Who does a New York City radio shock-jock well-known for his anti-PC invective call when he becomes the target of a stinky harassing campaign for which a long-moribund gay rights group claims responsibility? Gay Albany shamus Donald Strachey, of course, because the ties he had to FFF—the Forces of Free Faggotry—back in the 1970s will give him an inside track against those Forces threatening to besmirch Jay ("J-Bird") Plankton's pristine image. The only problems are (1) that FFF effectively disbanded 20 years ago—the few surviving members Strachey can find, equable New Jersey Amish farmer Thad Diefendorfer and ex-firebrand Kurt Zinsser, reborn as the neoconservative manufacturer of Woolly Llama Cheese, pooh-pooh the idea that their old chums could be involved—and (2) that whoever's behind the nefarious plot doesn't stay content with dirty tricks for long but rapidly escalates to kidnapping Leo Moyle, the J-Bird sidekick who specializes in gay-baiting, and then exchanging him for an even-higher-profile victim. Joining forces with tempting Thad to rescue the abductee with or without the help of New York's most closeted, Strachey soon finds himself in over his head. The rollicking mystery isn't up to much, but it does give Stevenson (Strachey's Folly
,1998, etc.) the chance for dozens of sharp digs, and a few more telling ruminations, about sexual-preference politics back in the last days before the 2000 elections.
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