Title: Sinner’s Gin (Sinners #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 24, 2012 – 260 pgs
There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.
After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.
Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.
I loved this. Injured and grieving, Miki is an absolute mess when he meets Kane, a giant, solid police detective. The men contrast on so many levels. If rock star and cop are an unlikely combination, so is the street kid and the suburban boy from a huge happy family. And it might be even more unlikely for a cop to fall for a murder suspect.
The chemistry between Miki and Kane is brilliant. Miki doesn’t trust easily and both men find relationships difficult. An orphan whose exact birthdate is unknown, Miki is overwhelmed by Kane’s family – especially his overbearing mother.
The men work out their relationship against the backdrop of a murder investigation. Kane struggles to keep Miki safe as he races to uncover the identity of the person threatening Miki and the people around him.
There are a few believability issues with this story – especially with the mystery/suspense aspect of it. Because the characters are compelling and I was completely in love with Miki, Kane and their relationship, I chose to ignore the little wobbles with the plot.
Miki’s backstory is dark. The author writes about neglect, sexual abuse and child exploitation sensitively and tenderly, but parts of this book were quite difficult to read. I think the light-hearted scenes with the Morgan family worked well to keep the whole book from being too dark.
Singer’s Gin was a good book to start a new series by Rhys Ford. This book had everything you find in Rhys Ford’s books. It had humor, romance and of course crimes. This had a good crime mystery to it, but what I really like is the humor throughout the book. At one point Miki was having so many cops in his home he made the following comment which I just loved: “I’m thinking of opening up a doughnut shop. It seems like I’d get steady business.” Humor like that makes Rhys Ford’s books fun to read.
The characters I thought were great, you have Kane, the cop, who was finding it hard to stay away from Miki while investigating the crimes. At first I wasn’t nuts about Miki, I thought he was weak crying all the time but with all he was through by the end of the book they made a good couple, it just worked.
I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series, great read.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.