I’ve been reading this series out of sequence, starting with book three, The Body Market, then the prequel novella A Killing Truth, and now book one. I recommend reading the prequel first. Although the books work well as stand-alones, and the author handles backstory well, giving short doses where needed, Leine Basso is a complicated woman with a complicated life. I understood this story better for having met some of the off-stage characters previously.
The other books I’ve read so far by this author (I’m also a fan of her Kate Jones series) are pure thriller. This one, due to the macabre nature of the villain and the crimes, has an element of horror, including the dark humor that’s often found in that genre. Leine is hired as security on the set of a reality TV show that pairs ex-cons with beautiful “bachelorettes.” The concept is bizarre, a satire on the culture of reality television. When one of the contestants is killed, the show’s ratings go up, and one of the contestants’ reactions is the ultimate commentary on the loss of reality that can happen in this part of the entertainment industry. I wish I could share it, but it would be a spoiler.
Leine is a compelling, unique character. Her emotional life, her relationships, and her professional skills are drawn with finesse. She’s tough, but she’s multidimensional, not just an action figure with an occasional emotion. Detective Santiago Jensen is a perfect complement to her character, and their relationship feels real.
Berkom is an unpredictable author, in a good way. I can count on a riveting pace, but I don’t see her falling back on a formula the way some thriller writers do. Each book is different. I plan to keep moving through this series and to read book two soon.
Buy links are on author’s web site.
Leine Basso has a complicated life. In this series prequel novella, she’s a professional assassin for an ultra-secret agency, the lover of a man in the same line of work—and a single mother. Things get even more complicated when her boss at the Agency seems to become as dangerous as her work itself. Berkom’s writing is tighter than ever. The pace is riveting, the plotting masterful, and the characters deep. A shocking twist at the end is gut-wrenching. I’ve read one of the Leine Basso thrillers, The Body Market, and I know I’ll be reading more of them. Berkom is one of my go-to authors. I can turn on my Nook and start the first page assured that not single page that follows will let me down.
Find sales links for this and other great thrillers at http://dvberkom.com
True or false:
“Bad boys” are sexy.
Dangerous men are exciting.
A man with money and power can make a girl’s life magical.
False, all the way through. Ask Kate Jones. She made the youthful mistake of believing these things were true. This series of novellas chronicles her attempts to escape the consequences of a very bad romantic error, from her first break-out to the follow-ups years later. Each episode is hair-raising and intense. Even though I knew Kate would survive—after all, it’s told in the first person, in her irresistibly frank and sometimes sassy voice—I still couldn’t stop reading, feeling as if she somehow might not make it. I was glad these are novellas so I could reach a stopping point and get some sleep.
In the first novella, an old man in Mexico warns Kate that she has ‘bad spirits.” Without this set-up, some of her extraordinary bad luck in subsequent episodes might not quite work, but instead, it creates a subtle shamanistic element in the series. Kate not only attracts danger but also seers. Their presence reminds the reader that she’s enmeshed in a web of forces largely outside her control, some spiritual, some all too physical, as she keeps fighting, and sometimes running, for her life.
Find buy links and more about the author and her other books at http://dvberkom.com
I’ve reviewed several of her other books and recommend them all so far!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that takes so many heart-stopping sudden twists in so few pages. The novella begins dramatically and only cools down enough at times to let the reader and the protagonist recover for the next brush with death. Kate Jones is a character I want to follow through the rest of her adventures. In this book, she attempts to escape from a life-changing mistake, a romantic involvement with a man who turned out to be a drug lord. It’s a classic tough-choice plot, with no good options. Kate takes the bravest route, with best potential long-term outcome but also the greatest risks, and she does it her own way. With a Mexican setting the author clearly knows well, Bad Spirits will take you on hair-raising ride with a kick-ass heroine. I look forward to the rest of series.
This first in the Kate Jones thriller series is currently available free.