Aterovis, Josh. “Bleeding Hearts: A Killian Kendall Mystery”, PD Publishing, 2007.
Thrilling Coming of Age Story
Josh Aterovis has written a wonderful thriller about coming of age with “Bleeding Hearts”. It’s romantic, it is fun and it is a good read. Killian is the hero of the novel and he discovers that he is gay but only when a new boy comes to his school. The two becomes friends but it is short lived because Killian’s friend was stabbed to death. Killian thinks that the murder was planned but the police felt that is was a mugging that went to far and the murder was the result. Killian was outed right when this all happened and he left home and moved in with the father of a friend. Everything happens very fast. Killian, who was only 16, manages in a few days to come out, have several boyfriends, has a friend murdered, and finds out who killed his friend. He is a gentle person and has had a rough time of not only going through adolescence but accepting his homosexuality as well.
The story is one that pulls the reader in because it handles the subject of coming out and combines it with a mystery. The mystery is large one and because of that the characters are important. Aterovis manages to give us real characters, the kind that we can identify with, even if the storyline may seem to be a bit unusual. As Killian Kendall matures and deals with his self-acceptance, we get to know him. He felt as many of us did when we were coming out—that the entire world was against us. His maturation and growth happened under extremely adverse conditions, He searches for truth as he searches for himself while trying to find love at the same time. His quest for justice intermingles with his desire to know himself and he manages to find not only himself but justice as well.
Josh Aterovis manages to give us characters that are both honest and loveable who face obstacles in life. They manage to prevail even in the face of perilous situations. The story is told from the point of view of Killian and this makes it that much more personal.
I love this book and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller or a fine coming of age story or both. The book is not perfect and I understand that this is the author’s first novel. He has taken a giant step into gay literature and has every reason to be proud of what he has written.