Friday, January 20, 2012

By a Thread-Jennifer Estep

By a Thread

Jennifer Estep

Pocket, Feb 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781451651768

In Ashland, Pork Pit owner Gin “Spider” Blanco completed the magical hit she has trained for when she assassinated Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered her family when she was a teen (see Spider’s Revenge). With many of the punks seeking instant infamy by killing Spider, and with Gin wanting to spend quality with her long-lost baby sister Ashland police detective Bria Coolidge, she leaves on a vacation from her occupation.

The siblings travel to Blue Marsh beach resort where Bria introduces Gin to her best friend Callie Reyes of the Sea Breeze. Small time felon Pete Proctor and his giant partner Trent warn Callie to sell her establishment to their employer Randall Dekes the vampire before hurricane season causes damage. Pete also harasses Bria before breaking a mirror. When he gloats over hurting Bria before, Spider knocks out Trent and stabs Pete’s hand to the floor before knocking him out. With a sigh Gin knows the vacation is over. Gin’s former lover Blue Marsh police detective Donovan Caine who is also Bria’s fiancé arrives at the Sea Breeze. However, the power hungry vamp covets a new acquisition, Spider’s elemental ice and Stone magic.

The enjoyable sixth Elemental Assassin urban fantasy is the first in the post Mabs era and fans of the series will appreciate the still kick butt heroine flashing her knives though her opponent is much more clever and a more dangerous adversary than her previous opponent was. Action-packed from the moment the vacation ends, Jennifer Estep avoids the sub-genre stereotyping of the heroine and the villain By A Thread based on who has the sharper bite.

Harriet Klausner

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