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Publisher's Summary

Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicating to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay, but that was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in - and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul as well as everything he once held dear.
Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.
But is Caern still alive? And, perhaps more importantly, does she even want to be found?
©2018 Rod Belcher (P)2018 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Joe Chad on 04-12-18

Gratuitously Explicit Imagery, but Good Story

As this is the sixth or seventh book Mr. Belcher has written (second in the Nightwise storyline, and third on audible) I believe most readers will know what to expect in his novels, but for those who don't here is a quick heads up. These books are some of the most messed up, gruesome, and violent books I have ever read. I am pretty confident that there isn't a way to make violence, torture, sexual content (yes there is rape), or anything else as dark as the stuff in this book more vivid in imagery, without making it into a movie. Belcher is a master of imagery and description for better or worse.

Now that I have made a point that I felt needed to be explained, lets talk about the story and characters, because they exist and for the most part the book is enjoyable. The plot takes the form of a traditional mystery book to an extent, but there is less sleuthing, and more of a crime syndicate ask for favors style of detective work going on. Like the first book Ballerd is trying to find someone, but this time it is to hopefully save that person instead of try and kill them. Overall, the plot works, but to an extent I think Belcher does a slightly poorer job of explaining exactly what happens throughout the story than in Nightwise.

I believe that characters have always been Belcher's strong point, and he does a good job with them in this book as well. I will say for such a short book he does introduce a lot of characters, and some of them serve the purpose of only advancing the plot and just kind of fade out of the story. However, for those main characters that surround Laytham Belcher does a fine job of fleshing them out and making them jump off the page.

One other issue I had with the book was the constant harping on Ballerd and his relationship with his supposed friends, which the author keeps pressing throughout the story. The basic theme carried forward from the first book, is that Ballerd has this lone gunslinger theory, and tries to keep his friends out of trouble, and this usually almost gets him killed, until one of his friends helps him out. Then the friends yell at him for trying to do it alone again. This scenario plays out in the first book a couple times, but in this novel it is an almost constant occurrence, and it quickly gets old and drags the story down. I don't want to spoil anything, but it does seem that Ballerd is getting over this problem at the very end of the novel, and like the first novel in this series this book feels like it is really building on a long sequence of books like the Dresdin Stories. Overall, I didn't think this book was great, (not quite as good as Nightwise and definitely not as good as Brotherhood of the Wheel), but there was still appeal to the story, and plenty of awesome action to enjoy. I am curious to see where the story goes next, because there is definitely a lot of upside with the development of Laytham's character and the universe surrounding him.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John on 04-08-18

Exceptional!

The second round of this series was incredible. I look forward to getting to know these characters even more in the next installment!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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