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The Truth Of Yesterday

by Christopher Verleger
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Monday May 16, 2011
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Mystery novelist Josh Aterovis first introduced teen sleuth Killian Kendall in the award-winning "Bleeding Hearts." With "The Truth of Yesterday," the fourth and latest entry in the series, the author has created another engrossing page-turner that delves into the dark, hidden underworld of the male escort service industry.

Now a freshman in college on Maryland’s eastern shore, as well as a part-time private detective in-the-making, Killian is hired by Micah, his journalist boyfriend, to investigate the murder of Paul Flynn, a hustler from DC. In a former life, Micah shared the same profession and the same bed with Paul--two revelatory pieces of information that surface shortly after Killian agrees to commit to him exclusively.

In his short eighteen years on this planet, our protagonist has already lived a life worthy of its own soap opera. His corrupt father, now in jail, threw Killian out on the street when he came out. Seth, his gay best friend, was the fatal victim of a violent crime, and Seth’s father, Adam, who took in Killian off the street and has raised him since, is running a haunted bed-and-breakfast with his partner, Steve. Stranger yet, the young detective is either blessed or cursed with a supernatural gift that allows him to communicate with the dead.

With Killian, the author has crafted a character who manages to juggle (arguably too well) his education, a blossoming career and a budding relationship with the precision and discipline of someone more than twice his age. But much like any typical eighteen-year-old, Killian is devoted to Micah but has eyes for Noah from the gay/straight alliance on campus. Yet when he isn’t staking out philandering husbands or commuting to and from the DC crime scene with his partner, Christina, he pointedly makes time for his surrogate little brother, Kane.

The plot thickens when Judy, the mother of his friend, Seth, asks Killian to inquire about an abrupt change in her son’s behavior, and he learns this seemingly unrelated request may be connected to Paul’s murder. And if that weren’t enough, the gumshoe-turned-medium is forced to acknowledge his otherworldly ability and help rid Steve and Adam’s guesthouse of its previous owner’s ghost.

Despite the novel’s outlandish themes--and there are several--Killian makes for a gutsy, cagey young man whose dedication and determination will likely inspire readers of all ages. The whodunit alone is enough to keep the pages turning at lightning speed, but there is also so much more about his story to absorb, which is a glowing testament to the author. Luckily for us, because Killian is still so young, his adventures have only just begun.

by Josh Aterovis

Publisher: P.D. Publishing, Inc. Publication Date: February 13, 2011. Pages: 376. Price: $22.99. ISBN-13: 978-1-933-720-814

Chris Verleger is an avid reader, aspiring novelist and self-professed theater geek from Providence. Email cwverleger1971@yahoo.com.

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