Reviewed by Helyce
Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.
Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.
As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.
As I have come to expect, Ms. Ford starts this story off with a bang. Cole once again finds himself tasked with helping someone from his partner Jae Min’s family. And as usual, you can expect Cole to find himself right in the middle of a hail of gunfire. Only this time, more of his loved ones are in the line of fire and Cole is determined to keep everyone safe. Along with his trusted friend Bobby, Cole goes in heart and head first, to get to the bottom of why Jeff Rollins has reappeared to attempt to kill everyone Cole loves.
Throughout this series, Cole has simply tried to move on and recover from the tragedy of losing his police partner Ben and his beloved boyfriend Rick in a horrific shooting that made no sense. Cole was injured as well and has the scars to prove it, a daily reminder of what he’s been through. When he meets Jae Min, their love begins to help both of them heal from the tragedies of their pasts.
But in each book, Ms. Ford has hinted at the “whys” of the shooting. People pop up from his past and open old wounds and in almost every instance someone gets hurt. This story is no exception. Ford’s unique brand of snarky humor and exciting suspense, while giving us information and answering long asked questions is at the forefront of this story. We finally learn the why of the tragedy that took the lives of two innocent people.
I have to admit I didn’t see it coming. The connection between all the players and how everything ties together was well done and really took me by surprise. At the same time, I was saddened by the reasons the character Ben felt that his only option was to pull out his gun and shoot at two people who were like family to him. While things were hinted at throughout the series, and I had formed a certain conclusion, I was actually wrong in my assumption, but that only made the reasons a bit more sad.
I have loved this series from the first book, Dirty Kiss. Cole and Jae fought for each other and their love has grown throughout the series. We felt deeply the way Jae struggled with being gay in a culture that doesn’t accept this life choice. The need to pretend or lie in order to be included in the family was heartbreaking for Jae, and he did it until he could no longer hide his feelings for Cole. I was drawn into the lives of the characters Ms. Ford introduces us to in each story. I especially loved her elaborate descriptions of all the foods because they reminded me of home and made me hungry for the foods of my youth.
It’s a little sad to say goodbye to Cole and Jae and the myriad of characters that touched their lives and enriched this story. But getting answers has provided closure and made it just a little bit easier.