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ARC Book Review: ‘The Pharmacist’ by Justin David

Title: The Pharmacist

Author: Justin David

Length: 128 pages

Publisher: Inkandescent

I got invited to be part of the blog tour for ‘The Pharmacist’ and the book sounded so wonderful, I couldn’t wait.

Synopsis: Twenty-four-year-old Billy is beautiful and sexy. Albert – The Pharmacist- is a compelling but damaged older man, and a veteran of London’s late ’90s club scene. After a chance meeting in the heart of the London’s East End. Billy is seduced into the sphere of Albert. An unconventional friendship develops. Alive with the twilight times between day and night, consciousness and unconsciousness, the foundations of Billy’s life being to irrevocably shift and crack, as he fast-tracks toward manhood. This story of lust, love and loss is homoerotic Bildungsroman at it’s finest.

The Pharmacist is only about 130 pages but boy does it pack a lot in. It manages to achieve things that books that are over 300 pages can’t do. It’s creates atmosphere, chemistry and intrigue.

It’s full of fantastic characters, with Justin creating such depth in them. We follow the story of Billy who begins a relationship with his older neighbour upstairs. You can feel Billys curiosity. Albert is a character I don’t think I’ll forget for a long time. He showed Billy a whole new world and excited him, yet there was a sense of sadness and melancholy about him. I just loved him.

The highlight of this book for me was the relationship between Albert and Billy. There was such sincerity to it. I could feel the chemistry and connection between them. It’s so intense and real. The sex scenes between them only confirm that connection more. They had real meaning and intensity to them.

Can we talk about that ending? Can we? Oh it broke my heart. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a little tear. It was just crafted so beautifully and delicately. After I finished the book (and stopped crying) I had to go back and read a certain couple of lines in this book that I felt just made the ending make total sense. It was wonderful, yet heartbreaking. Also, I totally didn’t see it coming.

This was just a beautifully written book. Tender, yet sexy. Intimate and wide open. It amazes me how Justin David has crafted such a wonderful, touching story with real heart to it in 130 pages. Also, it’s always wonderful to read LGBTQ+ books written an LGBTQ+ author. Representation matters.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s evocative and heartbreaking. It’s out now!

Thank you to Nathan over at Inkandescent for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. And thank you for letting be a part of the blog tour.

The Pharmacist is available from Amazon, Gay’s the word & www.Inkandescent.co.uk

Until the next review

JTH

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