E-Book: Castle Danger: woman on ice by Anthony Neil Smith, 2017, B06XHNPGKL (stupid ASIN number by Amazon rather than a goddamn ISBN let the rest of the fucking world.)
It's neat how Smith's novel are consistently better and better. The stories stay interesting and the pace keeps moving you right along. Smith's characters are insightful and interesting and their thought processes and decisions always make sense even though those decisions may be the actions of an idiot or a desperate panicked nut.
Duluth Police Officer Manny does not get along with his partner (see my views on this at #1, below). Manny also is recovering from severe burns to his groin and abdomen with a accidental fire a few months ago. One day on patrol Manny is tuning out his partner and thinking about his genital trouble when they get a call for a body fished out of frozen Lake Superior.
On arrival they discover the dead person is a thin women dressed in tight, skimpy clothes and wearing a snowmobile helmet. As Manny's partner starts poking around and searching the corpse Manny and Partner see that the corpse is a man dressed as a woman. The partner and the corpse then fall through the ice into the lake and the corpse is lost.
Things happen. Manny is intrigued and starts to poke into the case. The detectives on the case tell Manny to take a hike but Manny is personally and sexually fascinated by the transsexual lifestyle of the dead person. Manny has unresolved issues and slowly lets on how he dressed in women's clothes as a teen and spends hours each evening masturbating to online transsexual porn. Manny gets a new partner, WhatsHisName. WhatsHisName and Manny do not get along.
Manny visits some gay bars and asks questions. Manny ends up visiting a secret club for trans people and their lovers and is warned off from asking more questions. The warning comes with a beating. Manny has bumbled his way into a murder conspiracy and sexual secrets. Manny thinks he knows who the now missing victim was. Manny wants to solve the case. Manny wants to transition to woman but is scared. Manny is full of feelings. [I first typed 'fool' instead of 'full'. Manny is also a fool.]
Trouble ensues. Along the way Manny decides, "Damn it. I've had enough. I'm going to transition to the woman I am." Manny gets grief from both the straight and queer sides as he starts his process. The cops call Manny a fag and the queers think he is faking it and an untrustworthy bastard. Manny has to figure out how to wear stockings and skirts. But, Manny also starts feeling like herself. Manny has only her partner, WhatsHisName, to turn to as more hijinks ensue.
More things happen but I won't turn the plot into a grocery list. Like other Smith novels this is a neat one. Smith does tend to go over the top in comparison to other writers but it always fits his style and plots. I'm not always pleased with the third or fourth sections of his novels. I don't know why. I'm thinking the pace and fury wear me out.
1. Keep in mind that Smith kills off what is obviously the best character in the first chapter of the book when Manny's partner drowns in Lake Superior. Hopefully Smith will find a way to bring that character back. He was the absolute best. The best!
2. Geographical love.
3. Cold weather love.
4. Rarely realistic look at what happens when you don't use a holster for your pistol.
5. Book #2 is listed on Amazon with a October 10, 2017 pub date.
6. Smith has covered the topic of sexual identity and preference before. It's a subject he is very good at writing about. It's also a topic that I don't often read about in the other fiction I read.