Bethany and Dana review Back in Black (McGinnis Investigations Book 1) by Rhys Ford. (Published by Dreamspinner Press, February 4, 2020, 192 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
McGinnis Investigations: Book One
There are eight million stories in the City of Angels but only one man can stumble upon the body of a former client while being chased by a pair of Dobermans and a deranged psycho dressed as a sheep.
That man is Cole McGinnis.
Since his last life-threatening case years ago, McGinnis has married the love of his life, Jae-Min Kim, consulted for the LAPD, and investigated cases as a private detective for hire. Yet nothing could have prepared him for the shocking discovery of a dead, grandmotherly woman at his feet and the cascade of murders that follows, even if he should have been used to it by now.
Now he’s back in the dark world of murder and intrigue where every bullet appears to have his name on it and every answer he digs up seems to only create more questions. Hired by the dead woman’s husband, McGinnis has to figure out who is behind the crime spree. As if the twisted case of a murdered grandmother isn’t complicated enough, Death is knocking on his door, and each time it opens, Death is wearing a new face, leaving McGinnis to wonder who he can actually trust.
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Let me start off by saying this is NOT a romance, it is a mystery plain and simple. And do you know what? That is ok with me because even years after we last see Jae and Cole, it is obvious that they are in a good place in their lives and their relationship. So there was no need for this to be a romance.
But its not just Cole solving this mystery, Rhys includes all the cast from previous book. Man it was so awesome to be able to come back to these people. You know how when you read and listen to a series that you fall in love with and you wish you could have just one more please. Well this is my wish come true. The start to a new series with some of my all time favorite characters.
Now the mystery part of the book, well I enjoyed immensely. But I don’t really expect anything less from Rhys, she just has a way of writing a book that makes you KNOW who dunnit, them bam that person ends up hurt or worse. So its back to the drawing board for who you think is the killer.
I can absolutely say that if this first book is any indication on how the series will play out then you can definitely count me in for whatever she has planned for these characters. If you are like me a HUGE Cole McGinnis fan then you will love this one. Do you need to read the first series? Technically no, but I do think it would be beneficial for you if you do. Not only are they brilliant, but if you want to listen to them, Greg Trembly does ALL of these characters beautifully. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
The Cole McGinnis series remains one of my most favorite series ever. There was something about Cole’s brokenness and his contradicting confidence that he could get the job done. He has a select group of people he cares for but no one to give his whole heart. Jae was a somewhat quiet soul hurt by family in a multitude of ways. Being gay hadn’t been an option for the Korean born Jae even if he was in truth. The two men had a long and tumultuous journey of falling in love and surviving the violence and turbulence life was throwing at them, especially Cole. At the end, there was definitely their happy ending in sight, and even though I could never get sick of reading about them or listening about them in audiobooks, I was okay with the end of their series.
Needless to say I was beyond excited at the announcement of Back in Black. It’s a little different this time. Cole and Jae are married and happy and I don’t believe their love will change in any way during this series unless it is to get stronger. However, I am a little worried about the physical safety of them as well as Bobby and Ichi since Bobby is working closely with Cole again and found himself hurt in the very first book. Cole’s brother Ichi has quite a lot of feelings about that, and I expect a lot of family dynamics in this new series if the first book has anything to foretell.
In the last few years between Dirty Heart and Back in Black, Cole has kept on working as a P.I. I have a feeling that things were a little mundane, and that’s not bad after all that Cole had been through. When he takes a job from a cross-over character from one of the author’s other series, it turns into a clusterf*@# that is reminiscent of the old days. There are a lot of twists and turns before the bad “guy” is revealed. The mystery was good but for me it felt like it was background to the questions of whether Cole and Bobby were willing and able to jump into the fray again and if Jae and Ichi were willing to see their husbands put their lives in danger.
If this first book is going to set the tone for the future, I foresee this being quite a ride. With these four characters as well as Cole and Ichi’s brother Mike and sister-in-law, Maddie, Claudia, and Police Detective O’Byrne, I am so willing to take that ride.
Last thing. Even though I was given a copy of the ebook to read and review, I ended up listening to the audio before I could finish reading, so I want to add that the narration by Greg Tremblay was, as always, perfect. He is Cole and Jae to me. His accents for the varying characters are amazing and he is my very favorite narrator.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – compares to 4.5/5 stars.
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, an insane grey tuxedo cat as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Her narrators include:
Hailing from the chilly hills of upstate New York, award-winning narrator Greg Tremblay lends his voice to Rhys Ford’s “Kai Gracen” and “Cole McGinnis” series, “Murder and Mayhem” and a number of stand alone works. She is also narrated by Tristan James, a fabulous talent who voices her “Sinners”, “Hellsinger” and “415 Ink” series, and Derrick McClain, a rising, vibrant narrator who voices her “Wayward Wolves” series. In addition, Spencer Goss provides a rich narration for Fish Stick Fridays, the first novel in her Half Moon Bay series.