Howdy again! So glad you're here. You deserve a reward for your hard work and patience with this never ending week....here ya go. Lick your lips, smacking sounds acceptable for this eye candy!
So, now that you are all good and distracted...I need your focus on this additional treat. Today's review is on Web of Lies - our latest offering in this week of Jennifer Estep. Web of Lies continues the tale of Gin Blanco, Elemental Assassin otherwise known as the Spider. In a very unique and creative twist on the paranormal, Jennifer Estep breathes life into her latest Urban Fantasy endeavor. Having done the lion's share of world building in Spider's Bite, what with all the dwarves, giants and vamps being mainstream and living the American Dream, the pace of this particular story starts with a bang: witty, fast and deadly. Throwing in just the right amount of recap, she manages to keep the plot rolling while dangling new bits of information about the mystery that is Gin Blanco.
Web of Lies opens to find the assassin formerly known as Spider endeavoring to enjoy her retirement. She's giving up the hit life in hopes of seeing her relationship with straighter-than-an-arrow police detective beau Donovan Caine blossom. Unfortunately for Gin, things don't ever seem to work out so well. Two punks enter her BBQ restaurant looking to rob the till, staff and patrons. Bad move....really bad move. Gin hasn't killed anyone in weeks and this insult really pisses her off. One of the robber punks happens to be an elemental too. Despite that, Gin and her trusty dwarf cook, Sophia, shut them down. Punk's dad is a big-wig attorney which is bad. Donovan Caine investigates the crime which is also bad. One of the victim's brother's is hot and very appreciative which is good - sort of. Gin lives and breathes angst...and stone...and ice!
Gin gets roped into a pro-bono case afterwards when the other victim returns to the Pork Pit looking for the Tinman to help save her grandfather's home. Gin works to fill the very big shoes of the dearly departed Fletcher Lane by taking on the case of his childhood friend against a corrupt mining tycoon. Lots of important back history gets filled in during this Elemental Assassin installment. Returning supporting cast of Finn, JoJo and Sophia help to balance out the tumult of Donovan Caine and his black and white world view, complete with self loathing. While the reader cant help but love the chemistry of Gin and Donovan, his rejection of her life, past, choices, etc. make it difficult to find much to recommend him to the kind-hearted, stone cold killer.
The action sequences of this tale are frequent and varied - mixing hand to hand fights and knife play with full-tilt Elemental showdowns. While empathizing with an assassin may not seem to come naturally to readers, in the end the bad guys die and the good guys remain standing and that spells satisfaction. The wacky world of Ashland takes on more form and substance with each story and the lives of the folks who frequent the Pork Pit are a little bit richer for it. Once again, Jennifer Estep impresses and delights with her tales of the sassy assassin, tangy as the BBQ she's slinging. Here's hoping that readers have the patience of the Spider waiting for the next installment!
This Happy Hump Day reviewer gives this second in the series a whopping 5 chocolate covered strawberries and I'd like some BBQ on the side!