When the manager of an elite local bath is stabbed to death, attorney Glen O'Banyon hires Dick Hardesty to check into it. The motive for the murder isn't hard to figure - Comstock was a jerk of the first order. In fact, the list of people who might have wanted him dead might be larger than the club's membership roster.
Then, two obnoxious bar hoppers die in an apparent accident that turns out to be another murder, and when a third unpleasant individual meets an untimely demise, Dick begins to see a sinister pattern. All of the victims, prior to their deaths, had behaved badly in one of the local bars. Is someone on a mission to rid the world of people behaving badly?
©2011 F. Roger Margason (P)2013 F. Roger Margason
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In the third book in the Dick Hardesty gay P.I. series, we find tough guy, Dick, playing the field much more so than the first couple books, which is interesting in that this novel is set at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic (which actually isn’t mentioned by name since the virus was not yet identified). Rumors abound of otherwise healthy young gay men getting sick and dying, causing Dick to take note. It so happens, Hardesty’s latest case involves investigating the death of one of the partners of “Rage”, a popular, members only gay bathhouse where only the gorgeous need apply.
But while looking into the private club’s managing partner’s murder, Hardesty begins noticing other deaths of suspicious circumstances involving gay men, and with the help of his latest squeeze, Jarod, finds a common thread among all the deaths – including that of Rage’s manager, former porn star Comstock. It’s not long before Dick realizes there is a possible serial killer targeting gay men of the nasty kind.
What I found striking in this novel along with the mystery- which is solid, deftly written, with twists and turns–is Hardesty’s philandering. Wait, did that just age me a bit? Hardesty is a bit of a horn-dog in this novel, which is understanding considering the time the story takes place during the very early stages of the AIDS crisis. I will be so interested to see how Grey deals with the emerging crisis since it was so much a part of the lives of gay men everywhere, especially in large, gay popular cities in the USA.
Again, I must admit that I listened to the unabridged audio book version of The Bar Watcher. Unlike the previous two novels, which I had read both print and listened to the corresponding audio versions, this one I did not. I still feel I got a received a great reading experience. I appreciated listening to the same voice of the narrator, Jeff Frez-Albrecht, who narrated the first two Dick Hardesty mysteries. He helps to bring Hardesty to life in a deadpan, non-complicated way, yet also helps us to view a glimpse of Dick’s inner thoughts through Dorien Grey’s awesome prose.
I highly recommend The Bar Watcher, and the entire Dick Hardesty P.I series!
I was lucky enough to win an audible copy of the Bar Watcher by Dorien Grey and I've now discovered the pleasures of driving while listening to a book.
I'm a Dorien Grey fan from way back and I have all of his books - both in book form and e-book form where available. I can't recommend the Dick Hardesty series strongly enough. I've read and reread the books and I know that I will be listening to The Bar Watcher again. I'm also eagerly waiting for more of the books in the series to be produced.
I love Mr Grey's writing style and I also enjoy the mysteries that he presents. I'm never sure about whodunit before the end of the book.
I really enjoyed the voice which narrated this book. It was easy to listen to and I tried to imagine the face which goes with this voice. In the Dick Hardesty series we are never told what Dick looks like so I guess that most of his readers play guessing games. I imagine Dick to be tall, well built and definitely good looking. He has no trouble attracting men and when we see the type of men that he attracts we can guess that Dick would have to be similar in appearance. When Dick is made welcome at a bath house which only permits the best looking guys to use the facilities we can guess that Dick has to be hot.
I have to recommend this audiobook and I strongly urge audible to release the rest of the series as soon as possible. I, for one, will be buying them.
Avid audible listener!
Dorien Grey writes another good mystery, with lots of twists and turns. He also starts bringing gay cancer (AIDS) into the story. It is a good reminder of how it must have been for the gay community in the 80s (the number of deaths is startling!).
The more I listen to Jeff Frez-Albrecht the more I like listening to him.
Can be listened to as a standalone, there are some references to other stories, but not enough to confuse.
I highly recommend the series...
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