Monday, November 21, 2011
Vengeance by A. J. Scudiere
Nine years ago, Claymore Beller tried to do the right thing. It was the last thing he did. In retaliation for his efforts, his mafia bosses laid waste to his family. Only the youngest-Cynthia-came up fighting.
Three years ago, Lee Maxwell made the same error. His wife and daughter paid for his mistake. In a haze of booze and regret, Lee disappeared.
Now, Owen Dunham is following the trail of the -Grudge Ninja--only all his evidence is false and the profilers can-t get their heads around anything except the obvious fact that the Ninja is extracting a deadly revenge for an old wrong.
As the Ninja gets bolder and far more dangerous, Owen is forced to recognize that he hasn-t always made the right decisions-he-s spent far too much time trying to be right. Even as he questions whether bringing in the ninja is the right thing to do, the voice in the back of his head is telling him that it will make his career...
This is the second book by Ms. Scudiere that I’ve read, and what has struck me the most is how different her books are from one another. This not only applies to plot lines and characters, but also to pacing and style. She created a new, wholly different reading experience with this book compared to the last one I read.
What drew me in immediately were the two main characters, Lee and Cyn (or Sin, as she is also called). They are brutal yet endearing killers out to get revenge for the wrongful death of family members. They are cold at first, hard for the reader to understand, but this soon changes. When they finally begin to work together, as a team, the way the author builds their relationship is worth the entire book. I was so amused by their interactions, taking this book from a plot-driven thriller to a deeper level.
The plot itself is fun, fast-paced (although it could have done with a bit of trimming of some fight scenes), and the reader feels in good hands as the author weaves her story together. There are many moments of tension, including sexual tension, which send the reader’s heart beating just a bit faster. There is also a wealth of combat and self-defense research in these pages, obviously demonstrating the care the author took to be as accurate as possible with the violence.
This is a fun story that I can recommend without issue. And I, for one, will be glad to immerse myself in Ms. Scudiere’s future projects.