A two-years-later sequel to the frightful night Jesse James Colton blew into Isthmus City, Wisconsin -- and blew away a...

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THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER

A two-years-later sequel to the frightful night Jesse James Colton blew into Isthmus City, Wisconsin -- and blew away a pickup partner he found, like so much else in his pitiable life, disgusting. Jesse's no queer, as he'll tell you himself, early and often. But everybody tries to make him into one -- from the sluttish mother who wished she'd had a daughter, to the neo-Nazi buddy back in Minneapolis who told him about the Isthmus City abandoned house where Jesse later left the body of the transsexual who'd tried just a little too hard for a pickup, to the truck driver who rapes him when he tries to hitch a ride out of town, to hateful old queen Simon Scales, who takes Jesse into his well-used dungeon when he ends up back in Isthmus City. Two years pass, and Officer Jesse James Colton, a rookie cop who sweated the background check more heavily than he ever sweated murder, is called to the scene when the transsexual's corpse is discovered -- and begins sweating all over again as he watches his mentor, Det. Harvey Bender, taking the tantalizingly slow steps toward identifying the victim and moving inadvertently closer to Jesse as the perp. Meanwhile, Jesse's gone right on sleeping with men -- from Simon Scales to green-as-grass Officer Will Gunther -- and having nightmare flashbacks (his teasing relation with a young teacher, the incident that drove him out of his mother's house) that redouble the rage and despair fueled by the steamy sex he feels doomed to. The result is a mixture of kitchen-sink realism, rough-trade sex, and in-your-face psychological portraiture. Without the relatively reassuring period frame of Torsos (1993), Cooke's storytelling here is even more unrelentingly sordid. Nobody who can read the first ten pages of this book, though, will put it down unfinished.

Pub Date: May 2, 1995

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Mysterious

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995