'Alluringly gritty' TIME
'An extraordinary thriller' Lee Child
#1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris returns with the second thrilling instalment in her Gunnie Rose series . . .
When Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew to transport a crate into Dixie, she sees it as an easy protection gig. Dixie, the self-exiled southeast territory of the former United States, might be just about the last place she wants to visit, but the job itself is straightforward . . . until their cargo is stolen and her journey turns into a massacre.
Up against a wall in Dixie, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate. Forces across three territories will be racing her, for what the crate contains is something powerful enough to spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time . . .
Internationally bestselling Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries and Midnight, Texas trilogy) is at her best here, building a compelling world of this alternate history of the United States, where magic is an acknowledged but despised power.
The second installment in Harris's Gunnie Rose series (after An Easy Death) does little to expand the alternate world it's set in, resulting in a disappointingly flat fantastical analog of the Jim Crow South. Lizbeth Rose has joined a new crew of mercenary guards tasked with protecting a crate as it is moved from Texoma to Sally, a town in Dixie. When their train derails just short of their destination and the cargo disappears, Lizbeth suspects betrayal within the crew. As Lizbeth goes undercover to retrieve the crate, her erstwhile lover, Eli, shows up with a plan to help the black population of Sally rise up against the white family that controls the town. The cultural differences between Lizbeth, a Texoman gunslinger; Eli, a magic-using Russian prince; and the denizens of Sally are hinted at but underexplored. That revolution is stirred up by external forces instead of arising from within the oppressed black population, meanwhile, veers uncomfortably close to white savior narratives. Readers will be left unsatisfied.