The fictional town of Idyll, Connecticut, is anything but idyllic for a gay police chief in 1997.
Former New York City detective Thomas Lynch recently became the Idyll police chief in an attempt to flee his guilt regarding his NYC partner’s on-duty death. In the 1997 macho police world, gay jokes are abundant, and though Lynch is out to his family, he keeps his personal life hidden from his colleagues. Everything threatens to collide when a chance sexual encounter places Lynch in the path of a young woman who’s murdered on a golf course only a few hours later. Lynch decides to solve the murder without revealing he had encountered the victim. Leading his team of officers is his first true test as chief, and he must balance being a confident leader with being one of the boys. Adding further drama is the town’s mayor, who wants the murder solved quickly to avoid negatively influencing the town’s huge festival, Idyll Days. Lynch’s diligent police work, mixed with intuition and a bit of subterfuge, ultimately triumphs, both in solving the murder and earning his men’s respect.
The story’s backdrop features small-town staples such as a Founders Day festival, a postal worker who knows everything and relatives who work in the various town departments. Author Stephanie Gayle’s attention to realistic details creates a fun portrait of small-town America.
Readers will hope that Gayle won’t be idle, and that this book will be the first of many with Thomas Lynch as the multidimensional and likable police chief.