“The Hillside Roble” by George Bixley— A Queer Antihero

Bixley, George. “The Hillside Roble”, Dagmar Muira, 2018.

A Queer Antihero

Amos Lassen

I was very surprised that I had not been sent a review copy of this book since I have been receiving books from Dagmar Muira for about four years but since I get lists of all new publications, I found this anyway. I did quite favorably review the first in the Slater Ibanez series in June of this year. We learn that Slater is a freelance investigator who sees himself through the kinds of men that he likes and they fall into either one of two categories— those he would like to punch and those he would like to have sex with.

Slater Ibáñez is only interested in two kinds of guys: the ones he wants to punch, and the ones he sleeps with. Slater’s turf is the dark side of Los Angeles, where he roots out insurance fraud and is not afraid to use whatever means necessary to get things done. He is, shall we say, a “queer antihero for a new age”. His employer, Della, gets him jobs and his ex, Conrad, an ex-cop as well as his ex-boyfriend supports what he does as does his f*** buddy Andy.

When Slater investigates a million-dollar robbery at a gallery in the Arts District, Slater is unable to gain access to a meeting with its owner, Eli, until he uses a bit of “pressure” that gets him into a mansion where he learns that Eli is something of a minor celeb. Eli looks perfect but seems to be obsessed with himself and his looks. It’s too bad that his personality does not match his countenance. Gallery manager Pilar and her girlfriend also seem to be hiding something. Begins working on the case posing as a straight guy in order to get the answers that he needs. Then we meet Ty, Eli’s nephew who has a job in a massage parlor and Slater suspects something. More than that, I cannot say because this is a mystery. It is also a page-turner that keeps you guessing.

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