Bethany reviews ‘Billy’s Bones’ by Jamie Fessenden. Published by Dreamspinner Press on July 21, 2013, 254 pgs.
NOTE: While this review should have gone up during Award Winning Week, life got in the way keeping me from posting it. This week is reviewers choice and this book is definitely one that I would pick for my choice to review.
Why I read this book: This week is Award Winning Week and this one is the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Mystery / Thriller 2nd Place 2013. It has also been on my TBR list for quite some time so I figured now was the perfect time to read it.
Kevin Derocher was thirty-two when he walked into Tom’s office, newly married, a baby on the way, and the collar of his red flannel shirt pulled up to hide the bruises around his throat from when he hanged himself in his garage. After his initial consult, therapist Tom Langois believes he’ll never see Kevin again—but Kevin turns up three years later to make repairs on Tom’s new house.
Kevin and Tom become fast friends, and Tom begins to suspect Kevin may be interested in more than friendship. However, Kevin remains haunted by something from his childhood—something so terrible he blocked it from his mind. These suppressed memories make it impossible for Kevin to get close to anyone without panicking and lashing out, sometimes violently. But as his past begins to surface, it becomes apparent that Kevin may hold the key to a twenty-five-year-old mystery: what happened to Billy?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to read for AWW, mostly because I wasn’t really sure what I was in the mood for. When Dana told me what she was reading I went to the Rainbow Award list to see what they had. There were a few that I had read and thought I might reread to review. Then I saw this one and asked if anyone had read it and what they thought. Well Dana said she listened to it and really enjoyed it. Then when I told her what I was thinking about reading she demanded….er gently encouraged me to read this one. I am so glad I did, because it was heart-breakingly beautiful.
I think my heart hurt for the majority of this book, not in the “why won’t they stop dancing around each other and finally get together” kind of way. No this was a “he is in so much pain and there is nothing I can do to make it better” & “I can’t believe some people” kind of hurt. This was on the verge of being out of my comfort zone but I have been trying to push myself to do just that. Step out of the comfort and try something that might hurt but be worth it in the end and this diffidently fit that. Wow just thinking about it now that I sit her to write this review has me tearing up. Lets see if I can get through it.
I liked how the author had Tom and Kevin meet years before the actual story takes place, so while they have a “history” it is brief and doesn’t effect their current situation. Well I take that back to a certain extent. Tom knows the reason Kevin was in his office the first time around. But when his and Kevin’s paths cross again years later Kevin obviously wants to be friends, Tom leaves Kevin’s issue where it belongs, in the past. Till things turn more from friendship into something deeper, something strong, something more meaningful to both the men. But oh man Kevin does have issues, issues from his past that he just can’t remember, but when these issues start to effect their relationship Tom has no choice but to dig deeper to find out why.
And what we find out is grim and dark and painful. So painful I found myself having to put my kindle down cause I couldn’t see past the tears. If you have read any of my past reviews you know that making me cry is a very simple feat. But this one, oh my, it was physically painful for me to read, AND I’m crying now. But it was FANTASTIC. This author did an absolutely wonderful job conveying Kevin’s pain even though he is not sure what happened to him that cause such pain, the inability to be physically close to another person. He constantly struggles between wanting to know what happen to the pure terror of knowing. Tom wants so badly to help, he just isn’t sure weather to push for fear of Kevin accusing him of being more of a therapist than boyfriend. But not doing anything is making him feel helpless, for him it is a no win situation.
I could go on and on about this book, but I fear I might give to much away in effort to tell you how amazing it is. It is wonderfully written, perfectly balanced, heartbreaking brilliance. This author knows how to grab you from the very beginning and not let you go, he makes you feel for the two main characters, sometimes frustrated, sometimes anger, and most of the time the achingly need for them to find peace and happiness in the end. He accomplishes so much in 254 pages but you never feel like you miss anything. Oh look there I go again gushing. Ok I will stop, but please go now get this book. I promise it is not one you will regret.
After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie recently left his “day job” as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.