Lies With Man by Michael Nava


Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios takes on the case of his life when he defends a young, queer activist who is charged with the murder.


Los Angeles, 1986. A group of right-wing Christians has put an initiative on the November ballot to allow health officials to force people with HIV into quarantine camps. It looks like it’s going to pass. Rios, now living in LA, agrees to be counsel for a group of young activists who call themselves QUEER [Queers United to End Erasure and Repression]. QUEER claims to be committed to peaceful civil disobedience. But when one of its members is implicated in the bombing of an evangelical church that kills its pastor, who publicly supported the quarantine initiative, Rios finds himself with a client suddenly facing the death penalty.

Reviews & Endorsements

“Michael Nava’s eighth Henry Rios Mystery may very well be his best—which is saying a lot, considering the high bar he’s set for himself. Lies With Man, set in 1980s Los Angeles, feels like a story ripped from today’s headlines. Nava’s prose is powerful, matching the weight of the story—as he deftly unfurls a dark, haunting novel that readers will find impossible to ignore. Lies With Man is an important, engaging, and complex crime tale.” —Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, Miami Midnight, and Blackout

“Henry Rios, cerebral, earthy, completely straightforward, and gay, is back in a book that, though set decades ago, deals with issues resonating today. Lies With Man is prime Michael Nava, a pro’s pro, a writer who can see all sides of an issue and knows which side he’s on. He also knows how to make a reader turn a page. I couldn’t put this book down and I urge everyone to pick it up.” —SJ Rozan, best-selling author of The Art of Violence

“Nava’s writing is wonderful, and the dialogue sparkles. He displays an agile use of legal knowledge, an authentic familiarity with the atmospherics and zeitgeist of mid-80’s Los Angeles, and an affection for queer culture, intimacies, and relationships. Nava unfolds a fast-paced crime story about political and moral tensions, Christian fundamentalism, and the clash of race and class and justice, that is both modern and edifying.” —Cheryl Head, author of the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series

“Michael Nava has always been one of crime fiction’s best writers, period. A new novel by Nava is always a cause for joy—in-depth characterizations, interesting stories, and lyrical language–and of course, the iconic Henry Rios. This is one to be savored and enjoyed, over and over.” —Greg Herren, award-winning author of Royal Street Reveillon.

“A riveting legal thriller, a history of a time that reverberates today and a meditation on the power of love—and hate—and the haunting effects of both. Michael Nava, as usual, has created an outstanding book, a mystery novel that deserves the widest audience.” —J.M. Redmann, author of the Micky Knight series

“Nava is an impassioned writer who has once again created a fascinating picture of Los Angeles at an earlier, less enlightened time, centering on gay men trying to shed the shame they have been taught and becoming proud agents of social change.” —John M. Clum, New York Journal of Books

“A detective unlike any previous protagonist in American noir.” —The New Yorker

“Nava is one of the best.” —The New York Times Book Review

“This realistic, gritty mystery set during the AIDS crisis is an eye-opener.” —Publishers Weekly

“If you haven’t discovered Nava yet, an uncommonly rich experience awaits.” —Kirkus Reviews

MICHAEL NAVA is the author of an acclaimed series of seven crime novels featuring gay, Mexican-American criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios. The Rios novels have won seven Lambda Literary awards and Nava was called by the New York Times, “one of our best.” In 2001, he was awarded the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award in LGBT Literature. A native Californian, he is the grandson of Mexican immigrants.

Additional information


, ,

You may also like…