The Back Stairs - K.C. Kendricks Fallon Roxbury, police investigator,likes dogs. Even at work, he usually takes time to befriend them. When he's called to the site of a gruesome murder where a young male prostitute was killed by cutting off his genitals, he meets a dog which obviously belongs to a mysterious girl. As he talks to her, she points him towards a man who calls himself Sundown, a hooker who lives at the top of the back stairs of Montgomery Boardinghouse. Given the name of the man, Fallon expects another hustler. What he certainly not expects is a man so attractive, he literally makes Fallon's brain take a vacation. Or how else could it be explained that Fallon thinks the black dog he encounters at the site of the next cruel murder has got Sundown's green eyes?The story started very promising. Sure, the jaded cop, the bickering straight friend and partner, the golden - hearted hooker, they were all stereotypes, but nicely done. It was even made believable why a trained forty year old cop would suddenly throw his caution (and his service weapon)to the wind and go at it with a hooker he had barely met. The shapeshifter part was another forte of the story; Fallon interacting with Sundown in dog form was nice to read. But then Fallon is hurt on the job, and in the hospital, and Sundown reveals his secret to Fallon, and from there on, the story went right to the drain. I mean, dog shifters, ok, I can buy that. Even an entire clan of them. But aliens? Tentacled, gender-neutral beings who can not only shift between animal and human, but also between female and male? It made me itch. The way Fallon dealt with his lover's revelation, on the other hand, was quite nice. Normally, there's only the thought how the alien/ shifter would fulfill the human partner's needs; Fallon at least thought fleetingly about how he could ever be what his alien lover needed. But Fallon and Sundown lost me here. I don't like the thought of tentacle sex, really, thank you very much. So, others may like this story which has its fortes. It wasn't exactly for me, though.