Colin is a upper class boy with a gambling problem so bad that he can't go home, and is hunted through the streets. Gabriel is a touched boy who takes a shine to Colin. As Colin's old life slips away, it's Gabriel who will take that empty position.
The beginning was a bit of an annoyance for me. I didn't like the tense it was told in, and I felt like the background information could have been incorporated better. It's separated into three parts, across the seasons. Although this sounds like a logical order, it's not actually really related to the seasons. There are several main events.
Gabriel and Drake's tentative love for each other is both touching and realistic. You don't realize that Drake has any experience in this area until later in the novel. And Gabriel seems like he might have been abused, but he warms to Drake's tentative touch. This thread of romance isn't overdone, it's just the right amount.
Something that might make some people uncomfortable are the descriptions of sex in the novel, and the straightforward facts of whoring in the slums. I found them well written, without any cloying descriptions, and they actually add something to the characters.
As Colin (Drake) took on the persona more, the character naming was reflected to show that. The entirity of the text is written from Drake's perspective after all. This was a clever device used by the autho, and I really appreciated it. The transition was so smooth, that I had to double check the ending and beginning to make sure I hadn't gotten confused!
I sat still for several hours to read this. Once I got in, I couldn't get back out again. Amazing how a good author can produce such in-depth characters with a sense of pace that won't let you go.
It's amazing how much trouble two young men can get into when they set their minds to it. But they're both really good at their job, as bloody and messy as it is. I can't even blame Gabriel for being a bit... well, creepily interested in collecting body parts. Most of the targets they are set on deserved their treatment as far as I am concerned.
I was requested to read this novel, and was provided with an ARC. This was in electronic format, but I had such faith in the publishers that I opted to read it.