Rick and Ernie found the perfect apartment on Chicago’s West Side. Before they’re settled, Rick begins having all-too-real disturbing “dreams.” Each time, an emaciated young man with sad brown eyes appears, terrifying and obsessing him.
From their next-door neighbor, Paula, Rick learns about Karl and Tommy, who lived there before them. Tommy’s mysterious disappearance pains her. When she shares a photo of her with Tommy and Karl, Rick is shocked and troubled. Tommy is the man who appears to him in his dreams.
The ghostly visitations compel Rick to uncover the truth about Tommy’s disappearance. It’s a quest that will lead him to Karl, Tommy’s lover, who may know more about Tommy’s disappearance than he’s telling, and a confrontation with a restless spirit who wants only to—finally—rest in peace.
So, yes, this is tagged “Ghost”, but it’s not a paranormal romance. It’s also tagged “M/M Romance” and while it does involve two gay couples, there’s not much romance between the pages of Wounded Air. I could have easily tagged it as horror, but that would be even more deceiving because even though there is most definitely a haunting, the horror in this story comes from nothing supernatural, but what characters go through in their not so normal, tragic lives.
Wounded Air was not an easy story to read. Not because it wasn’t gripping or because the writing was lacking. No, Wounded Air was hard to read because of what Tommy went through before his tragic death – which isn’t a spoiler. The author didn’t pull any punches in giving readers a glimpse into Tommy and Karl’s life before Tommy’s ended. The real mystery was how Tommy met his end and the revelation didn’t surprise me.
The story takes several twists and turns and jumps from the past to the present. It wasn’t a confusing switch though and without those glimpses into the past there wouldn’t have been much of a story. As hard as Wounded Air was to read, it’s one of those books that I’m glad that I read. It’s probably not for everyone though, especially those who would be triggered by references to addiction. Like I said, Rick R. Reed pulls no punches and Tommy’s slide into his own personal Hell isn’t just brushed over.
There was no happy ending – it was more like a resolution. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the way things were left with Rick. It seemed like there may be more to his story. Hmm…