On the road with the band. A review for Absinthe of Malice by Rhys Ford


ABSINTH OF MALICE! Do you actually need to say anything about this book?
Well yes, silly! It’s the fifth book in the Sinner’s series. Rather than focus on one couple, it focusses on the group and their shenanigans while on tour with the band. In true Sinner’s Gin tradition there are a lot of shenanigans.

What does Absinthe of Malice focus on?
As said, the boys go on tour and for every band member it’s different. Each has their own motivation for going and their own fears to overcome. As per Rhys Ford’s style of writing, quite a lot also happens.

Of course there is romance, but it takes a backseat in this instalment and for me that worked out well. There are tidbits that work with a multi-couple story. The book took a different focus, allowing the characters to grow.

How are the characters for this story?
The story is different from the other instalments, because we already know the characters. They are established and we met them throughout the series. For me it was important that they grew and got more depth in this instalment. In a way that works out well. We get to see each character throughout the story. Some more than others. We see their struggles and we see them grow bit by bit.

So what is the plot of Absinthe of Malice?
As said, the plot focuses for the most part on the band on the road and the different characters and their reasons for being on the road. Along with that there is also a mystery angle. It wouldn’t be a book befitting the Sinner’s series if there wasn’t a mystery of some sort.

The mystery in itself is actually…quite the mystery. There are different “incidents” but nothing is quite clear, apart from that the focus is on Miki, but even that is vague until the end.

It’s this plot angle that annoyed me a bit. It’s more of the same for this author. It’s an easy and comfortable thing to write, while this was the opportunity to take the book to a higher and deeper point.

While I definitely don’t mind a good mystery angle, this was just too vague. Much like Fishstick Fridays was vague. It happened and then it was never spoken of again, like it never occured.

It made the story feel like it was put together by separate scenes.

Does this mean you don’t like this book?
No not at all. Absinthe of Malice is carried by its characters and they made the story enjoyable, but I would have loved to see more.

Tell us about the writing
The writing itself is solid and following. It’s witty and imaginative, so the reader is pulled into the story and each character has its own voice and part of the story.

Do you recommend this story?
Yes, especially for fans of the series! I wouldn’t recommend the story as a stand-alone read as you could have done with the other stories in the series.


Absinthe of Malice Book Cover Absinthe of Malice
Rhys Ford
Contemporary Romance, Rockbands, Mystery
Dreamspinner's Press
June 22, 2016
A copy was provided by the author

We’re getting the band back together.

Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.

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