Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: John F. Rooney
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Late night on the docks of Manhattan, they find him, carefully laid out, hands crossed, peaceful, and very dead. A close examination of the body finds something usual hidden in his mouth – a condom. Unfortunately, this is not the first victim to be found this way. All are male hustlers and all have the same condom calling card. A serial killer has been born. NYPD special ops is called in and Denny Delany, one of the city’s best is put in charge of the case. He reaches out to sex crimes but intra-department politics start to hamper Denny’s progress. As he battles his own alcoholic demons, the bodies pile up and Denny wonders if his lack of progress is by design. Could the perpetrators be within and if so, how can protect his career as well as his life?
Unprotected Love was my first read of Rooney’s Delany series. Rooney has a knack for storytelling. His characterization, settings and plot all work together to create strong hooks keeping the reader engaged. His style and voice are a little different than the average read which took me a chapter or two to tune my ear to. As with most mysteries, the fun is taking the clues provided and trying to jump ahead and solve who the murderer is. Rooney does a good job at throwing a couple of red herrings in the mix hear and there and had me guessing then second guessing most of the way.
I also found the details of how the relationship between “John’s” and “Hustlers” interesting from a psychological perspective. This detail and the backstory of Denny and Molly gave the work a real and edgy feel. More mystery then thriller, Unprotected Love is an entertaining read.