Author: Mark Zubro
Genre: Contemporary/YA/Murder Mystery
Length: Novel (206 pages)
Publisher: MLR Press (January 12th, 2014)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4Hearts
Blurb: In an unsafe world, death and danger stalk gay teens, Roger Cook and Steve Koemer.
Roger Cook is in the middle of his senior year when Kyle Davis, the most picked on kid in his high school commits suicide. Roger agrees to write an article on Kyle for the school newspaper. As he gathers information, Roger realizes the dead boy was gay and may have been murdered. Gay himself, Roger wants to find out the truth, but this leads him to danger and the possibility of love. Roger opens himself to even greater risk while trying to make those around him safe.
Product Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=MZ__SAFE
Review: I’m always a sucker for a good murder mystery story, and this young adult novel does not disappoint my sleuthing fetish.
Zurbo lays out many possibilities for the bad guys, some more obvious than others, and puts young Roger Cook to work solving the crime immediately. Roger, usually the jock assigned to report of sports is given the case of a teen suicide, a gay teen, and he can’t help but wonder if it’s because someone knows about his secret, the fact that he’s also gay. Though he’s afraid of why he’s been given the story,
Roger feels it’s important to give boys like Kyle a voice, and protect those who may be different, those like himself. He manages to reach out to another reporter and mentor to help him uncover the truth to what he suspects is not suicide, but murder.
There are many twists and turns throughout this story, and the plot really surprised me! While there is a budding love interest, there is little or no sexual content aside from implied oral sex scenes and brutal attacks, this is young adult after all.
Don’t be put off by the bad cover art. This mystery is a little gem! I’d like to see more stories following Roger as he adventures off into the world.