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Books – Review of Bath Haus by P.J.Vernon – 2021 – Astounding Thriller

by AniM
bath haus book cover
Bath Haus – Book Cover

Book Review of Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon – Cracking Thriller

My Rating – 4 out of 5

Plot Summary – Bath Haus

This is my first novel with a Gay theme and though I’ve never been squeamish about people’s choices this book has set me free of any trace of prejudice that I may have had. The steaminess in the novel is gender neutral and I enjoyed it like any other encounter. The story is told in the alternating voices of the couple at the center of the story – Oliver Park and Nathan Klein. Oliver is a recovered addict from a down-on-luck background in rural Indiana and Nathan, a successful Trauma surgeon in Georgetown, with serious family money and a successful career. The two are not married but they wear identical rings and stay together in Nathan’s townhouse.

But Oliver has secrets in his past and Nathan’s controlling nature makes him uncomfortable but while he’s enjoying his comfortable life in the lap of luxury, he yearns for freedom and expression, far from Nathan’s world, too. On one such occasion, when Nathan is away on a medical conference, Oliver decides to indulge in his secret fantasy – of a liaison without any commitment. He visits a gay sauna called Bath Haus and expects an evening of carnal entertainment and secret pleasuring. He expects this one-off tryst to be his experiment which will free his repressed desire to escape Nathan’s controlling nature.

Book Launch Video of Bath Haus

But that one adventure turns into a nightmare, and quickly. Oliver encounters a Scandinavian hot guy at the bathhouse called Kristian, who invites him to a private room. As they start getting cosy, Kristian starts to choke Oliver with his hands. An alarmed Oliver, twists and turns, injures Kristian and manages to escape but not before a vicious purple bruise is left on his throat. The nightmare for Oliver has just begun. Does he go back and tell Nathan the truth about how he got the bruise? Or does he hide the real reason from Nathan like so many other things?

For the time being, he chooses to do the latter and conjures up a story of mugging on the streets to convince Nathan. But another problem crops up. Kristian has found him, he has his address and he knows all there is about Oliver…He’s also coming for him, at his home, letting Oliver know that he can be found and can be killed! Is Kristian a serial killer? Does he want to make Oliver his next victim? Many questions and no answers. Oliver has gone to the Police also but they don’t believe his story as all proof seems to vanish, on top of which he has still not told the truth to Nathan.

bath haus praise
Praise for Bath Haus

Conclusion – Book Review of Bath Haus

The book goes through quite a few twists and turns until the rather explosive finish – making it the thriller to really die for (kind of!). For me there is one disconcerting note – throughout the novel, Oliver comes across as panicked and scared – as he should be. But the author ratchets up that panic by the use of metaphor after metaphor, which at times seem excessive and the reader silently keeps wishing that the author dial it back a bit!

Overall, a fine book to sink your teeth into and the author does a grand job of building up the menace of Kristian and his stalking of Oliver. I’m going with 4 out of 5 for this and the only reason it loses that 1 star is because of the author’s rather annoying habit of going on and on about how panicked Oliver is. But that opinion is extremely personal to me, and you may, of course, have a completely different one!

author of bath haus
P. J. Vernon – Author of Bath Haus

* I hope you have liked reading this book review, as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *

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