Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”
It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.
It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.
Estep drags readers along the tracks of an emotional roller-coaster right along with her protagonist, the infamous elemental assassin known as Gin Blanco, who heads the criminal underworld of the fictional Southern U.S. city of Ashland. This 14th book (after Spider's Trap) finds Gin desperately trying to figure out a way to break some unwelcome news to her foster brother, Finn. Unfortunately, someone else leaks it first, leaving Gin and her cohorts to pick up the pieces and avert disaster. As always, Estep delights in torturing the characters in her urban fantasy series, perhaps a little bit more than they deserve. Even though some may argue that Gin's own actions have led her down this path, Estep's willingness to pile on the troubles keeps Gin sympathetic, ensuring that readers will continue rooting for her. This installment's plot is intriguing, but it's primarily a transition book, setting the stage for the next act in the series.