This was one of the books I closed with reluctance. I didn't want it to end, it was so good. Way good. Outstandingly good. This is an exceptional read in so many ways!First, it was a really good mystery, of the kind the French call an "roman policier". The classic kind, the one that allows the reader to follow the police's investigative process step by step, even along to dead ends and grub work. Then it turned into a murder chase, with red herrings dropped along the way, just like the detectives might find one clue after the other, and it ended in a thriller - worthy, nailbiting, edge-of the seat hostage situation complete with standoff and shootdown.But as if this wasn't enough, there were two wonderful main characters, so complete and well drawn and - sorry - F***ing real, they took my breath away. The out-and -proud teacher and the deeply closeted cop are almost stereotypes. but these two were anything but. The out one wasn't in your face or flamboyant. The closeted one was not in denial or ashamed, and for a change he had several good reasons to stay in the closet, except for his job. I know I'm repeating myself, but these two were the most believable real persons I've come across in a while. Even the best books have their flaws, and I won't deny this had a few, too. With all the police procedure, interesting and plot-important as it was, the beginning was a bit slow, and the way Tony (who is a schoolteacher in his mid-twenties) was constantly referred to as "boy" or "kid" was rather bothersome, but really, the awesomeness of the whole rest outweighed those minor flaws by far. This book hit me hard and stayed with me long after the last page. Don't miss it, really, it's absolutely worth it. I can't recommend it highly enough.