Snowball in Hell

Snowball in Hell

Josh Lanyon

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It's 1943 and the world is at war. Journalist Nathan Doyle has just returned home from North Africa--still recovering from wounds received in the Western Desert Campaign--when he's asked to cover a high society murder.

Lt. Matthew Spain of the LAPD homicide squad hates the holidays since the death of his beloved wife and this year isn't looking much cheerier what with the threat of attack by the Japanese and a high-profile homicide investigation. Matt likes Nathan; maybe too much and in 1943 Hollywood being different isn't healthy.

Besides, Nathan had every reason to commit murder.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Aspen Mountain Press
ISBN: 978-1-60168-076-1
PUBLICATION DATE: 2007
WORD COUNT: 44636
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 4 4 4 4
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Action/Adventure, Erotica, Historical, ManLove, Mystery/Suspense
KEYWORDS: noir detective, world war two, WWII, gay romance, cops, journalists, reports
 

EBOOKS BY Aspen Mountain Press

EBOOKS BY Josh Lanyon

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Josh Lanyon/2007
Whitey Whitlock greeted him with the usual inquiry as to whether he could explain why they were paying him such an exorbitant salary to sit on his duff and drink martinis at the High Hat all day.

Doyle assured Whitlock he had no idea, but he personally felt he was worth every penny. Then he sat down and typed up some malarkey, handed it in to Whitlock, who scowled as he skimmed the crisply typed pages from beneath white and beetling brows, and shook his head.

"Doesn't anyone in this town know anything?"

"If they do they're not talking to the press."

Whitlock didn't say the obvious: that it had taken Nathan all goddamned day to file a story that any cub reporter could have turned in his first day on the job. In the old days Nathan would have had his ass canned for that kind of omission, but with the manpower shortage, and the war effort dominating every front page, he had a little room to operate. And, while he wouldn't have previously thought to trade on it, his bloodstained resume gave him a certain amount of clout at the Tribune-Herald.

He told Whitlock that that since every paper in town was covering the story he was hoping to get the human interest angle. Whitlock looked skeptical, and rightly so. Nathan hadn't given any previous indication of anything so unwholesome as an interest in humans, but he contented himself with shaking his head and muttering how he'd always known it was a mistake to hire Doyle.

And then, very off-handedly, he mentioned that the police had been there looking for him--twice.

Nathan stood still for a moment. Then he realized that Whitlock was watching him, and he raised his brows. "I can't uncover all their leads for them," he said.

Whitlock hrrmphfed. "Next time meet them at your other office. They bring down the tone of the place." He retreated, muttering, to his lair, and Nathan went to the men's room and splashed cold water on his face.

He needed to eat something. That was the first priority. And then he needed to see what the cops wanted. But, of course, he knew what they wanted. They wanted to know why he hadn't mentioned he was one of the last people to see Phil Arlen alive. They would have found that out right after they visited the Las Palmas Club.

There had never been any question he was going to have to have this conversation with Lt. Spain, but it was better to go into it prepared, so he drank some water and headed downstairs to the newspaper morgue where he looked up everything he could find on Lt. Mathew Spain.

There wasn't a lot. He learned that Spain was thirty-five--a few years older than himself--and had been a cop for ten years before he enlisted in the marines, had been hit by sniper fire on Guadalcanal, and he returned to the Los Angeles police force, who were, apparently, so delighted to have him back they'd promoted him to lieutenant.

Mathew. Matt.

It suited him. Nathan stared down at the black and white photo. It was a tough face, but an intelligent one. Keen eyes--you could see it even in black and white. A stubborn chin, a full--but grim--mouth. Not a guy who gave up easily--if at all. It was a mouth that looked like it had learned the hard way not to smile too easily. It was an attractive face and it was hard to remember that this was the face of an adversary.

The hungry, restless feeling was on him again. For a few months in hospital he'd hoped--prayed--he was cured, but it was worse since he'd returned to Los Angeles. Much worse. Need was like a fever burning him up, burning up his inhibitions, his common sense, his instinct for self-preservation. Ironically, the war had kept him reasonably sane, reasonably steady. But now he was back to where he'd started.

He needed to give Lt. Mathew Spain a call.

But first--he decided to go down to the Biltmore for a couple of drinks.

 
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