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~Henry Miller

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Midland Club

Midland Club - Mark Spano 4,5 stars

This novel is a small jewel. It is like a hidden pearl that you won't see until you opened a shell. Maybe it is the reason why it stays unnoticed and unknown for the target audience. No I don't speak here about a broad audience, gay literary fiction as a genre doesn't have it, unfortunately.

I'm really surprised to find such beautifully and such unusually told historical mystery novel by a totally new for me author. I hope to see more fictional books from Mark Spano in the future.

Richard St.Pierre belongs to one of the wealthiest families of the Midwest, and 6 years ago he was also a member of the Midland Club, that meant that he was still part of his family and the city. But it was before the police raided the Miss Otis, a place where gays met. As a result - he lost his job, his family abandoned him and he never saw and talked to his father until his death. Now he lives in a black neighborhood, in a cheap apartment and spends most of his money on phonograph records, concerts, liquor and the pursuit of sex.

When Puce, the only black waiter at the Midland Club whom Richard knows since he was a boy, is found dead, the cops says it is suicide. But it is not what Richard believes, and as he tries to find the truth, he comes across the secrets that put his life in danger.

The best in this novel is not the story itself, and not the mystery, though I have to praise the author for a very accurate historical atmosphere he created - but HOW it is told. Midland Club is melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic.


I always emphasized that I'm a first person POV junkie. There are books that not necessarily have to be told from the first person pov. But it is impossible not to do it in [b:Midland Club|32768172|Midland Club|Mark Spano|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482049358s/32768172.jpg|53362466] and Mark Spano does it masterfully. Richard doesn't ONLY try to reveal the truth at the risk of his own life, he tells about his family's history, about himself, people from the past and people around him, he shares his feelings, thoughts and memories and as the result we have an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.

Highly recommended!

***ARC provided to Gay Book Reviews by the author in exchange for an honest review.***