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Jimmy Joseph McSwain, New Yorker trying to make a career as a P.I. (not quite there yet), lives at home with his mother and one of his two sisters, still mourning the lover who recently dumped him and the death of his cop father, shot in the street when Jimmy was fourteen. Beautiful, sexy, sad – i think I’m in love! Or would be. But Jimmy is gay, and though this doesn’t define him, it does define the way he is perceived by others.

And it is because he is gay that he lands, through his older sister’s recommendation, a lucrative missing person job for a wealthy lawyer couple. Their son has gone walkabout and they want him back or, at least, to know where he is and that he is safe. Yes, the son is gay, too. So Jimmy seems to them the perfect choice to track him down.

With excellent character building, Adam Carpenter introduces the reader to a new, hopefully long running, series based around Jimmy, his work and the people he meets, and his quest to find his father’s killer. In this first story, his tracking the missing young man takes him, and us, to the colourful Dress Up Club, hosted by the glorious Terry Cloth, and into the arms of a possible new romance with Barry, from England. And also into danger and a murder mystery. Simply and realistically writtenin the first person, with good, natural dialogue, the narrator Joel Leslie is Jimmy as well as giving voice to the various other characters with sensitive interpretation and clear definition. In particular, his English accented Barry is superbly done. (As a Brit. myself, I know how rarely this is achieved). With his dramatisation the whole book comes vividly alive.

There are three sex scenes. Never a fan of graphic literary sex depictions of any persuasion, these have the distinction of at least being short in duration with, mercifully, no pretence of flowery, high ‘art’. And they do not feel out of place but instead help to drive the story forward, giving another peek into Jimmy’s troubled inner being.

I have to thank the right’s holder of Hidden Identity for the gift of this book, via Audiobook Boom. I very much enjoyed it, listening without break from start to finish and only wished there was another to follow immediately. Recommended to anyone who enjoys the well written detective noire genre.