Joyce Thompson. How to Greet Strangers (2013) 246 pp. [tpo]
Publisher’s description: “Archer Barron is rebuilding his life after hiding from it for years. Once he had grand expectations—graduating law school, donning drag to express his feminine aspects, and the love of a devoted boyfriend—but fate became cruel. HIV-positive cruel. And a growing involvement with an Oakland Santería priestess who promised a cure in return for devotion and a lot of cash. His lover died. His faith and spirit almost followed. Now Archer works a sorry job as a university night watchman and volunteers at a free clinic. The walls he’s built in the years since his loss are about to come crumbling down when a former member of the Santería family he belonged to comes seeking legal help. And then the police discover the body of the priestess. Archer’s grudge makes him a prime suspect.”
Setting: Oakland