In this first volume of the Clint Folsom Mysteries Compendium, which includes a previously unpublished Clint Folsom adventure, Death in Manhattan, the initial development of the promiscuous NYPD homicide detective into a life as a satyriasis and adventure-ridden police investigator is traced chronologically. This four-book set takes Clint from his upbringing in the Hollywood home of movie stars and the influences of hedonism and sexual want and preference for men through his training for a career in law enforcement, beyond the tragic loss of his first serious lover, and to his steeling as a detective in a special NYPD homicide squad.
The first segment in this compendium, Death to Innocence, a precursor to the Clint Folsom mystery series, illuminates the elements of the slow, but relentless, death of maturing Folsom’s naivete under highly unusual circumstances in narcissistic and hedonist Hollywood. The previously unpublished Death in Manhattan traces the path of Clint’s first attempt at a fully committed relationship. And memories of his relationship with Brad feature prominently in all of the following books. Death on the Rhine has Clint Folsom taking leave from his job in an investigation of an international crime syndicate and pursuing a killer to a Rhine River gay male-oriented cruise ship, the MS River God. In the fourth murder mystery, Death in Eden, Folsom finds himself summoned to a wealthy hunt country suburb of Washington, D.C., to whitewash the murder of a former Mafia sex-torture assassin.
The Clint Folsom Mysteries will continue and conclude with the forthcoming second compendium volume. This volume, which will extend Folsom’s adventures to Key West, Florida; the Rocky Mountains; and even back to his roots in Hollywood, also includes—and concludes with—a previously unpublished book, Death to the Past.
Neither Brad nor I closed our own files on the Meister gang. Brad stayed with Vice, but I transferred over to the regular Homicide unit, although Burton Kahn stayed in touch with me and I did some incidental work with his unit with the only stipulation being that I wasn’t on the hook to actually engage in sex during an investigation. There was also another limit that Burton and I agreed to. I stayed away from Danny Thompson in any of Kahn’s cases I worked with. I figured that Danny was the greatest temptation facing me in trying to stay committed to Brad, and so I stayed away from him to the extent I could. Danny, of course, didn’t like it. I never did have that conversation with him that I knew he deserved, either.
Danny’s response was to try to make me jealous—even to the extent of dating women, especially women I knew. He eventually started seeing one of the intake clerks in Homicide, Sharenda, who I had become friendly with. She’d come in to work with a glow about her and would drop broad hints about someone keeping her real happy. Danny made sure that I knew that it was him. And he was right that it made me jealous. But every day I spent with Brad assured me that Brad was worth the sacrifice. Without letting her know why, I encouraged Sharenda to keep on monopolizing Danny’s time.
Brad and I had been sticking with our effort of commitment for nearly two years before circumstances intervened. The Meister gang both helped us with that effort and was what eventually upset the balance. We both concentrated on doing our individual jobs well, but we also both kept our ears to the ground for any hint of the Meister gang renewing its activities in New York. We thought it was just a bit too convenient that the case had been immediately closed after Hans Gelber had been shot. Gangs like that don’t disappear overnight. We both figured, though, that someone in the police hierarchy must be on the take and had protected the gang when it was most vulnerable. For that reason, whatever Brad and I found, we brought home to discuss and did our best to cover our hunt from others in our respective units.
Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that Brad was collecting more than he was sharing with me. Often when he didn’t know I could see him, he was fiddling around with putting papers in a hiding place in the kitchen that I knew about but that he’d asked me not to get into—unless something happened to him. I scoffed at anything happening to him, but I respected his privacy and didn’t snoop.