Today is my stop on the Carved in Bone by Michael Nava Blog Tour brought to you by Rachels Random Resources. This is book 2 in the Henry Rios Mysteries Series but it considered book 8 from Michael Nava which was just published October 1, 2019 by Persigo Press and is available now.
Here is a little about the book:
Carved in Bone
A new mystery by six-time Lambda Literary award winner, Michael Nava. Set in San Francisco in 1984, Henry Rios, a gay criminal defense lawyer, is fresh out of rehab and trying to put his life back together. He’s hired by an insurance company to investigate the apparently accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning of Bill Ryan in the Castro Street apartment he shared with his lover, who survived. As he delves into Bill Ryan’s life, Rios becomes convinced Ryan’s death was no accident, and that his young lover is implicated. Meanwhile, the tsunami of AIDS is bearing down on San Francisco’s gay community.
This is my first novel by Michael Nava and probably the first time I have ever been in a situation where I have no idea to write in my review. This is one of those times where I have so many feelings and so much to talk about and say, but if I do, not only will I take up a ton of space, but I will end up discussing the entire book and spoiling the story, which is something I vow never to do. This is a situation where I think it may be best to go with the old adage “less is more” because this is one you just need to read and experience yourself.
Attorney Henry Rios is assigned to investigate the death of a gay man living in San Francisco, with the story taking place in the mid 80’s with flashbacks to the 1970’s. As he dives into the research Henry finds himself not only evaluating Bill Ryan’s life, but also his own, and we are taken on a journey of what it is like to be a gay man in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic.
This is an emotionally intense book, there are moments that can cause triggers for some people, alcoholism, abuse, dying, drugs, sex, addiction, and child abuse, but these are all integral to the story and it would not have the impact it has without them. I found them to be necessary and relevant. There is a mystery involved here, and as you travel between Bill and Henry and their stories, the mystery unfolds in a unique and satisfying manner.
I have to tell you this story was amazing. I grew up during this period, and although I remember so much about it, I was young and never really realized the depth and magnitude of the AIDS crisis. I can’t say I knew anything about what life has been like for the LGBTQ community and this novel was an eye opener, an emotional, powerful and intense roller coaster that I just did not want to stop. Mixed up in all this amazing factual information is a fictional mystery, and a fictional story about two men who are/were just trying to survive, and the story is written brilliantly. I’ve never quite read a mystery novel quite like this before. It was filled with heavy topics like a psychology book, well researched like a history book and extremely emotional like every Disney Pixar movie rolled into a big ball. I almost feel flabbergasted when I try to talk about it. I have to give Michael Nava 5 stars for this book. I understand he came back from retirement to write this one. Well Mr. Nava, I haven’t read any of your others, but let me just say I think you’ve outdone yourself here. One of the most memorable books ever.
Thank you so much to Michael Nava, Rachel Gilbey from Rachels Random Resources, and Persigo Press for a copy of this book for my honest and unbiased opinion.
About the Author
Michael Nava is the six-time Lambda Literary Award author of the Henry Rios novels and recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in LGBTQ Literature. The New York Times praised him as “one of our best” crime fiction writers. The New Yorker called Henry Rios “a detective unlike any other previous protagonist in American noir.” Carved In Bone is the first Henry Rios novel in 20 years. Says novelist David Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) Carved In Bone is “rich, haunting and deeply engaged with the world.”
Author Social Media Links
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The Henry Rios Mysteries Podcast can be found HERE on Michael Nava’s website. You can also listen via subscription to Apple, Spotify, iHeart, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Deezer, RadioPublic and RSS
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