Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
After the deranged events of last summer, things should have gotten better, less complicated for fiber artist Sonny James and security specialist Luki Vasquez. Instead, it all sort of imploded. Sonny sent Luki away while his nephew Delsyn recovered from his ordeal at the hands of his kidnapper. And while Luki roamed Chicago wondering where it all went wrong, Sonny hid in his house, haunted by guilt and plagued by his fears. Both separate, alone and missing each other.
Then the unthinkable happens and Luki is called back to Port Clifton, to help Sonny deal with his grief, and a police investigation that points to Sonny as their main suspect. Sonny is drowning under the depths of his feelings of guilt and remorse. He has raised a barrier between himself and Luki that Luki is finding hard to pull down. But just as those barriers seem to be shattering, a man from Sonny’s past comes between them and their future.
All around Luki and Sonny is shrouded by the mists from their past and the uncertainties of their present. As more violent acts occur and the investigations widen, Luki and Sonny aren’t sure who they can trust, even each other.
A voice singing the blues points the way, but will Sonny and Luki hear the sad refrains in time to save them all?
Delsyn’s Blues is the second book in the Vasquez and James series from Lou Sylvre. The first story, Loving Luki Vasquez, pulled me into these amazing characters with their haunted pasts and complicated lives. Each character is so different from each other and others that I have read about. Especially Sonny Bly James, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama and a fiber artist whose weavings are highly sought after. The minutiae of Sonny’s craft is intriguing, especially his dyes. It gives him an unexpected depth of background and unique quality to his character. Sonny is grounded by his art, his mind awash with colors, designs and fibers of all types. He is a person who seems scattered by those who don’t know him. And Lou Sylvre is slowly revealing Sonny’s depths and complications book by book. What an amazing journey we are on with these characters.
But Luki Vasquez, of Basque and Hawaiian roots, is Sonny’s equal with his Hawaiian ethnicity a large measure of Luki’s personality and family support system. Luki’s past is one he wears on his face, but the scarring inside goes much deeper than the one that bisects the side of his face. He too has a past full of pain and trauma, only some of which we know about. Both men find strength in their native heritage and that is so important here in Delsyn’s Blues where both Sonny and Delsyn are/were tribal dancers each in their own manner of style and dance. This element of Delsyn’s Blues and the series are one of its highlights for me. Luki and Sonny’s close connections to their heritage provides a foundation for each man and a support system if they choose to use it.
Around these two multidimensional characters flow plots of great intricacy and deceit. And it reverberates from one story to the next, the past like a river who continues to overflow its banks and cover all the events to follow, its dirty waters touching everything and everyone in its path. Delsyn’s Blues opens one year after the end of Loving Luki Vasquez. The men are separated and Delsyn is in a wheelchair due to his prior blood loss. What a painful beginning for all, readers and characters alike! From that moment on, we are in for one shock after another. And it won’t stop until the book is over.
Are there things here readers will have issues with? Certainly, but Sylvre’s books have always had that element of realism and sometimes life just sucks to put it bluntly. And once you get past the first shock, the rest of the story is gripping, suspenseful, and yes, frustrating. I had a few more issues with this story than I did with Loving Luki Vasquez. One issue? I figured out almost immediately who one of the villains of the story is. While I wish the author had made that a little harder to guess at, I found the anticipation she built around that person’s identity reveal rewarding.
But my honest issue here? Totally inconsequential but it bugs the heck out of me. A drug dealer’s dog appears and goes along for the ride for about 1/3 to 1/4 of the story. He becomes a real character. He’s important until he totally disappears from the story, at least as much as I can figure. He’s there then he’s not. What happened to the darn dog? Continuity! It makes even the smallest things important when it is flawed. So, if someone out there can tell me what happened to Bear, please I beg you tell me. Did I miss something or did he really disappear? (Note: I heard from the author, the dog is still around and latched onto Luki. We will see more of him later.)
Disappearing dog notwithstanding. I still highly recommend Delsyn’s Blues. It’s an absorbing story and its characters continue to grow in depth and backstory. I love it when that happens. Now on to Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James #3)! Remember, please to read all these books in order. It’s important for character development and for understanding the events that occur.
Cover art by Reese Dante. I love these covers, so beautiful and perfect for the stories and series.
Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
seriesVasquez & James #2
Books in the Vasquez and James series to date in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events that transpire:
Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)
Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)
Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James, #3)
Saving Sonny James (Vasquez & James #4)
Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)
Because of Jade (Vasquez & James #5)