Next: Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen
Chapter Ten–The Knight of Wands
Gabriel visits various used bookstores to track down the purchase of the vintage BDSM mags. While two of the stores are strikeouts, he hits paydirt with the third. The store is owned and run by Jason Evans, a nice guy who is a real book lover. He gives Gabriel enough info to confirm that Raymond did not buy the magazines, and Gabriel makes a new friend out of him.
Gabriel’s friends are buying him dinner. But while the women in the group rally around Gabriel’s intentions, Danny and Jim are pretty harsh on Gabriel’s quest to investigate Raymond’s death, seeing it as quixotic and dangerous. He does not give up, and convinces Jim to accompany him to talk to a cop friend of his, Andrew Greene. Greene has some information–that the kibosh was put on the case from higher-ups. Jim finds that all the more reason to quit looking into it, while Gabriel sees it as all the more reason to continue looking into it.
Chapter Eleven–The Page of Cups
Gabriel has begun cataloging Raymond’s belongings for Allan Cheng. He is about to go in his apartment building when he sees a man waiting for him. It’s Joel, his former boyfriend. Gabriel is happy to see him, and they go upstairs to talk. And to get mad at each other. Gabriel hasn’t heard from Joel since the break-up. Gabriel is still angry over Joel’s tendency to distance himself, and Joel is angry some at what he thinks was Gabriel’s trying to control him. However, they still have a connection. Joel has returned to help Gabriel with the Booth case; he’s been keeping up with Gabriel through the news. Despite the underlying tension, Gabriel is willing to accept Joel’s help.
Gabriel is preparing to move on to interview suspects. He receives a phone call warning him off the case, and promising a financial reward if he does so. Gabriel smart-mouths the caller, who hangs up on him.
Chapter Twelve–The Ten of Wands:
Gabriel is not deterred by the threat he received. He starts on interviews of likely suspects with the Foundation director Ethan Nelson. Gabriel then begins a verbal dance in this interview. Nelson is smart but supercilious. He feels superior to Gabriel, and Gabriel uses that to elicit some breaks in Nelson’s demeanor. Gabriel can tell pretty much that Nelson is lying about something, and while he’s suspicious about the degree Nelson claims to have and the importance he has in the Foundation, he still needs to investigate other leads. Nelson attempts to divert Gabriel’s attention to Dr. Kelly Cole.
Between the Pages:
- Gabriel loves books. Books are special. Just having them sit around the house is comforting, if you are a book lover. So while Gabriel bought some books for goodwill, these books will be loved. Used bookstores are great oases of peace and regeneration.
- Here we see the follow up to that email Gabriel sent. Joel didn’t reply to it because he was planning to come back. Joel is feeling unfinished business still exists. Gabriel isn’t hearing this. He cares deeply for Joel, but because he was hurt, he doesn’t trust Joel as a lover. He does trust him otherwise.And who is Joel? He’s a very talented artist who does not care about working at it (or, at least has not in the past). He is a former sex worker. He’s good friends with Veronica but doesn’t get along with Danny or Jim. He’s more than a bit of a smartass, and he can get pointed in his comments. Between lovers, pointedness takes on even more weight. Joel knows how emotional Gabriel is, and how sometimes Gabriel gets lost in that–Joel annoys Gabriel by asking if he was attracted to Raymond.What’s not said in this book or other books is that Joel was terrified to come back and see Gabriel, afraid of being completely rejected. Joel had been staying with a friend who was dying. That friend encouraged Joel to return to New York. Joel carries off the nonchalance very well. He’s casual when he leaves, but he’s actually glad it went as well as it did.Gabriel likes to make wisecracks. Here, Gabriel is wise to the person threatening him on the phone. Is he nonchalant? Not really, just so hyped to be on the case he’s not going to let phone threats get to him.
- Nelson has been through a few versions leading up to this book. He’s very glib, and he’s sharp. He’s been observing Gabriel carefully, as seen in the funeral. But Gabriel is also observant and is good at reading people (semiotics) and when they are lying. Nelson may have been trying to get across one message, but Gabriel sees the subtext.
Beyond the Pages:
- Having worked briefly for a gender equality nonprofit, I’m big on women in so-called “nontraditional” trades, which are fields like construction, engineering, firefighting. I had the pleasure of meeting role models such as Brenda Berkman and Regina Wilson.
Questions for Readers:
Nelson is a prick. He underestimates Gabriel because he makes assumptions about Gabriel due to Gabriel’s background. Gabriel is far more intelligent and intuitive than Nelson realizes. That happens all the time–we may be underestimated because of our circumstances, our gender, our race, our ethnicity, our abilities. What have you been underestimated about? How do you ensure you do not underestimate others?
Rob Thomas: Give Me the Meltdown. I’ll go out on a limb and use songs that have a different meaning. Although this song feels like it’s about drug use (feeding the monkey), I think it can apply to obsessions. Gabriel’s obsessions about cases can be a drug to him.
Colbie Caillat: I Never Told You. This has the emotional resonance of how Joel feels.
Copyright 2012-2022 Alex Fiano
Page updated 8/6/2022