A Political Thriller by Fenraven

 Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Silver is seventeen and lives with two younger runaways in a house in Key Largo. He has a gift that makes it possible for the three of them to stay afloat in an America where being openly LGBT means death. Evan White, a consultant for the Miami Police Department, also has a special talent, one that threatens Silver’s safety.

An act of bravado and desperation by Silver brings him to Evan’s attention, forcing them both on a path that will send them hurtling across several state lines and ultimately offer them the chance to alter the course of history. Their live are on the line, but the possibility to at last be who they really are, without fear, is tantalizingly close. Will Silver and Evan have the courage to do what’s necessary?


As the title indicates, Queer Justice is a political thriller and as such, it’s not always an easy read. Only a few years ago I would have said the plot in this story is over the top and far-fetched. Unfortunately, much like The Handmaid’s Tale, these days the premise is all too feasible. And that’s what makes Queer Justice uncomfortable reading at times. While you may want to believe that things as described in this story couldn’t happen, that ‘we’ wouldn’t allow affairs to get that  bad, it is hard to ignore the fact that all the warning signs are there and ‘we’ are actually allowing things to get worse by the day.

But, allow me to backtrack. While Queer Justice may be a realistic political thriller, it is first and foremost a gripping story featuring fascinating characters and a plot that will keep you turning the pages.

The story is set in the not too distant future in a version of America that in many ways resembles today’s reality, except that a whole lot of freedoms and rights we take for granted have been rescinded. And the people targeted more than all others are, of course, those who fall under the LGBTQ… umbrella — because aren’t they always (among) the first victims?

Silver is a prime example. Seventeen year old he’s been forced to look after himself ever since his parents kicked him out when he declared that he was gay, aged fourteen. His housemates, Mary and Jon are even younger than he and have also been discarded by those who should have loved them.

For Evan, the situation is somewhat different. He has managed to keep the fact that he’s gay hidden from all but a few, very close, friends. As a police consultant he has a stable and interesting job and as long as he manages to keep up the façade, he should be fine.

As the blurb says, both Silver and Evan are gifted and in such a way that a bold act by Silver brings him to Evan’s attention. And thus begins an adventure and journey (the details of which I’m not going to disclose) that will have them face danger, heartbreak, impossible decisions, and possibly, a better future.

What I liked best about this story, apart from the fact that it’s a timely story with an unfortunately, all too plausible plotline, is that it doesn’t provide easy answers to impossible questions. While the bad people in this book are mostly utterly evil, the good guys aren’t squeaky clean. This is the sort of story that will have you asking yourself, ‘how far would I be prepared to go to protect myself and those I love; is there a line I wouldn’t cross under any circumstances’. I’ve got to be honest and confess that while I’m sure I would eventually run into such an 'uncrossable' line, I have no idea when I might reach that point.

Before you get the impression that this is a heavy and ponderous read, let me reassure you. First and foremost this is a thrilling and captivating book that strikes exactly the right balance between thought-provoking and light(er). While it’s not a romance, there are one or two romantic moments, and there are even a few occasions where you’ll find yourself smiling, if not laughing out loud. More than anything else, I found myself turning the pages, eager to discover what would happen next.

As I’ve come to expect from this author the writing is smooth and precise, the words chosen with care and placed in beautiful sentences.

Long review short: If you enjoy a book that will keep you captivated, force you to think, and will stay on your mind long after you’ve finished reading it, Queer Justice is probably a perfect read for you. As for me — I’ kinda excited that the ending leaves room for a sequel J

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