Author: Michael Murphy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/27/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: BDSM, M/M Romance
While on a mission in northern Afghanistan, Benji’s helicopter is shot down. Benji went in with a band of brothers but comes out with a stack of body bags, including one for his partner, Blade.
After recovering physically in Germany, Benji is sent home to San Diego. He’s been a soldier so long he doesn’t know how to live as a civilian. The loss of his brothers and his partner weighs heavily on him. Benji’s body might be healed, but he is still a very broken man. Unable to find work, Benji turns to drinking, bar fights, risky sex with anonymous men, and striking out at everything. As he spirals out of control, he even tries volunteering in a BDSM club as a sub for demonstrations and private scenes.
Despair drives Benji to action, and he meets Nick, a young man in desperate need of hope. With his options and his money running out, the only question is if Benji will find his way in time
Michael Murpy is a new author to me and I will start out by saying I loved Evac. The writing style is a little different to what I am used to and I guess the best way to describe it would be that I thought the author told me the story rather than showed me. I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense but it is the best way I can describe it.
This is Benji’s story and it is bleak, often cruel and something that many thousands of men and women go through when they come back from the nightmare that is war. A day in Afghanistan that changed Benji’s life in too many ways to count as he was left the only survivor of his team when everything went wrong. As time stands still and the horror unfolds Benji loses his brothers, his friends, his lover and his sense of self and when he wakes up in a military hospital in Germany the only thing he has left from that day is the guilt of surviving.
Benji is left with crippling PTSD and Michael Murphy pulls no strings when writing the emotions and horror in these scenes. It is terrifying to me the reader so to have to live through it is simply unimaginable. His solace in hospital is quirky psychiatrist David but like everything else in Benji’s life that is also taken away from him and he suddenly finds himself returned to civilian life.
Anger is a very strong emotion in this book. Anger at surviving. Anger at the people living life without a care in the world. Anger at society’s blasé attitude to what going to war means. It builds and builds in Benji until you feel like he is going to combust. Anonymous sex gets rid of it to a certain extent, allowing himself to be used and abused as a form of survivor’s punishment. When that isn’t enough there are BDSM clubs where people are willing to dole out pain, again Benji absorbs this as a punishment he is sure he deserves. His perception of himself and his need to be punished is very telling to just how ill he really is.
His saviour, and I use that word loosely as it is not a quick fix, comes in the form of a man named Nick and they meet in unusual circumstances. Two men adrift in life who may just have a chance at being what the other needs. The story leaves you with a glimmer of hope but also a profound sadness.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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