Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Ramen Assassin

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ramen Assassin (2019) Rhys Ford

Ramen AssassinTrey Bishop’s life went up in flames, sprawled across all the tabloids. But he’s been sober for several years now–slowly putting himself back together. So stumbling across two men moving a dead body–men who then try to kill Trey–is not what he wanted or needed out of life.

So long as he didn’t put a whiskey bottle to his mouth, Trey was willing to put up with any kind of pain his body dished out.

Luckily for him, the owner of the ramen shop (who Trey has had a crush on for months) appears seemingly out of nowhere to save Trey.

Kuro Jenkins was forcibly retired from field work after his picture was plastered across the news worldwide.

“Well then, Jenkins, it appears as if you’ve just burned your own identity. There won’t be a newspaper left in this world that won’t have your beautiful face plastered all over it. Quite a feat. Saving a van full of stolen children held hostage by a terrorist organization. Pity about the photogs covering the garden opening, but that’s how our lives go,”

Now he’s enjoying the peace of running a ramen shop and not having anyone trying to kill him. But when Trey literally falls at his feet while being chased by men with large guns, Kuro reacts without thought.

I really REALLY liked this story.

“It also makes us pretty itchy when a noodle shop guy lays down five shots in a perfect line exactly a few inches higher than the heads of the guys he says he was shooting at.”

“I figured it would be easier to identify them if I had an exact measure of the tall one’s height,”

It’s pretty brutal describing just how hard Trey fell–and just how much damage he did to everyone around him as he went.

He’d taken his first drink in that office, stealing a sip of something expensive from an unmarked crystal decanter. It burned going down. Much like it burned coming back up. But the numbness it left on Trey’s tongue and eventually his brain was glorious.

“Oh yeah, eggs I’ve got.” He blinked again, his lashes throwing spiky shadows over his cheek. “It’s common sense that I’m missing.”

That’s what I liked so much about Trey. He knows he completely fucked up his life and burned every bridge behind him, and he owns it, refusing to make excuses for himself–even if he might have deserved one or two.

Kuro also owns who he used to be–and with a lot less guilt. And when Trey (who he’s been quietly lusting after for months) needs his help, he jumps right in.

So there are two characters who I really like AND who are good for each other.

Then we get the mystery, which is ridiculously complicated, but also fascinating and good. The twists wouldn’t have worked in a small town setting, but in LA it works.

And there were the secondary characters who were fully-developed and nuanced.

“If I owe someone something, you would rather it be you?”

“You are not wrong.” She smiled. “But mostly, it showed me how lackadaisical I’ve become. You didn’t feel as if you could come to me. That I wouldn’t be able to find what you need. I didn’t realize how much that would sting. How much a part of my presence in that sphere is so closely aligned with my identity.”

And even the members Trey’s family that we meet–who are difficult and complicated and possibly why he went so far over the edge–are complex.

And although Trey struggles and murder and death hang over everything, he and Kuro still managed to be sweet and funny (and adorable, but don’t let them know I said that.)

“Who the hell says whereas?” Kuro stopped trying to open the condom’s foil pouch, looking down at Trey with intense curiosity. “I don’t think I’ve ever said that in my life.”

Rhys Ford is another author I came cross in an anthology, and I am delighted with this discovery and look forward to reading more.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, LGBT, Mystery, Romance, Sexual Content

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