Release Date: First published August 1, 2005 / Re-released October 5th 2012
Pages: 331 (Paperback)
Source: NetGalley, Courtesy of Harlequin (UK)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Date: February 14, 2013
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: What's the price of a deal with the devil?
Playing by the psychic underworld's rules has cost.
Jazz Callender's whole life just got turned upside down. Her friend Ben's been convicted of a crime he didn't commit, and Jazz is determined to clear his name, even if it means enlisting the help of dark forces.
Enter James, a stranger with a mysterious offer. If Jazz pledges to work for The Cross Society, a shadowy secret organisation, he'll help her save Ben.
But as she's thrust into a world of psychic powers and dangerous magic, Jazz isn't just bargain for her friend's freedom. She's bargaining for her soul too.
And how high a price is she willing to pay?
Disclaimer: I received this book as a galley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book starts off at a fast pace with Ex-cop Jazz and former FBI agent Lucia's being offered a nice amount of money to partner up with each other and open a PI firm. The story is told from Jazz's POV, so we learn more about her world and recent past along with seeing her take on their new firm and investors. I love Jazz and Lucia working together. They are very similar with the way that they think while working, yet very different personalities and styles. I don't think I've ever read a book with with two female leads. Let alone to hard core, kick ass ladies, which was very fun to read. I could tell immediately that they would make good partners and friends. It's clear that when Jazz and Lucia take the deal, they aren't entirely comfortable with the arrangement nor the Cross Society. Yet, they take the money anyway, then later find that their benefactor is basically a man who's been convicted of murder and has some crazy ideas on how the world works.
The roots of story includes psychics and people termed as Actors and Chorus, which are basically used classifying people as active or passive. Either what you do make a huge impact on the world or it doesn't and your just a singer in the chorus line. According to their theory, everyone is an Actor once in their life, some have a longer turn than others. Clearly, Jazz and Lucia are Actors. They receive red envelops which contain various jobs and/or tasks which they have been instructed to do. By accepting these red letters from their benefactor, the Cross Society via a law firm, they change the course of events in the world on some level or another.
I also enjoyed he secondary characters. Their assistant Pansy, her ex partner Ben, the sexy and mysterious lawyer James, Jazz's contact Manny who is a bit loopy and reminds me of the character Huck from Scandal, except the major difference is that Manny's scared of violence and criminal cases. You know the type, socially awkward, sensitive, a loyal friend, but sort of messed up in the head.
My only complaint is that it ended a little too abruptly. I've already started the next book, Devil's Due, which reads from Lucia's side of things and picks up exactly where this ends. I've looked in to this series hoping to read more adventures with these two ladies, but sadly, I looks like the series ends with book two!
If you like a bit of mystery and want to read a different take on the urban fantasy genre, this book is for you. Especially if you want a quick read without being pulled into a 20 book series. ;-)