Series: A Cole McGinnis Mystery
Author: Rhys Ford
Genre: MM / Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 19th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5~4 Hearts
Blurb: For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half-brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.
As if his own personal dramas weren’t enough, Cole is approached by Madame Sun, a fortune-teller whose clients have been dying at an alarming rate. Convinced someone is after her customers, she wants the matter investigated, but the police think she’s imagining things. Hoping to put Sun’s mind at ease, Cole takes the case and finds himself plunged into a Gordian knot of lies and betrayal where no one is who they are supposed to be and Death seems to be the only card in Madame Sun’s deck.
Review: Now here is a book that gave me conflicting feelings, but I think this is the case with Cole McGinnis Mysteries. There are things I love too much in the series and things that irritate the hell out of me. Let’s take a ride shall we?
So, main character Cole McGinnis and I seem to have developed some really special feelings for him. I adore this character, he is a man’s man, he is brass, he is coarse, he is grumpy and funny and he cusses a LOT, and I love that about him. He is also sensitive and loving and caring and I love the fact that he tries to hide it, but utterly fails to. What really cracks me up though is the crazy-magnet he seems to have attached to his person. I mean he literally stops somewhere and either crazy people show up or dead bodies flow all over his feet. He still insists on going around though and truly believes he does not have the crazy chasing him. You got to love that guy.
So in this book he once again gets in the middle of the crazy pot and tries to find out which way is North and which way is South, while some invisible hand is stirring said damned pot. I loved the start. It was to be expected that it would start with a nice, intense and brilliantly hilarious scene. The fact that it included a poodle and some serious ass chewing should give you a hint or two. And after this scene, which reminds us who Cole is and introduces him to those that haven’t met him yet, the serious stuff begins.
Now there is the mystery part and the romantic part of the story. The mystery part was all sorts of funny for me. Yes, I found dead bodies thrown at Cole’s feet extremely funny and I had to hold my belly from laughing every time it happened. I mean really, it was as if the murderer was stalking him and killing people a bit before, during or after a meeting with Cole. If I was cop I’d arrest him just because. But back in the story, the whole idea behind the killings made sense in a perverse kind of way. Truth be told I figured the guilty one when Cole wondered what his “laundry” would be since his façade was so nice. But it was quite enjoyable reading it through. The thread was perhaps a bit too tight and the investigation a bit too slow and the police work a bit… not there? I mean what the heck did the police do? But, all in all, it was fun and that’s what matters in the end. I do have a slight irritation at how the final scene with the murderer and Cole evolved, but it’s not that important.
What is important is the fact that the romantic part gave me too much frustration. I so didn’t like how the relationship with Jae went or started in this book. I’ve been patiently waiting through the action scenes to finally, finally see Jae again and have the couple solidify their relationship, because they had this dragged way to much in that damned veil of vagueness and uncertainty. so excuse me while I throw a fit at the whole family stuff that comes in and complicates things yet again. I’m bitchy but come on, it’s not funny seeing Cole go into a drunken stupor and drama yet again, hasn’t he had enough? I suppose though it was a nice way to bind them together and make them tight and inseparable in the end.
Another thing that I found frustrating was the fact that Cole’s brain jumps in too many thoughts when in the middle of something very important such as having intimate intercourse with Jae. You don’t have him thinking of irrelevant things when he’s spreading Jae in front of him, you just don’t. It seriously takes the focus from the main course and then you got to get in the mood again after the short break. I mean it’s hot, it’s too hot, don’t make us take a breath, let us burn there, let the intensity wash over us, because what you did instead was plain teasing. So not nice. *Sigh*
The surprise of this book though was Ichiro. I cannot describe how much I liked this character. He’s Cole’s brother by the way, and I cannot wait for more of him. He is simply fantastic and finally, finally some Japanese blood in the series. It seriously sucks that Cole is half Japanese yet he has no cultural treats of the country on him. So Ichi was a very nice addition and a great way to make the fans of the series start pacing around with impatience.
And lastly I have to mention the end of this book… I must, even if I don’t want to. What on Earth was up with that? I mean… Really? Dear Lord that was just plain sick. It makes me wonder with all the shitty things that are thrown at Cole, and especially from members of that particular family, how is he still mentally stable? And what is it with them? I haven’t got it yet, what is their problem with Cole for the love of God and everything sacred? Agrrr, the frustration of not knowing that one question is killing me.
So the conclusion of the above rant is, if you’re already a fan of the series I won’t bother, you’ve probably already preordered and knocked the book off. However if you are new to this series I strongly suggest you start reading them in order to get a better grasp of the storyline, even though you can read this as a standalone. It might be a bit overwhelming with the abundance of characters, but I think you’ll enjoy it nonetheless; it was a very enjoyable ride, yet again.