Book Reviews

Vice City (Vice City 1) by S.A. Stovall at DSP Publications

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 20-June-2017

Book Blurb

After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.

 

Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

 

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.

 

Book Review

Dark, gritty books about the mob and crime and enforcers are not my usual fare – but the description for this one grabbed my attention. Why? The short answer is a combination of the characters, the decisions and conflicts they face, and the everlasting hope that even men as tough and desperate as these guys might be able to squeeze a happy ending out of a fate that has been pretty relentlessly sh*tty to both of them so far.

First there is Nicholas, who has been working for the Vice family for twenty years, is used to brutality, and very good at his job. Typical tough guy, and not someone I’d want to be on the wrong side of. He is pretty far removed from what you might consider a “hero”. And yet – when he sees a guy being treated unfairly based on an altruistic deed, Nicholas saves his life and shows he has a heart underneath all the emotional armor he has built to protect himself. Of course, as per street logic, no good deed goes unpunished, and Nicholas ends up in a heap of trouble, faces some extremely difficult situations, and will have to decide if getting out of the mafia is worth the risk to his own life now that he has Miles to protect.

Then there is Miles. He is trying to get his brother out of a rival street gang, never mind that said brother has zero interest in being “rescued”. Miles is way more dedicated to this quest than is good for his health, but I had to admire his determination, even though I doubted his intelligence (where his brother is concerned) more than once. Since Nicholas tells the story in first person, I did not find out too much about Miles other than through his actions – and those speak for themselves. Luckily Miles is able to learn, albeit slowly, but he comes close to disaster more than once.

The blurb says that “life on the streets isn’t about following the rules”, and this novel is definitely testament to the truth of that statement. Both men have to think on their feet, hatch sinister plans, and work with some of the most unexpected supporters you can imagine. Nicholas takes the lead, as I expected, but Miles is surprisingly good at dealing with the violence he has to face – despite the fact he is not as comfortable with it as his brother seems to be, nor as blasé about it as Nicholas has had to become. And the final twist and solution are simply amazing and very well done.

If you like super intense stories full of very realistic violence and brutality of all kinds, if you want to see how two men fight their pasts, fate, and cruel enemies to be free of others telling them what to do, and if you’re looking for a thrilling mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then you will probably like this novel. There isn’t a whole lot of romance or tenderness, but there is a depth of emotion and a slow build of trust and hope that I found very engrossing.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 234 pages/80458 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-June-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dsppublications.com/books/vice-city-by-sa-stovall-386-b