Back in Black

By: Rhys Ford
Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
Series: McGinnis Investigations, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Rhys Ford (P)2020 Dreamspinner Press

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Great reader

This book could have been quite good, but. The fact that the protagonist is gay was not the problem, but the descriptions of the intimacy between the couple was not my cup of tea, returning this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 02-18-20

Worth the wait.

My first experience with Rhys Ford was the Cole McGinnis series. I absolutely adore the characters and have listened to them repeatedly. My first exposure to Greg Tremblay was as Cole McGinnis. I remember when I saw the narrator's pic on social media and was shocked that he really didn't look like the image of CMcG on the cover! Tremblay is a master at his craft. I chose to wait a week for the audio release because there is no better way for me to enjoy this series than with his performance.

Back in Black picks up a little after the series ended. If you haven't read the Dirty Kiss books, you need to before this. I mean, maybe *technically* you could enjoy this on it's own, but there are six books previous that are magnificent and set up the situation that is occurring now. The background will make this book all the more enjoyable. (Side note: I love how Ford includes little breadcrumbs from her other works!)

Where the Dirty Kiss series seemed to be equal parts romance and crime mystery, BiB is setting up a new group that focuses more on the mystery and action. The relationships among the characters, whether as lovers, friends or spouses, have evolved and matured. We are confident in the deep love between Cole and Jai, but are confronted with the differences in Cole's relationship with Bobby, Bobby's marriage to Ichi, and how danger puts a strain on the brothers' relationship. There is introspection here but the plot definitely moves along with quite a bit of action.

I guess the only downside is that I am finished with this and will have to patiently wait for the next book (as she clearly sets up for us at the end!), and if I had one complaint, it would be the fact that we really miss out on the marriage of Cole and Jai. Maybe since I went through the series recently, I can't appreciate the actual time between them and this one, but I would have liked to not have the jump in time of those years. I am ecstatic that these beloved characters will get new stories. I just hope we don't have to wait too long!
Highly recommended!!!

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Rhys shifted the bar up higher and then cleared it

I'm listening to Greg Tremblay narrate Rhys Ford's latest offering: Back in Black. Rhys has truly knocked this one out of the ballpark.
Back in Black is a MYSTERY, not a romance, and it's a damn fine mystery she gives us... No spoiler here but WOW.
On top if that Rhys does something special, something I look for in any good story, and that is showing the gentle intimacies of love and friendship. I enjoyed the the Cole McGinnis series and fell in love with Jae and Cole. I fell completely in love with the start of the new series McGinnis Investigations right from page one and I want more already.
Rhys gives us memorable characters, easter eggs to her other works, and a look at what good relationships are made of, and then wraps it all in a mystery that kept me listening/page turning.
Add Greg Tremblay and I'm lost in love.

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Welcome Back Cole and Jae!!

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.

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.

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Cole McGinnis is back (in trouble)!

I was so happy when Rhys Ford announced there would be more books in the McGinnis universe. I read the original series years ago when I was still new to the genre. It’s nostalgic and comforting, so when Back in Black was released I couldn’t wait to listen to it.

I think you could read or listen to this book even if you haven’t read the Cole McGinnis series since the high point of it are summarised. But I also think that it’s a good idea to start from the beginning so that you can pick up the importance of certain things.

True to form when we catch up with Cole he’s running from trouble from his latest surveillance case. A surveillance case that turns into a murder investigation. You know, just like things go whenever Cole is near. This is a fast paced tale about betrayal, love, murder and theft. The mystery might be on the more convoluted and over the top side, but it’s still entertaining. And the most important; I had a lot of fun being back with them all.

I loved being back in this world, spending time with old friends. There is a different feel to this series, well this book at least. The romance and relationships have taken a backseat for the investigation side of things. They are still there in all their glory, but they aren’t to main focus anymore. I don’t mind this at all. I love Cole & Jae, Bobby & Ichi, Claudia and the rest of them, but I’m also a sucker for mysteries and police procedurals, and I was all over this book.

Greg Tremblay did it again. He brought Cole and the gang to life. We ran with him from the dogs, hid behind the cars during the gun fights, and were torn apart when Ichi tore into him. He has so many different voices for all of the characters, main and otherwise. They are also consistent throughout the series (original one) so it’s easy to identify the speaker by the voice alone. Tremblay is as much a part of this world as Cole. They are magic together, and makes it impossible to stop listening.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay are the perfect match and I can’t wait for more.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 02-24-20

Welcome back

Welcome return of an old friend, narrated by one of the best. Worth waiting for.