Jim Booker is a retired detective. He has AIDS. He’s not gay . . . he got it from a steady girlfriend when they got careless. His best friend is Numi, short for Numilekunoluwa. Numi is African. Numi is gay. Eight months ago, Jim was given six months to live, so he knows he is on borrowed time. Numi takes care of Jim, while Jim, at times, rudely objects to too much physical or tender contact from Numi. After all, Jim is not gay, and doesn’t want Numi to forget it. It’s an interesting relationship.
Jim’s friend Eddie approaches him with a missing person job. Jim is really too weak to accept any more work, but this one strikes home. Their mutual friend Olivia is missing. Shortly after Jim takes the case, she is found dead. In exactly the same place Jim’s little brother was found dead twenty-two years ago. Suddenly, the case has a whole new meaning.
As Jim investigates, another death occurs, unrelated to the other two, except for the fact that it, too, is discovered in the same location, with a similar MO.
In a lot of ways, this book is a huge downer, very depressing. This is because of Jim’s condition, and the inevitable outcome. He is weak, sometimes so weak that he can’t even draw breath and fears suffocation. Numi cares for him a great deal, and has no qualms about expressing his disdain toward people who would drain Jim’s strength.
This is my first read of a J.R. Rain book, and I liked it. The ending was satisfactory, although, again, rather depressing. There is also an excerpt, after the book, of another novel, The Body Departed. That one seems interesting, as well, so perhaps I will look for it.