Third You Die
Author Scott Sherman, who introduced readers to amateur detective and professional escort Kevin Connor in his previous works, "First You Fall" and "Second You Sin," concludes his mischievous mystery series with "Third You Die," another fun, exciting and terribly clever whodunit that, like its predecessors, will keep you guessing until the end and smiling long after its bittersweet finale.
Newly domesticated, retired from hustling and now working as the co-producer of a television talk show, Kevin has undergone quite the transformation. It turns out he’s not the only one, because his employer and the show’s host is none other than his mom, Sophie, whose ’Sophie’s Voice’ ranks on the popularity scale with the likes of Oprah and Ellen.
Just when Kevin thinks the skin trade is behind him, Sophie invites a panel of sex workers as guests on her show, including a dominatrix and a renowned gay porn star. During the shoot, Kevin becomes acquainted with Brent Havens, the industry’s newest and hottest young face (among other things), who mysteriously disappears shortly after the two share digits and more than a few suggestive glances.
While Kevin is legitimately concerned for Brent’s safety, he’s also thinking of how his mother’s frivolous chatfest could benefit from a legitimate news story, if he were to uncover any criminal activity. In his search for clues, Kevin confronts the smarmy studio head, a salacious director and an infatuated costar. Meanwhile, Sophie enlists Kevin’s help to take down a suspicious adoption agency connected to a grisly case of child abuse.
Despite the seriousness of a missing person’s possible murder and violence against children, "Third You Die" is amusing, witty and ferociously entertaining. The remarkably fresh dialogue among this cast of characters, particularly between Kevin and fellow escort Freddy, his sassy best friend, is a combination of deliciously catty banter, sinister sarcasm, friendly flirtation and earnest affection.
Most importantly, Kevin and his closeted cop boyfriend, Tony, are at a crossroads. As he becomes more of a fixture in the life of Tony’s son, Rafi, Kevin resents having to pretend they’re just roommates and seriously begins to question whether they belong together. Luckily, Tony still manages to be there for Kevin, who has proven his affinity for being in the right place at the wrong time.
The author has hinted that this may not be the last we hear from Kevin, Tony, Rafi, Sophie and Freddy. While it’s certainly plausible and I would more than welcome the invitation to take part in another one of their adventures, Sherman has done his characters justice and ended this superlative mystery series on the highest of notes.
Third You Die
by Scott Sherman