Web Of Lies
Published 2010 432 pages
Reviewed by Ania Tyburska
Summary (from the book jacket)
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I'm Gin Blanco. You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox.
Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man... dead or alive.
I like a book to start with a bang and Jennifer Estep keeps this fine tradition going. The first scene of Web of Lies takes us back to Pork Pit, downtown grill, now owned and managed by former assassin Gin Blanco. The restaurant is a subject to a half-assed robbery attempt and Gin handles the situation as she usually does – with a healthy dose of violence and some self- mockery.
Web of Lies contains a brief description of events from the previous book, Spider’s Bite, but I would really recommend to read the parts of the Elemental Assassin series in order. Mainly because the first part, Spider’s Bite, is a very decent novel and secondly, some psychological and emotional twists are very hard to explain out of context.
The story in Web of Lies is actually very similar to the events in Spider’s Bite. Still not much in the vampire department, but they definitely populate Ashland and seem no worse for it. This time, Gin’s fight with the big bad dwarf (for some reason I find placing a dwarf as the honcho bad-ass hilarious) as a form of community service. She wants to help some good folks, putting her deadly abilities to use and all her friend jump at the idea. They must be a genuinely good-hearted lot.
Even if the reason d’être of the main plot is weak the story pulls through with a nice set of adventures for Gin and a truly monumental ending. The supporting cast consists of some well known characters with few new faces. I have especially big hopes for Owen, who seems to be a much better boyfriend material, than detective Caine ever was. Unfortunately, the romance part, though less important than in Spider’s Bite, still makes me slightly nauseated. I cannot fathom why such a strong and capable woman as Gin keeps whining and panting after the stuck-up jerk with only visual bonuses. I’m all for pretty boys, but at least make them silent and available.
Web of Lies is a strong addition to a promising series. The idea of casting a cold-blooded assassin as the main character is still fresh and interesting. The longer story arch builds up nicely and makes you anxious to reach for a third part. I would rate Web of Lies higher than Spider’s Bite, if it wasn’t for the romance that is dragging its feet. Let’s hope that the third book in the series will bring some much awaited improvements in this department.
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