My rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ +
Slide is a novel with the theme of hurt/comfort. Once I started reading, I did not want to put it down. This is the kind of writing that haunts me, follows me around, and gets me worried about the characters. I love this book.
Pete lives an outwardly simple life in the city of Chicago. Being a paramedic in a major city is complicated enough and emotionally he’s just getting by. He takes care of his mom when he can, because that’s what he does, takes care of people. He rents out a room in his apartment to a tattoo artist; the enigmatic (even to himself) Ash.
The story is told in two very distinct first person voices, thus the underlying story, at least for Ash, is told through introspection. Ash is complicated, questioning himself on everything, which is a powerful storytelling tool when handled well, and keeps the reader immersed in the story. After the initial point of view shift, I was never confused about who was telling the story.
You’ve got to love Ash. He’s confused about nearly everything except how to survive on the street and his efforts to blend in, especially in his conversations with Pete (i.e. Ash has no idea who Oliver Twist is or what a tetanus shot is for) are wry and sweet.
Even when the street kid inside him lashes out at Pete, Pete reacts with patience and understanding, because he knows a hurt and wounded creature when he sees one. He knows a former junkie when he sees one, too, yet his attraction for Ash, their mutual attraction, is growing.
On-the-job violence and the murder of a young boy exact a terrible toll on Pete and Ash and begins to unravel the mystery surrounding Ash, but nearly destroys their relationship.
Read this book if you like angst and powerful emotions breaking the hearts of your heroes before they get to their well-earned happy endings.