Eight months ago, Nicholas Pierce, ex-mob enforcer, faked his death and assumed a new identity to escape sadistic mob boss Jeremy Vice. With no contacts outside the underworld, Pierce finds work with a washed-up PI. It’s an easy enough gig—until investigating a human trafficking ring drags him back to his old stomping grounds.Miles Devonport, Pierce’s partner, is top of his class at the police academy while single-handedly holding his family together. But when one lieutenant questions Pierce’s past and his involvement in the investigation, Miles must put his future on the line to keep Pierce’s secrets.The situation becomes dire when it’s discovered the traffickers have connections to the Vice family. The lives of everyone Pierce cares about are in danger—not least of all his own, if Jeremy Vice learns he’s back from the dead. Pierce and Miles face a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels—one that will gladly destroy them to keep operating. As Pierce uses every dirty trick he learned from organized crime to protect the new life he’s building, he realizes that no matter how hard he tries, he might never escape his past.But he’s not going down without a fight.If you love noir, if you’re in love with hard men with even harder outlooks with little hope for a future, let alone love. You know the ones I mean, they’ve survived somehow the worst that life has thrown out them, they expect to see more. They’ve been made so incredibly tough by their pasts, that the walls they have erected, inside and out might as well be titanium. Except for the cracks they allow for certain people and in certain circumstances. Take that man, put him in stories that fit him beautifully because they are dark and gritty. The criminals are rank, the corruption is deep and often elusive . But hope can come from the most surprising places. So can love.I fell in love with Pierce back in Vice City (Vice City, #1), a stunning introduction to the man and his lover,Miles Devonport. Now in the equally intense, incredible sequel, Vice Enforcer (Vice City #2) , S.A. Stovall picks up shortly after the first one leaves off. Supposedly mob enforcer Nicholas Pierce has “died” and PI in training Percy Adams (much to Pierce’s dismay at the name) is alive and well and living with Miles in a rundown house in suburbia, along with visits from Miles’ brother and sister. And it’s going exactly as well as you might expect.
Especially Pierce’s attempts to garden and talk to seedlings while dealing with Mile’s sullen siblings who clearly think that “Percy” is pulling their brother under.
Then everything goes further to hell while on a dubious PI training run with the older investigator who is running the program. Stovall thrusts the reader and her characters immediately into a powerful action packed, fast paced scene because Shelby, the lead PI hasn’t been exactly straight with his trainees. And because Pierce isn’t who he seems to be (a naive PI in training), knows the setup for what it is and figures out what’s coming, well…Pierce is both ready to flee and shoot depending upon the situation.
By now the reader’s skin is tingling, the hair’s slightly raised because the writing is so damn good that our apprehension levels are off the charts along with Pierce’s. It stays that way through revelations about human trafficking, the reemergence of the Vice family and the mob, the threats to the new identity Pierce and Miles have established for him as well as keeping him safely dead in the eyes of the Vice family. This is an intense, gritty story. If it has its humorous moments, and it does, they too, border on the dry, wry, and the dark. Consider the perspective and it makes sense.
Even the romance falls under the same lines. No hearts and flowers here. No, its more like that radish that refuses to die in Pierce’s garden. It lives no matter what. They have each other’s back…no matter what. The sex is rough, the need for each other is there although Pierce might not always acknowledge it. And while Miles would like a change in the sexual dynamics, something that Pierce’s past won’t allow, its a topic that comes up.
There is so much here. Wyatt, Mile’s supervisor who is definitely in the closet. Shelby, the PI with the past. The Vice family. Mile’s and his family. Oh, yes and the Timo family that lives next door. Everything gets pulled together in one magnificent tapestry that twists and turns, stuns and pulls at your heart. And when it ends, you want not only another story but to reread the books one and two all over again.
This is a wowzer of a series. Vice Enforcer (Vice City #2) by S.A. Stovall is everything I could want in a sequel or even a standalone. I highly recommend it and Vice City. Both are must reads!
Cover art: Aaron Anderson. What a great cover. Perfect for this story and series.
Published April 3rd 2018 by DSP Publications
Original TitleVice Enforcer
SeriesVice City #2