David DeLee, author of Fatal Tryst, handles a tough subject--sexual abuse of a minor male by a female perp--with sensitivity and skill. In this Grace deHaviland short story, Grace and her good friend Deputy Suzie Jensen are on the trail of a female teacher who has jumped bail and has likely re-united with her fifteen year old student, Chad Beckman. The pair is on the run, with Grace and Suzie in pursuit.
Although “Fatal Tryst” is primarily an action-oriented crime fiction, the social commentary is timely and the message flows seamlessly through the narrative. The story echoes real crimes that have been hailed in the media: Mary Kay Letourneau and Debra LaFave leap to mind. As a psychotherapist who as worked with many male victims, I appreciate DeLee’s handling of the subject. The attitude that males, especially minors, are “lucky” to be exposed to female sexual predators is far too common and often adds to the confusion and despair of the victims.
That said, let me emphasize that it is not a preachy story. The characters are fully developed, the settings descriptions very nicely done, and the plot moves quickly. I will be looking for more Grace deHaviland stories.