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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a joy to return to Cole and Jae, characters who originally introduced me to this talented author. The excitement is non-stop, but not too rushed, the tender moments are perfectly balanced, and those wonderful little Easter Eggs she puts into her books that lead lovers of her stories into her other series are perfect and so very Rhys. "Back in Black" is a wonderful addition to her library of books and characters and I want the next one in the series NOW, except I want the next Kai, and the next 415, and the next Rook, and, and ... yeah. Fans of Rhys Ford's books will be delighted, newcomers will be breathless in all good ways, and basically, reading "Back in Black" was a perfectly lovely way to entertain myself for several hours. Read This Book!
I would rate this 3.75 stars. This is really a continuation of the Cole McGinnis Mystery series, but takes place a few years after the previous books. Being thrown into the fray with Cole in first person POV as he takes a job checking a property's security as a favor for a friend reestablishes his character's long history of hijinks. He is not only shot at, but finds a dead body on accident because that is a very Cole thing to do. Said dead body is a former client so he can't let it go, determined to find the killer. The recapping should allow the reader to start here if they haven't read the first six books, but it's a lot to throw at someone coming in fresh--it will sound crazy OTT. It's also a lot of telling instead of showing, yet this is the style of these with humorous asides in that hardboiled detective novel way that sounds like a voice over. It's completely self aware of that as it describes parts of Los Angeles: "there were entire blocks of stone and metal whose shadows held the ghosts of noir detectives and gum-snapping dames." I did experience frustration at all the recapping though; if it was taken out, there would be little story left. Having said that, the main enjoyment comes from the prose rather than the action. It's like Dragnet on steroids crossed with a beginner's guide to ethnic foods of L.A. wrapped up in the feelings of love and family that finally flavor Cole's life. I enjoyed seeing all the characters again, slightly older and more settled in their lives, I just wish there had been more depth to the glimpses. The heat level is ratcheted down here as compared to the previous books, which I didn't mind, but I did wish I felt more of the emotional connection between then in the moment rather than having to rely on past events to know it's there. In other words, I wish they were making new memories instead of reliving the old ones as a way to tell the reader they love each other. The previous focus was on Cole and Jae establishing their relationship with the mysteries and past traumas as a backdrop. Here the focus is on Bobby and Cole establishing a more formal business arrangement between them moving forward as consultants for the LAPD with O'Byrne being their main point of contact. It's a focus that will rely way more heavily on how interesting the cases are moving forward unless there is manufactured drama to disrupt the happiness of all the couples and that won't make longtime fans happy. I'm willing to see where it goes.
Only Cole McGinnis could fall on the body of a former investigative client while being chased by a gun-firing sheep. The action level picks up from where it left off in the Dirty series, while the personal relationships have shifted over to married life and extended family dynamics. The brotherly bonds between Cole/Bobby and Cole/Ichi are explored in how they have been affected by Bobby and Ichi's marriage. This new series is set up to be more mystery and action based around Cole's PI business (will Bobby join as an official partner) and his consulting with the LAPD. Can't wait to see more of Scarlet and Claudia, along with Dell, Mike and Maddie. I hope that Rook and Dante continue to make appearances.