Reviewed by: Ulysses Dietz
Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team
“He’s like the poster child of how not to be a human being.”
Rhys Ford loves her guns. And her explosions. And her European-Asian mixed race men. She also loves to make tough, jaded, emotionally blocked guys fall for other other similarly damaged and scarred guys. And she does it all with a joyously baroque language that at times goes a little bit far. But far be it from me to tell Ms. Ford which adjectives to leave out of her descriptive phrases.
As far as Rhys Ford’s oeuvre goes, Ramen Assassin is actually sort of sweet. Beginning her story with a roller-coaster ride of unhinged violence resulting from an act of extreme heroism, she quickly shifts into a nearly normal cute-meet, as long as you don’t count the shooting.
Trey Bishop is a mess, but he’s two years on the road back to humanity. Kuro Jackson is a retired government agent running the hottest ramen shop in LA’s Koreatown; a shop that Trey Bishop frequents as much for its amazing soup as for its gorgeous green-eyed owner. Their unexpressed mutual interest, hitherto kept at bay by the counter in Kuro’s shop, is set free in a hail of gunfire, leaving Kuro suddenly privy to the personal maelstrom that is Trey’s family circumstances. Old instincts die hard, and Kuro finds himself drawn into Trey’s situation because he sees something in Trey that most people – particularly his family – don’t.
This book is full of vivid characters, James Bondian in quality, from Trey’s ruthless corporate father to Kuro’s former employer, a femme fatale in the literal sense of the word. In a refreshing Los Angeles that seems devoid of Hollywood’s intrusion, Ford’s dramatic ensemble plays out a stormy drama worthy of King Lear, but with a tender gay romance thrumming softly at its center.
Ford’s books are sort of like cilantro – you either love them or you can’t read them. I happen to love cilantro.