Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.
Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.
A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.
What words do I use? Highly entertaining! Incredibly suspenseful and thrilling! Full of unforeseeable twists and turns with characters to die for! Where Death Meets the Devil by LJ Hayward is all that and more. I can’t remember reading anything by this author before but in one story Hayward became a must read author. In a story so smooth, so compelling that I stayed up until the wee hours, caught up in the gripping tale of Jack Reardon and Ethan Blade. And then that ending! Swoon!
The format Hayward chooses to help tell this tale definitely pulls you further into the intrigue and drama. The story switches effortlessly back and forth between the first time Jack encounters Ethan Blade in the torture shack to the present. You are caught up reading, then you are flipping at just the right time in the narrative to emphasize the power of the moment. Brilliant. You get to see the differing mindsets, the history between the men, the change perhaps in dynamics…I don’t think I’ve ever seen this format work so well or contribute so much to the overall energy of the narrative. It’s perfect.
So too are the characters. I can’t say too much except that you will believe in these men, their flaws as well as their strengths. They have true chemistry and given their tough conditions and situations, you will believe in that and them over and over again. I’ll say no more.
Where Death Meets the Devil by LJ Hayward has a camel named Sophia, more plots twists than can fill a pool in an oasis, and a ending I absolutely adored. It also sent me running to the publisher begging for information about any news about sequels. Yes, my readers, apparently there’s one in the works. Be still my heart. So now I’m off to read this story again. Yes, I loved it that much. You will too. Put Where Death Meets the Devil on your TBR list and the author LJ Hayward on your must read list as well. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend them both.
Cover art: L.C. Chase. I like the cover. It works for the story. Very jazzy.
ebook, 395 pages
Published February 26th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleWhere Death Meets the Devil
ISBN 1626497168 (ISBN13: 9781626497160)