Monday, January 18, 2016

Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey

Charley is a transsexual CIA informant. Frankie is a lesbian police sergeant. Pamela is a Manhattan socialite tuned high-profile Dominatrix. Randy is an evangelical Christian fundamentalist. All four are experiencing something of a crisis in their lives, leading them to question their identities. Precisely how and where those lives intersect will leave them Transformed.

Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey have crafted an intriguing novel that is both funny and disturbing, thrilling and romantic. It is origins are rather dark - a “Kill the Fags” campaign has birthed a terrorist plot to destroy the ‘hedonists’ of San Francisco - but the characters serve to bring some light (and even some romance) into it. It is a very emotional story, as you might expect, but be prepared for those emotions to shift over the course of the story.

While the terrorist campaign and overlapping CIA/SFPD investigations serve to propel the plot forward, it is the characters who make it worth following. Charley is brilliantly portrayed, capturing the fears and the doubts of a man still on the edge of his final transition, while Pamela is a warm, engaging, sympathetic woman who is slowly reclaiming her freedom and her sexuality. Frankie was a little too hard-boiled for me, but still a solid character, while Randy has enough depth to overcome our initial hatred as his own identity crisis comes to a height.

The cover blurb calls this a "funny thriller", but I would expand that somewhat to call it a "funny thriller with a lot of heart." Transformed could have played it straight (no pun intended), but the humor and the romance put the darker hatreds in context, and help guide the reader through to hopes of a happily ever after.

No comments:

Post a Comment