THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS SMOOTH
It’s 1987, and Soho is in the grip of another hot summer. While working part-time in The Red Lion, Joe finds himself agreeing to help a notorious gangster search for her missing girlfriend.
Antonia The Gecko Lagorio is daughter to the ruthless but ageing gang boss, Tony The Lizard Lagorio. When her girlfriend, Charlotte Fenwick, goes missing, Antonia turns to Joe for help, believing her to have been kidnapped by a rival gang.
Charlotte Fenwick is daughter to multi-millionaire, Charles Fenwick—who also happens to be one of Freddie Gillespie’s bigger clients. Keen to keep any hint of a scandal out of the public eye, Charles Fenwick had already asked Freddie to recruit Russell and Joe to help him find his daughter discreetly.
With both of them on the case, Joe and Russell find themselves trying to stop a turf war between the two rival gangs while uncovering all manner of dark secrets about the missing heiress and her troubled life.
Meanwhile Freddie Gillespie has a run in with an old foe that could see him lose both his job and his relationship with Russell.
Crazy For You is the next exhilarating installment of the Soho Noir cozy crime series. I’ve been waiting patiently for more diverse LGBTQ representation and this book delivers with the relationship between Antonia Lagorio and Charlotte Fenwick. Antonia, appropriately nicknamed “The Gecko,” is the daughter of Tony “The Lizard” Lagorio while Charlotte is the daughter of multi-millionaire Charles Fenwick. You may remember Tony from the first book, Tainted Love, where he was interviewed during the investigation of Chris’ death. He is also the one I headcanon as possessing a vast stuffed animal collection and carefully manipulating the media and those around him to believe he is a hardened criminal while not actually having to murder anyone. This, of course, gains him access to the most exclusive stuffed animals available via black market connections, where he collects under the guise of “buying gifts for his daughter.” Most of the toys are lizards, reptiles, and other such creatures, but he’s also been known to pick up reddish colored dogs and puppies. In other words, he’s an absolute genius. Hopefully, we’ll get a spin-off series with Tony’s origin story and Antonia carrying on the family legacy.
Sorry where was I?
Oh yes, back to the story!
When Charlotte goes missing, Antonia enlists the help of Russell and Joe in order to keep the police out of the situation while also avoiding tangling with Charles Fenwick. Charlotte’s involvement and naivety in Soho’s underground scene has gotten her in trouble, as her capture is about to start a gang war between her kidnappers and the Lagorios. I won’t go into detail with this so as not to spoil, but the anxiety and tenseness of the situation kept me on the edge of my seat.
As characters, Russell, Joe, and Freddie all continue to grow and evolve. Russell and Joe are both a far cry from the grumpy detective and naive small town media enthusiast we met in Tainted Love. Freddie’s backstory also sees continued development through his relationship with Russell and his encounter with an old flame.
T.S. Hunter’s writing gets better and better between each book – Who’s That Girl? was my favorite before this, but Crazy For You has definitely taken the cake now. His incorporation of distressingly real legislation from England in the 80s along with his descriptions of the vibrant and anxiously fast-paced Soho underground come together to form an easy-to-read and satisfying crime series. Each book also opens your eyes more to the realities of the early days of LGBTQ injustice, which makes you appreciate how far we’ve come that much more.
Two more books remain in the Soho Noir series and personally, I can’t wait!
Check out the other blogs on the tour and don’t forget – you can click here to buy directly from Red Dog Press!
Thank you to Dylan at Red Dog Press for my ebook copy and the invite to the blog tour!