The Queer and the Restless

Kris Ripper. Riptide, $17 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1-62649-438-1

The third in Ripper’s Queers of La Vista series (after Gays of Our Lives and The Butch and the Beautiful) sensitively portrays a Bay Area man finding his way through life and love, while weaving in important commentary on transphobic hate crimes. Someone’s killing trans people and leaving their bodies beaten on the beach; reporter Ed Masiello is both terrified he’ll be next and determined to find the killer. In the middle of his increasing obsession, he meets free-spirited travel planner Alisha, who makes him temporarily forget all of the pain and prejudice (especially from an intolerant father) in his life. But Alisha doesn’t want to be just a pleasant distraction—she wants Ed to be her boyfriend. Unless he makes her the focus of his attention, he may lose her forever. The mystery of the killings is not resolved in this story, keeping readers eager for future installments of the series. Ripper beautifully illustrates the challenges and very real dangers that trans people and their partners face, but love is the focus of the story, adding a vital note of hope to balance the fear and sorrow. (Nov.)