Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Knew Him by Erastes

"It's not just his body, although I sound like
 the worst of hedonists, but he can capture
 stillness whilst radiating more energy
than most men can when running.
Don't ask me to explain it. He glows."
Harry George Alexander Bircham: Not necessarily an infamous name in the annals of gay fictional characters…yet. But readers of Erastes’ newest historical novel should prepare themselves for many pages of suspenseful intrigue as the miscreant Bircham, a man of Wildean excesses and humours, will do anything it takes to bend Fate to his will. And that sinister will is to keep the affections and attentions of another young English lad. If accidents, if murder, are necessary, then Bircham is just the villain. Or anti-hero, as he is quite the early twentieth century charmer.
It all begins with Harry, an oh-so-British young man thoroughly infatuated with his long-time roommate and sexual partner Charles as they plan a summer trip to Paris. Unfortunately, Charles is summoned home by his widowed mother and Harry accompanies him. Once at the country home, an announcement serves as the catalyst that unleashes our charming, lethal villain. And between tea, tennis, dinner and drinks, a Shakespearean-style tale unfolds.

I Knew Him by Erastes is a cleverly written historical thriller with fabulous between-wars British atmosphere. The thriller part comes from a sharp, quick-witted narrative and cold intent instead of physical violence that serves to magnify the shocking conclusion. Characters rule in this tale, but none more than Erastes' narrator Harry whose ingenious mind and allure enfold the reader into a plot that builds gradually but relentlessly. I Knew Him is a strangely fun read. Erastes' writing skills are at full force as is evident by the tight plot execution and her creation of Harry's character. Highly recommended.
"It annoyed me that screen villains had to be unattractive, and that only the hero was allowed to be handsome."


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