The Derelict Dad (A Nick Williams Mystery) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2018/11/2
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Monday, October 15, 1962
It's way too early on a Monday morning, but Nick and Carter are making their way across the country to a clandestine meeting in Miami with Bobby Kennedy at the Attorney General's request.
During a stop in New Orleans, they meet a kid who catches Carter's eye. He seems to be smart and on the ball and might be just the right fit for leading up the newest division of WilliamsJones, Inc.
On their last leg into Miami, they receive a radiogram that R.F.K. has had to cancel at the last minute. Determined to get some good poolside time in the hot sun, they continue on to the Sunshine State where they meet a man who turns out to recognize Carter's latest hire.
What the two have in common is a third man: Henry Thibodeaux, the kid's long-last father and the man's long-last lover.
And, as so often happens, Henry Thibodeaux has disappeared into the wilds of San Francisco.
So, the team at the newly-renamed WilliamsJones Security sets out to scour the City for any trace of the derelict dad.
As they do, they discover the man they're looking for is also being hunted down by someone bent on seeking revenge...
Will Nick and Carter and all the gang find Henry Thibodeaux in time?
Find out in this, the first book in a three-part story arc, that's all about what happens when a father, who has abandoned his family to find his fortune, finally has to come to terms with his past.
They fly on to Miami where, by fate or coincidence, they meet the ex-lover of David’s long-lost father. The father, Henry, is thought to have run to San Francisco. On the stop in New Orleans on the way home, they learn that Henry is being hunted by a killer.
That lays out the basis for one of the more intense books of the series. While people have tried to kill them before (and they recount how often at the end), the book is filled with chase scenes and close calls.
Nick reaches an emotional watershed moment in this book, finally coming to grips with his mother’s death. The fog that has settled over him lifts and he is back to his former focused, take charge self.
Along the way, Nick & Carter, along with Ben & Carlo, Gustav & Ferdinand, and the various guest stars meet Bette Davis. Miss Davis’s inclusion promises a colorful encounter and she does not disappoint.
The book ends on a cliffhanger and a couple of the other plots are left to be concluded later. It’s a good thing for readers that the books are released as often as they are.
Brought to you by nostalgia, and as a reminder that Nick and Carter could be my parents. This simply makes their story, as gay men and as a couple, resonate more deeply with every volume.
As the title suggests, abandonment is the core theme in this story, which is the first of a three-part plot arc in the ongoing Nick Williams epic prose poem. A jaunt across the country in their stylish but limited-range Caravelle jet takes Nick and Carter, indirectly, to a house party in New Orleans’ Garden District. There they learn about a man on the lam for murder, his abandoned family, and the gay son who becomes the latest in Nick and Carter’s extended family of marginalized gay folk.
Nick’s great-uncle Paul makes another appearance here, carrying on the thread of dreams that might be more than dreams. Fans have learned something about Paul Williams from these dreams. Interestingly, this time around it somehow reminded me that Paul Williams seems to have lived his life entirely for his own pleasure – an understandable response to a world that despised and shunned him for what he was. The fact remains that the only really good thing Uncle Paul did for the world was leaving his vast fortune to his pariah great-nephew, who has used it to good purpose in the aid of truth, justice and the American way. That, of course, includes gay men and women as part of all three of those virtuous values. Again we’re reminded in this book that Nick and Carter lavish their wealth on other people, too, supporting hospitals and other important charities through their foundation, renamed in this book the WilliamsJones Charitable Foundation. Nick and Carter have touched thousands of lives. If living well is the best revenge, doing good to those who shun you is pretty good revenge, too.
One thing that always strikes me in these books is how often men kiss each other. This doesn’t happen all that much today (my family being an exception). Certainly in 1962 America, men did not kiss each other. The kissing culture in Nick’s created family is one of his weird super powers. Being kissed by Nick Williams means you are forgiven, you are valued, and you are loved. Nick’s kisses mean more than money to those people who love him best.
I’ve already started on “The Shifting Scion.” Book three will be along soon.