Love, Death and Justice by Sam Crescent


Love, Death and Justice by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Aster

Love and death are always part of life, but now is the time to seek out justice.

Catherine Hart is running. She’s just witnessed her sister’s murder. She can’t run fast enough. Caught and thrust into Cyril Wood’s world of prostitution and chaos, she must seduce Lance Clay and get the deal her sister was striking, or die.

Nothing is as it seems. Her sister was hiding far deeper than she could imagine. Lance wants Clay’s head and is prepared to do anything to get what he wants.

Catherine is a gift to Lance and together they must fight for her freedom and bring Cyril down. But in this world nothing is as it seems. Is her sister really dead, and who is really controlling Cyril?

Drama, Romance, Suspense. This one has it all.

Catherine Hart is in the middle of a nightmare. Captured by the men she witnessed killing her sister, Sidney, she’s forced to make an agreement with the notorious crime boss, Cyril Woods. She’ll be released if she agrees to take her sister’s place as Cyril’s whore in a meeting with Lance Clay. After being drugged, Catherine is left in a seedy motel to await her date.

Lance, however, was not what she expected. His goal is not to work with Cyril, but to take him down. He’d been working with Catherine’s sister to accomplish this, and just when they got close, Sidney was killed.

There was much in this book I liked. The intrigue and mystery were compelling, and I was anxious to find out how things would come together. Catherine was a character who was easy to root for, thrown in an environment not of her choosing, but fighting to get her way out. Lance was sympathetic and caring, and it made sense for the two of them to come together under the circumstances.

Though the “bones” of the story were there, it felt much was missing from this book. Many of the holes weren’t filled in and I missed much of the drama. A good example is early on. After being shot at, the heroes get into a car and speed away. Out of nowhere, a car bangs into them and chases them. It was an exciting set up and I was looking forward to how they’d escape or what they’d do. A few sentences later, however, they’d somehow gotten away and found themselves at a safe house. By skipping all the details and the action, I didn’t feel pulled into the story. I’m not sure if it was the short nature of the book that led to the brevity of the writing or if the other way around, but this was a tale that was told, not shown. It kept me from having an emotional attachment to any of the characters.

While I liked the character of Ben, an old acquaintance of Lance, a good portion of this short story was devoted to him and his potential love. It was another good basis for a story, and I wouldn’t mind reading it, but mixing it in here took away from the main characters of Lance and Catherine. I would have preferred focusing on one couple, considering the limited pages.

This is book one in a future series, which I’ve always been a fan of. I enjoy following familiar characters through several tales and becoming closer to those involved. My preference, however is to have each tale wrapped up by the end of the book, with perhaps a teaser for the next in the series. This story, however, leaves the reader with unanswered questions – many posted in the last pages. It’s an interesting way to bring readers to the next title, but it can also leave the current story feeling unfinished.

As a whole, Love, Death and Justice was entertaining. The intrigue and suspense is great, and with a few additional details and tweaks, this book would be a real page turner. I liked it enough to look at the next title, and hope to find more of a personal connection with the characters as time goes on.

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