It’s been a slow week for reading due to a heaping helping of the winter blues. Do you get those? On top of my normal mind set it means a huge withdrawal from social media and reading my comfort reads where I know I’m safe. But it seems wrong to miss out on promoting other people’s excellent work so I’ve delved back though my “OMG that was brilliant folder” to find one of the books where I tossed a coin and something else got the mention for that week.
It was quite easy to choose when I gave it some thought because there’s a sequel coming up soon and I think people might appreciate reading the first book in preparation.
I’m talking about Santuario by G B Gordon.
This fabulous book has received somewhat mixed reviews but I think that’s because it’s often viewed as a M/M romance when it’s actually far more than that. I’d categorise it was a science fiction mystery with a gay romance component, and as such it was exactly my kind of book.
The premise is that long after the Human Diaspora a ship load of immigrants crash landed on a planet that had already been colonised. The previous inhabitants, all of Scandinavian origin, did not welcome the Hispanic arrivals but kept them segregated in an island colony where they live in poverty and are subject to the over rule of criminal overlords. There is a government and a police force that does it’s best to tackle crime but it’s only petty criminals that they dare catch and punish.
After 200 years of oppression, a new Skanian government decides that the rules about segregation should be relaxed and the borders opened, but only under strictly controlled circumstances. At the height of negotiations a body is discovered and Bengt, a Skanian policeman is sent to lead the investigation. His attraction to his new partner, Alex Rukow, is immediate, but Alex who knows far too much about conditions on the island to dare show his feelings keeps him at arms length.
The story is an absolutely excellent mystery with a lot of meaty and satisfying world building. The romance element is important but takes a lesser role, and I think that may be why some readers have felt a little let down. But as a sci fi mystery it’s supreme and I can’t recommend it enough. The sequel, The Other Side of Winter, where Alex joins Bengt in the chilly but luxurious north, will be available from Riptide in March.