AH’s Review – 3.5 Skulls – B+
“If everything we do makes a difference, is this right? Are we doing the right thing?”(…)
“You could make yourself crazy, thinking these things.”
What I like about Rachel Caine is her versatility – she can write young adult books about vampires, an adult series about djinn and the weather, and some really original zombie conspiracy theory books. While I have not yet had the opportunity to read the Morganville Vampire series (I know! I should get on it right away), I really do enjoy her conspiracy theory thrillers the most. I was very excited to get an advance reader’s copy of Ms. Caine’s Devil’s Bargain, a re-release of a 2005 book. I love the new cover!
Devil’s Bargain is a thriller with a touch of the paranormal. It has two kick-ass heroines: the ex-cop Jasmine (Jazz) Callendar and Lucia Garza, the beautiful former special agent for the OSI. Both are brought together by a mysterious offer from James Borden a lawyer for Gabriel, Pike & Laskins. Both women are oddly well-suited to work together. Once they agree to work for Borden, mysterious red envelopes begin to arrive at their detective agency. The envelopes contain cryptic instructions to observe or photograph a target.
This book has an intriguing premise namely that every action has some sort of consequence. People are divided up into groups: Actors, Chorus, and Leads. Actors have the ability to create events. The Chorus is just everyday people, doing what they do naturally. The extremely rare Leads are destined for greatness because everything they do makes a difference. Unfortunately, being a Lead is dangerous and an opposing society wants them dead. Psychics predict outcomes and arrange for Jazz and Lucia to effect a change on the event, sometimes merely by standing by the victim, other times interfering.
Sounds complicated? Just a little. If you enjoy conspiracy theory type books with a touch of the paranormal, then this book is for you.
Readers of Ms. Caine’s new Revivalist series will be pleased to notice two characters in this book: Manny Glickman and Pansy Taylor. Manny is the same paranoid security and computers expert however we learn why he is so very paranoid. A truly horrible experience. Pansy is the same take-charge keep everyone around her sane and organized type.
Jazz and Lucia are complement each other well. Their skill set is extensive and both enjoy their work. Jazz seemed a little jealous of Lucia’s beauty and connections:
“You fly in from some supersecret mission looking like you dressed out of a Bond girl’s closet. You’re so hooked up that you can score a gun without leaving the airport, for God’s sake.”
I enjoyed the banter between Jazz and Lucia.
The relationship between Jazz and James Borden was quite interesting. There seemed to be a little bit of an attraction but Jazz was in denial. James was quite business like, however it soon became apparent that he adored Jazz. Each time Jazz needed him, he would jet from New York to Kansas City to be by her side. I had to laugh when he brought her a fruit basket, not your usual gift to a potential girlfriend.
“Pear honey,” Pansy called after her. “He must really like you. That’s kinda kinky. Think of all the applications…”
I’m glad I discovered this book. Readers who enjoyed Ms. Caine’s Revivalist series will enjoy this series. Devil’s Bargain is a thriller with a touch of the paranormal and a little bit of romance. I’ll be on the lookout for the next book in the series Devil’s Due.
Rating: 3.5 Skulls
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA for a review copy of this book.
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