“You, poor child, who had no friends or toys, you toyed with dreams of murder, because that is a game to play alone.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre
Blurb: As Philip Potter wraps up his last minute shopping on Christmas Eve, 1966, James Walker, his lover of six years, takes his life. Unaware of what waits for him at home, Philip drops off gifts to the homeless shelter, an act of generosity that later makes him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute.
Two men drive yellow Continentals. One is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. Both men have secrets. And as Philip is about to discover, James had kept secrets, too. But James wasn’t trying to frame him for murder…
Review: If you’re hoping to read a cute, cuddly Christmas story, this is not for you. What it is, though…it’s a suspenseful murder mystery that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. Talk about a page turner, starting off with Philip coming home on Christmas Eve to find out James, his lover of six years, blew his brains out in the hallway of the building they lived in. Nothing traumatizing about that! But then a young man is later found dead, shot in the head. Is it just a coincidence that Philip had handed out radios to a shelter before he headed home to that nightmare? Well, that’s when I first caught a glimpse of Daniel and really liked his spunkiness, not to mention liked the idea that he was going to be a writer someday, so it bummed me out what happened to him and was committed to seeing someone pay!
In the meantime, the creep tries to incriminate Philip in the killings, and since the cops want a quick arrest because…after all…it’s only fairy prostitutes who are getting knock off, why waste man power when we have a quick arrest all set to go? Oh, did I forget to mention, it’s the 60s?
About this time, George Walker, James’ uncle, comes to Philip’s rescue when the police start to question him about the murder of Daniel and the others, and this is where it’s a romance, but alas, there’s no smex involved in this story. What a tease! I’m really a voyeur at heart.
Anyway, George has an ex-con by the name of Anthony investigate the murders of these young men, which introduces Terrance, Daniel’s boyfriend, who I really liked as well.
Which leads to the identity of the killer, who drives a yellow Continental….
Needless to say, After Christmas Eve caused a lot of emotions to pop out while reading: shock, sadness, anger, grief, and even an occasional chuckle. Go figure where that one came from, but yes, there were humorous moments. (I’m such a sick puppy when it comes to showers in a prison.) Plus, a lot of twists and turns that I found myself munching on my nails.
Phewww, I’m giving this one a 4 star rating. I would have given it a 5 if the ending didn’t feel a little rushed, although maybe that’s a good thing. I did tend to scan when things picked up and might have missed a lot leading up to the conclusion. But I ended up going back and rereading what I may have missed.
Now, since I found out this was a prequel, I’m going to look up and read Until Thanksgiving.