First thing I'd like to point out, THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE! Those expecting a love story, may be left disappointed and unfulfilled.
However, even for a romance-junkie like me, it became an all-time favorite series. I don't find myself in such a whirlwind of emotions very often, but here they kept creeping up on me and catching me unaware.
“Emotions came in waves. But not like the lake, where the waves could be gentle and healing. No, these were shock waves. Electric and jolting.”
Marshall Thornton is an exceptional writer. With very precise and effortless observations and descriptions he shows rather than tells the story. It's so easy to get transported into Nick's world and see it through his eyes. A truly amazing experience.
“I could have gotten on the El and been home in twenty minutes or so. But I couldn’t stand the idea of being that still, that patient, that close to people. So I walked. I walked by a couple of construction sites, by a row of brick townhouses one after another, by a Bible college that promised all the answers and delivered none. I walked and walked and walked. I couldn’t tell you if it was cold or warm. The sky was gray but downright sunny compared to my mood.”
I liked that Nick is portrayed as a real person with all his faults, doubts, mistakes and fears. It's easy to dispise his actions but impossible to hold a grudge for long. The guy is simply irresistible. He knows it and he doesn't hesitate to use it, sometimes hurting people in the process. But that only makes him human.
“You’re young, you don’t get it. So let me explain something to you. When a guy lets you suck him off and he doesn’t return the favor, the way I just didn’t return the favor, that means he doesn’t like you all that much.”
Sorry, couldn't resist this quote :)
I thought it was quite enlightening to read about the problems gay men faced and dealt with at the early 80s. I'd like to believe the world has evolved considerably since then, and can't help but compare.
The mystery is very intense and expertly thought out. Some time during the last few chapters, I kept holding my breath and felt my hair raising. The case of the book 5 has been slowly built throughout the series and gained a painfully personal twist to it, so it became an obsession for me to find out as soon as possible who did what. I couldn't read fast enough.
Boystown series exceeded my expectations by far. To me, each instalment was better than its predecessor and I was consistently being kept on my toes. I guess, I still am, because I can't wait to start the next book and be a part of Nick's world again.