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 am late to the game as far as Rhys Ford goes – for whatever reason I had not read anything by her – despite the fabulous reviews, etc. DAMMIT! Is all I can say – she is fantastic! I started with the Cole McGinnis series and I am so psyched that I have all the others ahead of me to read! If you are reading/listening to Dirty Laundry you are probably well versed in the world of Cole and Jae – an amazingly sweet love story between a reluctant Korean man and a kind of goofy PI/ex-cop set in LA. You could read each book as a stand alone, Rhys does a good job of catching you up on the basics of each of her characters, but the story is far more rich when read as part of the series in order.
There is so much good to say about this series and this author – it is hard to choose where to start. First Rhys is an amazing writer. She does an amazing job of describing LA, the characters, their emotions, the Korean/Japanese culture in America – everything. She is lyrical and poetic, touching and sweet. She is a joy to read because all that she writes is so rich and detailed without being overdone and excessive.
Second, the love story. Oh man… so wonderful. Jae and Cole are so sweet together and in this book we get to see their relationship really gelling and it is not only tender and romantic but the smexy scenes – HOT! Those two can really “get it on”, but the tenderness is what does it for me. I just want to love on Jae and tell him it will all work out, but Cole does a pretty good job of that.
Third, the mystery. Ok this is the hard part. Here the reading vs listening raises its head a bit. Without paying close attention to the mystery it can be easy to lose some of the threads. The unfamiliar words, the quirky characters, the variety of places… can be difficult while listening (for me – clearly a visual vs auditory person). It is easier when I’m reading to follow more closely – I just substitute my own name for the Korean and it somehow works. But – like the first 2 books the mystery is exciting and the people are hilarious and you don’t see it coming til the end. I LOVE how every other adventure has at least one moment when “and then the shooting started”. This makes me crack up. Cole is like this superhero who is impervious to bullets, and poor Jae has to keep patching him back together.
Fourth, the characters. Ichiro – Delicious! I know from sneaking a peek at the next book that Ichiro becomes more and more involved and I am so happy to see that! What a great new addition! I loved learning about Mad-dog and Mike, I wanted to kill Barbara and Cole’s dad, Tiffany is growing on me and Bobby – like always- is proving to be the best friend a guy could have. Oh, and don’t forget Claudia- so good Cole has someone to mother him.
I can’t recommend this author or the series any more – 6 out of 5 hearts.
Greg Tremblay gets it.
He just gets it.
If you have the kindle version, you can read along and listen at the same time – don’t ask me why I did this, but I did. Maybe to help with some of the Korean words? Anyway. What I learned was that Greg will sometimes go off script – just a little. He clearly understands the dialog and the story so much he can extemporize a little – it’s as if he is these guys! And – somehow – he can do Cole AND Jae spot on, though they are such different people. Amazing! Like the radio stars of old, he is a true actor.
His reading of the smexy scenes will make you absolutely melt. It almost feels a little … invasive. It’s like you’re listening at their door, he’s so convincing. He does such a thorough job of adding in emotion and texture to his reading. He knows his vocabulary in English, French, Korean, Japanese, no easy feat. (Nothing annoys me more than a narrator who doesn’t know how to pronounce things, isn’t that their job?) He even has an amazing singing voice! (We saw this in Dirty Kiss with Scarlet). I just love his take on the story and am so glad he did all three books and I am hoping he will be doing book 4.
This is one of those books where I can honestly say I loved the audio version more than the written. Why? Greg Tremblay. He ACTS out this book for you, helps through the unusual words, and gives depth and timing to the emotion in the book. I absolutely recommend this book, this narrator and this author.
Greg Tremblay’s reading of the smexy scenes will make you absolutely melt. It almost feels a little … invasive. It’s like you’re listening at their door, he’s so convincing.
6 out of 5 stars
Copy provided by Dreamspinner