Having already read The Gumshoe, The Witch and The Virtual Corpse by Keith Hartman, we reckoned it would be a good idea to check out his sequel - Gumshoe Gorilla.
Picking up a year after the events of the first book, Drew and Jen are now investigating an actor who is part of a quintet of identical twins cloned from a dead actor's 'genetic material' on behalf of his deaf, writer girlfriend. Oh and Drew looks into what Daniel's new boyfriend is leading him into and discovers a vampire sex cult, a vendetta for a gay guy kicked out after a blood test revealed his homosexuality, and a kitten in a box. Awww.
I love a good sequel - all of the intelligence of the first outing, with none of the boring explanations of who everyone is and how their different relationships interact with each other (but the 'good' part of that cannot be over-emphasised). Gumshoe Gorilla is an excellent sequel as it not only explains and ties off all the loose ends left over from its predecessor, but is unique enough as a story-arc to stand on its own two legs. Although the two probably work best in tandem due to references being made, folks who didn't read the first will be able to glean enough from the small explanations made throughout the novel.
The best thing about this novel is the untold love story between Drew and Daniel that bubbles along in the background. It is clear from both books that Drew loves Daniel, and Daniel loves Drew, however they are both mature enough to know that their relationship should never progress past friendship as they would not be best suited as a couple, and that would wreck the tight relationship they have now. The difference in Gumshoe Gorilla is that Drew explains exactly and succinctly why he can't love Daniel the way a boyfriend could - and it is the most heart-wrenching of explanations (so we won't tip it here). Cannot overstate how good that part of the book is.
Jen gets a bigger part in the sequel (due to not being missing for half the book), which means a bit more girl-power and magick is involved, and her first chapter is a powerful beginning to Gumshoe Gorilla as she reveals what happens to men who gilt her. We totally don't want to be on her bad side. Other characters get a second bite of the plot cherry too, like Laughing Bear who was so adorable with Ice-In-Summer it was cute, but again, if you think that you won't get who people are then fret not - it will become apparent from the micro-summary.
We have mentioned Keith Hartman a few times at So So Gay, but if there was one thing that should be asked of him is more Gumshoe Gorilla - more detective novels featuring LGBT characters that are not side-lined or positively discriminated against, but treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else. Truly an equality-minded writer, and for that we are thankful.
You can purchase Gumshoe Gorilla from Amazon now