Venom (Elemental Assassin Books)

Venom - Jennifer Estep Gin's retirement doesn't seem to be sticking. This time Roslyn comes to her with nowhere else to turn, the vampire is being stalked by one of Mab's minions. The giant Elliot Slater. Her chief enforcer, he is a dangerous opponent with all the power of Mab behind him, the most powerful figure in the Ashland crime world. The authorities can't help her, justice and safety can only come from the Spider's knives.And there's a new cop in town – honest, true, trying to do as much good as she can in a system that is corrupt and compromised to the hilt. Detective Bria Coolridge – Gin's long lost sister. Gin has to decide what to tell her sister, how to help her, how to protect her from Mab and her minions – while at the same time risking her profession as an assassin driving her away just as it drove away Caine.And there's Mab. Mab who is looking for the person who killed her associates, who lurks behind everything in Ashland and who Gin has more than a few reasons to kill herself.In some ways I am torn with Gin playing the mass murdering Robin Hood. I don't dispute what she's doing or her motives, but this book and the last book, Webof Lies she has spent being a pro bono helper to various people. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but we risked losing the focus on her own agenda, her own life and her own wishes.Which is why I am very happy to see the emergence of Bria, Gin's sister. And she looks like a much more interesting character than Detective Caine ever was. Like the old detective, she's honest and good and wants to make a difference. Unlike Caine, she doesn't live in happy dappy cloud cuckoo land and pretend that the system is shiny, that it can fix everything and anyone who works outside the system is of the bad. Or at very least she has a sense of triage - “I know there are worse things , worse people in the world. I'll stop them first. Then, when that's done, maybe I'll get round to you.” and that line, right there, manages to perfectly have a good honest cop who isn't a naive fool in the situation. She looks like she's going to be a strong, capable character who can handle herself with her magic and firepower, has her own agenda and isn't willing to be cowed or intimidated. I'm also glad that Bria will work with Gin and the two get along rather than us having a convoluted “I hate you hate you hate you – oh you're my sister? LOVE YOU MY KIN!” moment. Yes I've seen it before and yes I've side-eyed it :).Read More