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Boystown

Three Nick Nowak Mysteries
Narrated by: Brad Langer
Series: Boystown, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

A former police officer turned private investigator, Nick Nowak is haunted by his abrupt departure from the department, as well as, the traumatic end of his relationship with librarian Daniel Laverty. In these three stories set in Chicago during the early eighties, Nick locates a missing young man for a mysterious client, solves a case of arson at a popular nightspot, and goes undercover to prove a dramatic suicide was actually murder.

When he isn't detecting, and sometimes when he is, Nick moves through a series of casual relationships. But his long suppressed romantic side surfaces when he meets Detective Bert Harker. Will he give love another chance? Or, will he continue to bury himself in the arms of strangers?

Finalist for Lambda Literary Award - Gay Mystery 2012

©2009 Marshall Thornton (P)2013 Marshall Thornton
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Soo good

Not my normal sort of book, but it was so good.
A PI working in Chicago, this is 3 stories in one but all linked. Great writing and well narrated. Can't wait for the next lot.

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Three gritty and steamy stories

I really enjoyed listening to these gritty PI stories and the introduction to Nick Nowak 's life. The narrator's voice and style seemed to match the main character's personality. His narration is easy to follow.

I liked that these stories are set in the early eighties and that there's an overall romance ARC to the series. We witness the smoking, the homophobia shown by the cops, as well as Nick's frequent unprotected sexual encounters with strangers. You get a snap shot of life in Chicago nearly forty years ago. I have my guesses where this story is leading for one or two secondary characters.

Nick comes across as a likeable and hard-working character, whose heart is in the right place much of the time. I'm rooting for him to get his happy ever after later in the series.

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Digging this author

This is the first book of the Boystown Series by Marshall Thornton and the second book if his that I have read and enjoyed. I would have to say that Mr. Thornton definitely brings something different to his stories.
Based on the storylines and some of the dialogue you can tell these stories are a bit older but it doesn't detract from the stories at all.

The narrator is great at bringing Me Thornton's characters to life. And his stories so far are not your run of the mill gay romances. They are, however, very entertaining.

I was fortunate enough to receive this book for free as well as Boystown 2 and I cannot wait to listen to it.

This book is a great listen and well worth a credit.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-01-16

Three little mysteries

Nick is definitely a man of the 1980's and the story reads as though told by a man from that generation... So there is no anachronistic shock to deal with; we have smoking, drinking, unprotected sex (as AIDS was still ahead) and a dour attitude towards policing in Chicago. All in all a great listen/read.
I believe Brad Langer as Nick so the narration works well.
I believe Nick as a PI so the story base works well.
Yes, I'll read again. Also, adding the rest of the series to my TBR pile.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Heather
  • 19-09-14

Gritty, gay PI stories

If you like hard-boiled PI stories (think Raymond Chandler) and centering on the gay community you will like this series. there is no romance in this book - but there is sex. Sex that is just as grim and gritty as the story they are set in.

2 people found this helpful

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  • jo
  • 24-10-13

chicago!

What did you love best about Boystown?

the author writes about life just before the beginning of the AIDS epidemic before people thought of casual sex as deadly. i know the history but for some reason it didn't strike me so much until reading this series. maybe because it's set in chicago, in the neighborhoods where i spend the most time. but anyway these stories are mostly fun, sexy mysteries with a serious back drop.

Any additional comments?

did i already say this? i loved reading a book set in chicago that never once mentions downtown or, god forbid, navy pier. in fact, they are set back when navy pier was just an old pier and not a tourist circus.

2 people found this helpful

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  • K. April Holgate
  • 28-01-15

Not really my genre

I really tried to like this series, it is just too gritty PI for me. I am sure there are folks who will love this series. Folks who are into noir will dig this, it just isn't my genre.

The detective is a tough as nails type. Replace the doxy gals with guys, cause it is an MM read. That wasn't a real issue for me, but I know some who are not into the genre.

There is open bedroom door steam, not quite as detailed as an erotic but plenty of naughty bits. I just found those interactions as more rough and tumble as well. I like sweet words and feelings in my steam.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Brad Langer, who does a great job with the material. He has a wonderful gruff edge to his voice that perfectly fits the material. I would love to hear him read another smexy book, cause his voice is delicious. His pace is smooth and he adds great energy to the narration.

Overall this was a good read, just not my taste. I think people who are into the genre will really appreciate the quality of the writing.

Disclosure – I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts opinions and ratings are my own.

*** If you found this review at all helpful, please take a moment to let me know. I love reading and sharing my opinions with other readers. Thanks for taking the time to read my review! You can see more audiobook reviews on my blog Eargasms Audiobook Reviews ***

1 person found this helpful

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  • LenaRibka
  • 05-05-14

I. LOVE. BOYSTOWN.


I don't do re-read normally. I have a re-read shelf, but it has more a symbolical character, it's a way to show how much I enjoyed a book. Well, I did a re-read already but it is a big exception.

I am not sure that listening to an audio book after you've already read a book falls in the category re-read.
I think that if a narrator doesn't match you, you might even regret to listen to it. But if he does it perfectly, it could be a great experience that opens totally new perspectives. I wish I could have more of audio books, in the first place of the books I like, but the English audio books are unfortunately so ridiculously expensive in Germany, that I'd most likely won't have too many of them.

A narrator Brad Langer and Nick Nowak's POV fit PERFECTLY together, and I just want to say, that my second READ -actually it was listening to- of Boystown series, when I know already how it goes on, was not less thrilling but even more exciting.

I. LOVE. BOYSTOWN.

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  • Macbandit
  • 29-01-20

Perfect short sexy mysteries

This is the first I’ve read/listened to of this author’s stories. I wasn’t quite sure what these stories were going to be. I was pleasantly surprised. The short stories held my attention all the way through. The author has been able to really put a lot of background and story details in a small amount of time. These stories required my attention to see how the mystery would play out. I enjoy how the author finishes each with a answer different than I expected. The casual sex is also more than a little hot. I have to believe Nick is such a manwhore because he really wants his ex back but doesn’t know how to handle it. I really feel the size of the stories are good because I can enjoy the time it takes to listen to one without being tied to the same story for days. Nick’s story is an ongoing part but each case has an ending. The Brad Langer is the perfect narrator for these stories. His voice fits with the different situations throughout the book.

The first story explains a lot about Nick Nowak. Why he quit the Chicago Police force. His attitude. His current lifestyle. His relationship or lack of, with Daniel. Besides being a P.I. Nick also works part time at the Paradise bar as a bouncer. This story is also about Nick’s case finding a “missing person”, Brian who isn’t missing but who doesn’t want to be found. This to me was my introduction to Marshall Thornton’s stories. It is set in the 1980’s. It has that classic P.I. feeling. The set is realistic. People tend to forget this is before aids and safe sex didn’t mean what it does today.

The second story, Little Boy Burned.
A fire burns down the Paradise and Nick has to clear the owner Davey. The relationships are made clearer. The twists lead you to and away from the person responsible for the fire. Nick’s sex life does not suffer throughout this story.

Third story Little Boy Fallen
Lenny’s mom doesn’t believe he committed suicide and hires Nick to find out the truth. Nick is faced with his uncle when he goes to the station for information. Nick is getting mixed signals on Lenny’s state of mind from his mom and others. Nick goes undercover. Nick is also reminded of his ex and he gets melancholy. He is remembering before he met Daniel and the first time he saw Daniel. Nick wasn’t out yet then he and Daniel got together and got an apartment. Nick actually breaks down and calls Daniel. Daniel had needed cheekbone reconstruction. Nick remembers what had happened the night Daniel got hurt. Nick is still bed hopping but in a non serious way. His sleeping with Ross continues.

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  • B.McGrath
  • 20-01-20

Entertaining and hot

The cases PI Nick takes are interesting and intriguing, but I love these short stories for the pure raw heat. Nick and his frequent hook ups made me laugh, howl, and squee with glee. The alcohol and drug induced threesome had me roflmao. The storylines are intriguing and Nick and gang are thoroughly engaging and enjoyable characters I need to keep following. The narrator's voices are spot on and added to my enjoyment. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this story and am giving an honest review.

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  • ELSA
  • 17-12-19

entertaining for a quiet night

3 stories in the life of a private detective, gay and out and proud - each story has individual merits - lots of sex - around each story, the narrator sounds like he could actually be this Nick Nowak relating his adventures -

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  • The Book Maven
  • 23-11-19

Three mysteries...

This was my first introduction to this author and narrator. I enjoyed the stories and felt they had enough depth.

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  • CrankyTiger
  • 06-10-19

Great

I have already read these Nick Nowak mysteries but I enjoyed listening to them again. I love the author's ability to transport me back in time without being heavy-handed about it. This is one of my favorite authors and I really recommend this to anyone that loves mysteries.