Book Review: Bath Haus
Long time no see! I’ve been on vacation the past week, and with grad school on top of that everything just fell by the wayside. That being said, I’m glad to be back in the swing of things.
Today I’m sharing my review of Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon.
My book buddy Gigi recommended this read, and we tend to like books about the same, so I thought I’d give this a go. Alright, on to the review!
Oliver Park, a young recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they’ve made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn’t be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it’s a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it’s the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.
What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon’s Bath Haus is a scintillating thriller with an emotional punch, perfect for readers curious for their next must-read novel.
I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.
I can’t recall having read an LGBT thriller before, but after this read I’ve definitely got to try some more!
This book centers on a gay couple, Oliver and Nathan. Oliver has grown bored with his relationship, so one night he goes to a bathhouse called Haus. He quickly meets a charming individual at the bar, but things take a dark turn when he’s attacked in a private room. After escaping, Oliver’s attacker makes it clear he isn’t done with him yet on the Grindr-like app called MeetLockr. Can Oliver get rid of his unwanted stalker without ruining his relationship, or will it all come crumbling down?
Mostly everything worked for me with this novel.
I got a lot of depth from the characters involved. Oliver has a troubled past that is relatable to anyone who has known someone who suffered from substance abuse. Nathan is a doctor and was, well, bland. The complexity of their relationship was nice, and they felt three dimensional. Hector, Tom, and Kathy were great supporting characters as well.
I really enjoyed the mystery element throughout this novel. Could it be stronger? Maybe a little, but it did the job of keeping me relatively in the dark until the final conclusion. There were plenty of surprising twists and turns along the way that I wasn’t expecting, and that kept me going.
As far as cons go, Nathan and Oliver’s relationship was chaotic and cast a really dark shadow. Obviously the author isn’t trying to say that all gay relationships are this troubled and tragic, but I wanted a little more positivity throughout, some glue that held Nathan and Oliver together besides their present situation. I didn’t get that, and after a while it was a bit depressing.
I also would’ve liked Oliver to come to his senses and make better decisions earlier in the novel. I understood where he was coming from with his past, but I had to suspend disbelief a bit too much to believe a person in his situation wouldn’t do the right thing earlier on.
All in all this was a fun thrilling book, and I can’t wait to read more like this one!
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!