First You Fall (A Kevin Connor Mystery)

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Title and Link: First You Fall (A Kevin Connor Mystery)
Author: Scott Sherman
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher URL:  Create Space (self published)
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Murder Mystery, Contemporary M/M
Length:  Novel /264 print pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Review Summary: An outstanding read with all the elements for an exciting movie: A vulnerable hero, a complex exciting plot, great supporting characters, and writing talent that would eclipse much more experienced authors.

THE BLURB

When his friend’s death is ruled a suicide, Kevin Connor–a hustler by trade, sleuth by default–sets out to prove a case of murder. It doesn’t help matters that the victim’s grown children, who disapproved of their father’s sexual orientation, are only concerned about their inheritance. But they are  not Kevin’s only problem. His high-strung mother has moved in with him–and she knows nothing about his questionable . . . job. Throw in his super-hot ex – now a New York City detective – and Kevin has more than his hands full.

THE REVIEW

This is the first book in the Kevin Connor Mysteries and I was so engrossed in the plot, characters, dialogue and prose, which were all outstanding, that I re-read the story immediately and loved it even more the second time around. First You Fall truly deserved to be called a mystery. This is a fabulous read that I think would do well on the big screen because it has all the elements for an exciting movie: A vulnerable hero in Kevin Connor, a complex plot, wonderful supporting characters, and great writing. There’s also a romance of sorts between Kevin and his closeted married (but separated) ex boyfriend, as well as lots of fun with Kevin and his best friend Freddy who is just too much and the best character in the book after Kevin – a manwhore extraordinaire. They made a deadly combination when they got together to do a bit of sleuthing, whether it was in a bar after midnight or at a suspect’s place of business.

Kevin Connor is a hustler – not a street hooker by any means but a sex worker whose talents are in high demand. He’s more of a psychologist or therapist to his clients than a sex worker. Scott Sherman took a risk by creating a hero like Kevin, someone who made his living in the world’s oldest profession as it could have been very easy to regard him as sleazy, but the risk paid off handsomely. He’s small and blond, 23 years old, 5 ft 3 ins and125 lbs, quite unlike the usual hero type in terms of stature but he never let his physical size stand in his way and for me he stood tall. He suffers from AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder) and complex issues sometimes cause him to have panic attacks, but he’s planning on going to university anyway despite his problems. He was so adorable that like everyone who read First You Fall I fell for him.

As indicated in the blurb, Kevin’s friend Allen’s death was ruled a suicide by the police but he was convinced there was no way this could be true so he and Freddy decide to investigate Allen’s untimely demise. The lead detective on the case was none other than Kevin’s ex boyfriend Tony who had dumped him 7 years ago when he decided that he wasn’t gay. Of course hooking up again with Tony was the furthest thing from his mind. Right!! As the story unfolded, a can of worms opened to reveal many secrets about Allen’s adult spawn. Running down the clues of who the perpetrator could be, with Freddy’s help, was hilarious. Two more inept detectives would be difficult to find as Freddy was always on the hunt for fresh meat and his lines cracked me up throughout the story. At one point he told a likely candidate for his bed:

“How about I just take you home and plow you like the field of Idaho instead?”

Another priceless gem from Freddy:

If there was anything that made him angry, it was a good-looking man who was too horrible a person to be worth fucking. That was nature at its cruelest, and it was not to be borne.

I marveled at Scott Sherman’s skill as he interspersed the fun of “detecting” with showing how vulnerable Kevin was, especially when Tony was around. Kevin kept his feelings about his life and lifestyle close to his chest, although he revealed that he had built a wall around his heart after Tony left him because he didn’t want to get hurt again. He allowed very few of his clients to know the real Kevin except Marc who suffered from agoraphobia and lived his entire life on the Internet because he was afraid to venture into the real world. Of all Kevin’s clients Marc appealed to me the most because he was such a contradiction – talented and rich – yet he isolated himself from everyone.

The main strength of First You Fall was in the characters, who were incredibly well drawn, but Kevin’s mother was inspired. She invited herself to stay with him after suspecting her husband was cheating on her and she enticed Kevin with her delicious food so he wouldn’t throw her out. She was priceless as she ingratiated herself into his life despite his best efforts to kick her out every morning when he woke up on the couch as she snored in his bed. Keeping her away from his porn stash was a full time occupation, and trying to have sex while she was in residence was a task of herculean proportions.

First You Fall won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery in 2009 and I can see why. The way the mystery was constructed was like an intricate puzzle as the author built each piece painstakingly and skillfully, and just when I thought I had it solved I was blown out of the water, again. For any novel, much less a debut effort, FYF is quite an achievement.

This is a book you won’t be able to put down because you will be sucked into the dialogue, fast paced action and the clever way the pop culture references are woven into the prose; obviously the sex is very hot; after all, Kevin is a rent boy, but it’s also very funny. :) You should run not walk to pick up First You Fall which is available on Amazon for the very attractive price of $2.99. This book was originally published in paperback by Alyson Books which went bankrupt, and it was then self published and released by Create Space but the print copies were hard to come by so I was very happy to see it in Kindle format. The second book in the series, Second You Sin, reviewed by Sirius is available in print, released by Kensington Books, and also in Kindle format. Book 3 will be released in the fall.

First You Fall is told in Kevin’s first person POV.

Highly recommended!

35 thoughts on “First You Fall (A Kevin Connor Mystery)

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Jess

      Be warned – you won’t be able to put FYF down if you get it. I was supposed to be reading something entirely different when I went on Amazon a couple days ago and found this gem. I bought it and the rest is history. :lol:

      1. jeayci

        That’s good to know! Sounds like it might be the perfect book to plan to read after a freebie I was just told I’ll be unable to stop thinking about. Though then what I’ll do after I finish this one… :lol:

  1. Deedles

    I bought this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I loved it so much that I read it three times in as many days. It is still one of my go to bathtub reads. I liked the second one as well and am looking forward to the third. I love how well rounded all of the characters are, and Kevin’s mother is a hoot and a half! I still can’t bring myself to like Tony though. Maybe in the third book. Nice review.

    1. Wave Post author

      Deedles

      Thank you for commenting. I’m pleased to see you here. :)

      I had heard of FYF but the book was so hard to come by that a print copy was being sold by an Amazon re-seller for $52 :eek: and there was no electronic version.

      I’ve already read this twice and I don’t dare open it again since I’m behind with a few reviews AGAIN. :shock:

  2. Sirius

    Awesome review Wave. I so agree that this book was a gem. Definitely looking forward to the third one.

    1. Wave

      Hey Sirius

      This book was a lot of fun, hijinks as well as pathos,
      I loved it as you can tell. I’m now off to read Second You Sin. :grin:

  3. Lasha

    Why, why does Kevin have to be a sex worker? Why? It is my one true no-buy rule because this sounds right up my alley otherwise. Does he leave the profession in book two? *crosses fingers and toes*

    1. Wave Post author

      Lasha

      If I were ever to try and persuade you to relax your rule about not reading books with rent boy heroes this would be the time. The sex with most of the patrons – and it was a stretch in some cases to call it sex – resembled encounters more than full out sex. They were funny more than arousing. :)

      Sorry, Kevin doesn’t leave the profession in Second You Sin. His clients provided a lot of fodder for fun in FYF as well as angst with the boyfriend and I’m sure this will carry over in the next book.

      1. Lasha

        How detailed are the encounters with his clients? That might be the deciding factor for me. *g* Off-page or not detailed I can handle.

        1. Wave Post author

          I’m trying to remember so that I don’t mislead you. I think there’s probably only one client, Marc, with whom he had a full out sexual encounter but even there I’m not sure. I LOVED Marc because he was so sweet. Of course Kevin had sex with Tony, his boyfriend. :grin:

          I’ll re-read the book tonight and email you. Believe me, it’s no punishment to re-read FYF. :blush: I really hope you get it Lasha – I would hate to think that you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Kevin, Freddy and Kevin’s Mom and Dad. What I love about this book, apart from the mystery, were the great characters – even the crooks were well drawn.

  4. Tj

    Wow, great review Wave. It came up as a recommended book on Amazon and I almost bought it. I definitely will now. Thanks for the review.

    1. Wave Post author

      Tj
      Knowing your tastes, I think you will love this book. :) I can’t believe that neither you nor I has read it before, given the way we love mysteries (as well as fun).

    1. Wave Post author

      But what a way to go Majken. This book is definitely a delight. If you don’t like it I’ll refund your $2.99 – that’s a promise. :)

      1. Majken

        Naaa, thanks for the offer, but I buy at my own risk :)

        And food is highly overrated anyway ;)

        1. Majken

          I don’t think our definition of delight is quite compatible, this was absolutely brilliant but, um, I’d go with creepy ;)

          1. Wave Post author

            I would agree with brilliant. You have to email me about which part you thought was creepy – we can’t give away any spoilers on the site. :eek:

  5. Raine

    Love this book Wave, but I agree with Deedles and think that Tony is just not worthy of the all the fun Kevin is! Great review. Thank you.

    1. Wave Post author

      I agree with you Raine that Tony is not worthy of Kevin. I think of him as a foil rather than a love interest, but I suppose Kevin has to grow up and get him out of his system. I’m hoping that by book 3 or 4 Kevin will find someone else. :)

  6. brian

    I loved loved LOVED this book. I read it a few summers ago, and was freaking out when the publisher went under because I wanted the sequel so bad. :) I’m glad you liked this one, Wave, and what a great review.

    I simply adored Freddy and Kevin’s mom…and *gasp* I actually liked Tony. I bought book 2, but haven’t read it yet bc I was afraid where it would take Kevin/Tony. When it was reviewed here I had to ask if Tony was in it, bc if he wasn’t I would’ve skipped it! LOL I should pick it up now, especially if book 3 is coming. Yay!

    1. Wave Post author

      Brian
      It sounds as if you loved this book as much as I did and do. :grin: What a great debut for Scott Sherman.

      I think that Freddy and Kevin’s mom almost stole the book because they were so funny. That scene when she made Kevin climb the tree to spy on her husband’s supposed paramour? I thought I would pee my pants. :lol:

      I will be reading Second You Sin on the weekend to see if I agree with Sirius about the mystery (hope she doesn’t read this). :eek: I know I will love it as long as my favourite characters are still in it. For me, the jury is still out on Tony – I’ll see how he does in SYS. :)

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi GR
      I’m thinking of writing the author to suggest that he look into making this book available in other formats. It’s too good to be limited to the Kindle which, while it’s popular is not the only one around.
      Of course it’s probably available in print somewhere.

      If you’re really interested in reading FYF you could buy the Kindle version and read it on your computer as there’s a Kindle for desktop program that you could download from the web.

      I just checked online and you can get a used print copy from a little over $2 from an Amazon re-seller.

      1. GR

        I live in a small nyc apartment, and have an absolute rule these days about no more hardcopies! I’ll just have to hope for the epub or pdf version.

  7. KatherineHalle

    Wow, what a great review! This book definitely sounds right up my alley. Thanks! :grin:

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Katherine

      You won’t regret getting this book – it’s really a fantastic read. Let me know what you think after you read it. :)

  8. Denni

    Sounds interesting, more summer reading for Mt. TBR. Ordered a copy…Amazon loves me lol :reading1:

    1. Wave Post author

      Hey Denni
      I know you will enjoy FYF and the best part is that it’s inexpensive. Amazon loves both of us as I, too, seem to spend all of my money these days buying books. :lol:

    2. Denni

      OK, the book arrived & got read. We’ll chalk this one up to different tastes.

      The author is an experienced writer and it shows, the book is a very easy read. Excellent writing style, pacing, world building, etc.

      Two elements kept me from enjoying this story more. The first being some sketchy facts, I’m OCD enough that factual errors drive me bugnuts. If an author is going to offer up details, please get your facts correct. ie ADD doesn’t require treatment by a psychiatrist, and the meds (Adderall) can be prescribed by any physician.

      Secondly, my sense of humor is defective. So I’ll admit many of the situations in this book will amuse other readers. But the excessive stereotyping and PCness didn’t work for me.

      Quality writing, I’d read this author again on that alone. And yes, I’m curious what the author has in store for his Hero (and who will emerge as his Hero/HEA). But I’d probably settle for the condensed version.

      1. Wave Post author

        Hi Denni

        Sorry, I just saw your comment and I must apologise for not responding before.

        Mr. Sherman is a very new author, not an experienced one, so I was doubly pleased to find a new author whose prose and dialogue appealed to me as much as his did.

        As you rightly said, ADD doesn’t require treatment by a psychiatrist – my friend’s sons are ADD and their medication was prescribed by their regular doctor. I should have caught that in the review.

        Humour is very subjective, therefore not everyone will like Mr. Sherman’s sense of homour but I did and do – maybe I’m easy to please. :)

  9. HJ

    I also loved this book and was delighted to find the sequel (I liked it enough that I kept checking the author’s name, not something I often do). Ben Monopoli is the other new author who comes to mind as falling into that category (and who is also amazing). Thanks for this review, spreading the word! :grin:

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi HJ
      Whenever I love a book I do my best to “spread the word.” :) As you mentioned, Ben Monopoli is another author of this ilk and Leslie S will be reviewing The Painting of Porcupine City soon. I can’t wait to see what he thinks of it.

  10. Reggie

    I have this on my Kindle. :???: I don’t know why, but I haven’t read it yet. Thanks for the inspiring review. I will move it to the top of the list!

    Thanks :beer:

    1. Wave Post author

      Hey Reggie
      At least this time you can’t blame me for making you spend money. :grin: Hope you like FYF.

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