Genre: Crime, BDSM
Part of the October 2005 issue of ‘True Tales
Other Information/warnings:Explicit sexual content, BDSM, violence
A deputy sheriff wants more than justice from the judge in his courtroom
Parhelion is just one of those incredible authors who can pick a historical period or genre and get the voice so very accurately, you don’t realise you’re reading pastiche at all. I have to admit I was less amazed by this story than by the one of his I’d previously reviewed (Masks), but that doesn’t mean that Verdict isn’t enthralling or entertaining, or challenging. He doesn’t believe in stereotypical protagonists, and the older man, the less beautiful man, gets to strut their stuff in his stories as much as the pretty boys. The narrator in this is about as atypical as they come, so is his object of passion and the sex itself is also refreshingly outside the norm. It’s tender, erotic, but also intellectual – perhaps the personal interaction is better done than the actual sex, but it’s all good, and as an examination of unrequited desires finding an outlet, you’ll find few if any better stories handling the theme.