Ebook: Castle Danger: Dead End Follies, by Anthony Neil Smith, 2017, B074H12327 (that stupid fake ISBN Amazon uses and calls a ASIN).
Second in Smith's Castle Danger series. Another very nice cover design.
I enjoyed the novel quite a bit. Smith linked to a review by Benoit Leviereirierieri. I'm going to go read that review and steal his ideas. Wait here...
Meh. I don't quite agree with everything he has to say so I'll make this up on my own. But, this time I'll do it with Numbers!
1. Manny Jahnke returns for the second go round in the series. Forewarning: you're better off reading the first book because just tears along rather than fill in a lot of the story from before. I'm not sure when the third novel will release. These are currently e-book only. I asked Smith online if paper versions were planned and he wrote, "No."
2. Manny is a cop no more and impatiently starting his transition to womanhood. The first novel's resolution of all the murders, sex shenanigans, and political greasiness involved Manny striking a deal with the U.S. Senator for Manny and her ex-police partner Hothead (cannot recall the character's name) to work for the Senator's campaign for Minnesota Governor. Manny is a kind of trans-person liaison Hothead is a security guy.
3. One of the Senator's campaign workers is absent. Manny goes to check on the guy and finds the workaholic gone from his apartment and leaving his phone behind. Uh-oh. Political worries!
4. I read this a couple weeks ago and have forgotten all the details but Manny and Co. receive notice that Workaholic is captive. Manny and Co. also receive a link to a secret website where a live webcam is showing Workaholic's sexual torture. The Senator and the Senator's new Campaign Boss wonder if Workaholic is scamming them. Is Workaholic faking this for the oppisition? Hey, let's get Manny to find out!
5. Meanwhile, back in Manny Land there is turmoil and tension because Manny is still living half a life as a man and the other half as a woman. Manny wants to do the full transition. FUck talking to psychiatrists. Fuck getting permission for hormone treatment. Fuck waiting for a public debutante announcement for GOP Senator to woo the liberal vote.
6. Manny is hot and bothered by super sexy powerful Campaign manager. Hothead is still dating his manipulative girlfriend and acting like a hothead.
7. More things happen and Manny and Hothead are in peril and have to rely on one another. Too bad they have never much liked one another. There are: shootouts, car chases, abductions, sexual torture resulting in murder, sex crime involvement by MN bigwigs, more torture, Manny and Hothead on the run, so on, so forth.
8. I enjoyed the book. Things twist and turn a lot. Smith got away from the first novel's focus on Manny and her changes.
1. The series so far is built on several themes. A. Sexual transition is difficult for the person and their families. Manny took years to understand and accept who she is. Doing so meant a complete change in career, friends, residence, etc. B. The rich and powerful get what they want and will step on you to keep things that way. C. The rich and powerful are also inherently perverted and pursue violent, illegal, or immoral activities that are antithetical to their public personaes.
2. Oh, hey. That Benoit fella lives in Montreal. I sure did enjoy my trip there in 1999.
3. Smith made a serious mistake of not bringing back the best character from the first novel.