Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
I HATE little girls.
Hands down, they are secret vessels of Satan and probably rule their own special circle of hell reserved for people who abandon dogs by the side of the road and assholes who molest innocent children.
So starts Dirty Laundry, a shocking, raw, sexy and yes, murderous addition to the Cole McGinnis series. I think its the best to date and that is saying plenty in a series that is compiled of little known Korean society in America, thugs and the criminals of San Diego, and the weird, wonderful, and often sad family dynamics of the mixed race McGinnis family, their lovers and spouses. Throw in the police department and their officers for good or bad and local politicians and I’m not sure there is a layer left unused or a element not grabbed for when Rhys Ford is creating a story. And somehow it all works. Even the many, sometimes confusing, Korean family names which are alike by design (something I learned through this series).
Dirty Laundry lets in some light on Kim Jae-Min’s sad, little family dynamics by introducing his sister, and giving us a closer look at his mother. It is so hard for us standing outside of this culture to understand why Jae is fighting so hard to hold on to people who, quite frankly hate him. I ‘m not sure we can ever get into their mindset but Rhys Ford brings us close in this book. Its a tortuous concept but the need for place within that culture is so strong that it climbs out of the pages. And it drives the story. And the murders.
I loved the fortune teller element here. It allowed Ford to introduce so many different levels of Korean society and characters, all fascinating, some lovable, some not. But each and every person within this story comes across as a believable, breathing human being. No matter how brief their appearance, we care about them, and make no mistake, many here are killed and often after we have just come to like them. I couldn’t believe how sad I felt over the loss of some of them. Excellent writing will do that.
Jae and Cole’s relationship continues its dance towards commitment and love. Intricate movements, sexy and dark. Its hot to read and still so full of pain and angst too. Like everything else in this series, they are complicated and shaky.
Cole’s half Japanese brother appears and I have fallen in love. What a great new character. We need more of him and that scares me for his future.
Because of the ending. That traumatic, scary “I did not see that coming” ending. Thank goodness for that Epilogue.
Now I am running for the next book and then the next. As with all of Rhys Ford’s writings, I am one more seriously addicted fan. Grab up this series in the order they were written and become one too. Honestly, I could write a book about these books.
Cover art by Reese Notley. I like these covers from the models to the color tones. Great job.
ebook, 260 pages, also in Audiobook and paperback
Published April 18th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleDirty Laundry
ISBN 1623806321 (ISBN13: 9781623806323)
seriesCole McGinnis #3