Here is the page
By Cat Sebastian
I started reading Here, pageIt ends very quickly, immediately hunting down the sequel, Missing page, And read that very quickly. One tagline I saw was, “Comfortable mystery like Agatha Christie but make it gay.” It’s not as comfortable as the dead NPC that dissolves in a video game of the dead as much as the impact; Comfortable sharp edges. There is, for example, a bucolic setting, but there are real threats in addition to the central mystery around the border: PTSD, the trauma of war, major social changes and the threat of homophobia.
I am shocked that there are no more books to disappear, and for two reasons I may have to re-read them immediately. One, I really liked the system of letters, worlds, and half a teaspoon of information: nothing is dumped. Each of the characters has a universal face and a personal world of their own, sometimes a sad, difficult one that they want or have to hide. As the mystery progresses, their personal, authentic individuals begin to blend in and connect with others, creating a destructive intimacy of privacy, backed by their open personalities. Their community became a calm, cautious acceptance and it was nice to read.
Two, the mystery is written in a way that hopes to hold me. I thought that since these characters are so clever, they expected me to be clever too. Sometimes a character will make a comment that does not fit the conversation perfectly, but reveals something interesting or important and others will notice, but no one describing it to the reader will emphasize what happened. I will not indulgently feed information and explain things to me in detail; I had to hold up. That was a lot of fun.
Occasionally, though, a big clue will be dropped by a side character, and no one will react or notice too much later, if not. This was frustrating because it did not fit in with the attentive nature of Leo’s character, and James continued to demonstrate observational, interpersonal fluency.
The romance between Leo and James is touching and emotional, again conducted on two levels, official and private. Much of the dialogue is code, and Leo and James put together words with multiple levels of meaning to express intimacy, weakness, caution, or even annoyance that was very sensitive. Everywhere in the emo book, I was reading, which is what I’m saying here.
Leo is very sarcastic in the chapters of his POV, and his mind is a delicious place:
He usually worked on the idea that the only reason to keep people from committing massacres was fear – the gallows, the curse, not being treated very well by the neighbors.
The fact that each interaction and event was simultaneously working on different levels implies that mystery and romance were involved and was very soothing. At its core, the Page & Sommers series is about finding a safe home and shelter, even when the world is a scary, frightening and traumatic place, locally or globally.
A distraught spy and a shell-shocked country medical team to solve a murder in post-war England.
James Somers returns from the war with a broken nerve. She just wants to return to the quiet village of her childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing he needs in the world is a handsome stranger who seems to be mingling with the first violent death in the village over the years. It certainly doesn’t help that this stranger was the first person James wanted to touch before the war.
The war may be over for the rest of the world, but Leo Page is still busy doing dirty work for a more disrespectful branch of the intelligence service. When his boss instructs him to cover up a murder, Leo doesn’t expect to be sent to a sleeping village. After a week of helping old women spin balls and flirting with a handsome doctor, Leo is in danger of forgetting what he really is and why he’s there. She’s in danger of feeling something she doesn’t have a business sense. The person who burns his identity after every work cannot establish roots.
As he begins to unravel the secrets and lies hidden behind the lace of the most beautiful villages, Leo realizes that the truths he is about to reveal will affect his future and affect the man he grows up caring for. . .
Historical: European, LGBTQIA, suspense / thriller, romance
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