Oct 25, 2012

Book Review: Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine

Book Cover for Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine
Title: Devil's Bargain
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Red Letter Days #1
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Harlequin (UK) Ltd
Source: NetGalley
Format: ebook
Pages: 336
Publication Date: October 5, 2012

Check it out at: Amazon | Goodreads

What's the price of a deal with the devil?
Playing by the psychic underworld’s rules has a 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 bargaining for her friend’s freedom. She’s bargaining for her soul too.
And how high a price is she willing to pay?

I requested this book on NetGalley because I liked the cover and it was tagged Romance & Sf/Fantasy. After reading about 50% of the book I was sure that there was some error in tagging and that I am reading standard detective novel. This was a surprise, I was expecting paranormal romance. So be warned: there is a little bit of romance and light paranormal elements in second half of the book but nothing much, so don't get your hopes up.
So what is this book about?

Jazz Callender is ex-cop who has a rough time finding next job. Then she gets a dream job offer from lawyer James Borden in the name of some never-heard-before company: 100 000$ for founding a private detective agency, partner with perfect credentials and only conditions is that when they send a case it will have top priority. Sounds too good to be true and Jazz stopped believing in fairy tales long time ago.
We get to discover the truth and lies behind this offer together with Jazz and her new partner Lucia. This is the mystery that has a focus of the book, not some specific criminal case.

I did not feel any special connection with any of the characters, but I liked that they are ordinary people who have just their strength and intelligence to rely on.
I could best describe Jazz as female version of Bruce Willis from 'Die Hard'. While I was reading I expected to hear her say 'Yipikaye Motherf****r!' (although it never happened).
Lucia, her partner, is her opposite. It was interesting watching them interact.

The book was very easy to read. The writing is clean and straight-forward - perfect for a detective novel. I never read anything by Rachel Caine before, but after reading this one, I will definitely keep reading this series and check out her other books.

Rating this book was hard. I was in the middle between 3 and 4 but in the end I went with 4 because the book held my attention and kept me intrigued and interested although mystery is not one of my favorite genres.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

I recommend this book to: lovers of detective novels with strong female leads.

Disclaimer: I was given a free ebook by the publisher Harlequin (UK) Ltd via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

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