Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology. *
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
One disadvantage of an audiobook is in listening to an extremely complex book with a great deal of world-building and unfamiliar terms. One must listen carefully to every word and then remember all the names and terms as we go through the audiobook. I found it difficult to do that here, so for that reason, I may have some of the character or location names or terms incorrect in this review.
Dim Sum Asylum is the location of the Arcane Crimes Division in San Francisco where Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick has to shoot his dirty cop partner in the scene that unfolds as the story opens. He’s also chasing an animated statue or shrine God, and there’s a scene involving flying dragons. All in a day’s work, however. But then, as much as he disliked his partner, he dislikes the thought of getting a new one even more. Enter new partner, Trent Leonard, and a serial killer case the new guy has to get involved in from the very first hour on the job. The problem is that Roku’s extended family, including his crime boss grandfather and many cousins, seem to be involved somehow in the case. Well, at least that’s one of the problems—Roku has many problems, issues, concerns to deal with in this story.
The story is action-packed, very vividly detailed with the beautifully styled prose of the very talented Rhys Ford and carried out by the voice of the highly talented Greg Tremblay. This book is not boring—far from it! Between the complexities of the Yakuza crime family headed by Roku’s grandfather, and the hunt for the serial killer who eventually captures someone very close to Roku, the two detectives find they have more in common than Roku originally thinks. And then the relationship happens. Or at least, the beginning of a relationship—in the form of a very hot and heavy sex scene sure to heat up an ebook device.
Going into detail would take way too many paragraphs, but suffice it to say the mystery is intriguing, the action is stunning, graphic, and often deadly violent, but the romance is sweet. Fans of Rhys Ford and her wild imagination will love this one. If you haven’t tried any of her work and love urban fantasy, this is a great story to try as it is a standalone so no need to worry about cliffhangers.