Reviewed by Annika
TITLE: Whiskey and Wry
SERIES: Sinners #2
AUTHOR: Rhys Ford
NARRATOR: Tristan James
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2014
LENGTH: 8 hours 41 minutes
He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.
When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: He’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.
With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman-who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes to kill Damien – shows up to finish what he started.
Damien Mitchell is dead.
At least that’s what the world thinks. The man currently residing in an asylum in Montana believes something else. He believes he is Damien Mitchell, and he is very much alive. But how does he get his life back, when he’s locked up and no one believes him and he doesn’t know who to trust? The only thing he knows for sure is that he needs to get to San Francisco and find his best friend Miki St. John.
Former bodyguard Sionn has returned home after his last assignment went horribly wrong. Working at his grandmother’s pub he hides from the world, and himself. Until he hears the busker playing outside Finnegan’s. Sionn approaches the busker, determined to chase him away, but it didn’t end quite as planned. The two forms a tentative friendship and when the past comes to claim Damien the two scramble to stay alive and figure out who and why is after him.
I feel like parts of the story was missing and the not the least a lot more depth to Sionn. I wanted to get to know much more about him, we get glimpses of his past and who he is, but nothing really solid. Most of the book centers around Damien’s problem and their budding relationship. But the focus is never really on Sionn.
Another thing I missed was a bit of backstory to how Damien ended up in the Montana asylum after his accident? How did no one figure out who he was? And also, what happened to the asylum? I mean did everyone working there get off scot free, no consequences? Someone somewhere must have known who he was. Maybe there were more people in that place that didn’t deserve to be there? I wanted some kind of closure on that part of the story, but we never got that.
What makes this book really different from Rhys’s other works is that we not only get Damien and Sionn’s POV, but we are also in the head of the assassin, and let me tell you his mind is so sick and twisted you might want to have some brain bleach ready after reading some of his sections. Just a bit of a heads up; if you are bothered by descriptive, gruesome and gory details of what one twisted person can do to another, you might want to skim or skip those parts.
I wasn’t too fond of Tristan James narration of this book, it didn’t really work for me this time around. Again he narrates the book, he’s not performing it, living it as some do. And I can accept that, that’s his style of narration. But what I didn’t like was that he felt emotionless while reading which made the book feel kind of flat. His voice, while very pleasant to listen to, was also very monotone and I found myself spacing out at times and had to rewind parts to know what was going on with the story. All in all, it was ok to listen to, but not as effortless as it could’ve been.
This book too ends with a teaser for the next (full) book in the series. It’s not as dramatic as the one in the first book, but it does peak your interest.