Flight Dreams (Mark Manning Mystery #1)
by Michael Craft
Re-Published July 23rd 2013 by Open Road Media (first published June 1st 1998)
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
A masterpiece of mystery and suspense, this is the moving story of a man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality
Investigative journalist Mark Manning is on the trail of a story that could make his career. Airline heiress Helena Carter, who vanished seven years ago, is about to be declared legally dead. Her fortune, valued at over one hundred million dollars, will go to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and the Federated Cat Clubs of America.
Manning is the only one who believes that the missing Chicago socialite is still alive. And he’s just been given an ultimatum by his publisher: Prove it, or he’s history. Determined to keep his job—and hoping to secure the five-hundred-thousand-dollar reward from Carter’s estate, as well as the coveted Partridge Prize for investigative journalism—Manning enters a world of religious fanatics who could turn back the clock on gay rights. At the same time, Manning grapples with his own sexuality as he falls in love for the first time—with the man of his dreams.
Flight Dreams is the first book in Michael Craft’s Mark Manning series, which continues with Eye Contact and Body Language.
I am currently in the mood for mysteries and thrillers and few fluffies on the side. I saw this offered in Netgalley and found it interesting. Knowing this was written in 1998, some date it 1997, I thought to compare the writing style of the present MM writers to that period when LGBTQ media were not only unheard of by most of the population but also frowned upon. I would just like to point out that Open Road Media is currently very active in re-publishing these older books and re-introducing these authors to the new generation LGBT fans like myself.
This is a mystery thriller and in the middle of it are Mark and Neil who meet and fall for each other. I guess this is the start of a beautiful relationship for the succeeding books still involve these two men.
Mark is a hotshot reporter and is basically considered the newspaper's golden boy. He gets involved in a mystery involving the cold case of an heiress' disappearance. He has no filter whatsoever and makes it known to one and all his opinions, no matter if the listener does not want to. The setting is at a time when cigarette smoking was beginning to be frowned upon and yet still widely accepted so it was kind of a flashback setting for me.
The character and plot developments were well done and the sequence of events well paced. It leaves no room for boredom to set in, something I find quite common in many mystery or thriller novels. For a book that is neither a slash-and-gore type, it was quite graphic so it was not difficult to get a visual on what Mark was seeing, thinking and experiencing. This is just the beginning of the series and already it establishes the feel of the succeeding books.
For those who like mystery-thrillers and a romance between two hot men on the side, this is quite an appealing book to consider. It took me some time to read this thinking it was a setting I would not be too interested in, but I opened this and saw that it was a great way to spend some time before going to bed.
Great read and will definitely pick up the next books.
Review based on a copy provided through Netgalley by Open Road Media.