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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 8 star ratings
2 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    Fun private eye novel with established couple

    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.
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    I'm so glad Cole and Jae are back!

    I loved Back in Black. I mean what’s not to love, a revisit with Cole and Jae, humour, murder, mystery, a little romance. I loved going back. It was like being back in Cole’s investigating world, all the troubles that just seem to find him and his way of going in no matter what. Of course I loved all the little Easter eggs in the story, not telling any, but I liked finding them. It was fast-paced and interesting. I didn’t solve the mystery – I never do, but that’s okay, because it’s always solved at the end. I loved that there was lots of Ichi, Bobby, Mike and Mad Dog & Junior. I’ve had the book in my library waiting since October and it was worth the wait. Can’t wait to listen to it either, since that’s how I found out about the book. I totally recommend this book.

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