Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The initial novel in this series was purely urban fantasy. “Web of Lies” takes a side-step and delivers both “urban” fantasy, and “rural” fantasy. Headquartered in Ashland, Tennessee, a relatively small city encroaching on three states (Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia), former assassin (aka “The Spider”) Gin Blanco spends the early months of her “retirement” operating her beloved late mentor’s business, The Pork Pit; grieving; and pondering the extensive file he bequeathed her, containing information on the deaths of her mother and sister, and startling new data on her younger sister. An attempted armed robbery of the Pork Pit by a Fire Elemental (who just happens to be the not-so-intelligent offspring of a canny, devious attorney who runs underground “queen” Mab Monroe’s legal endeavours) starts the novel with a bang-up event. Now Gin is in deep trouble with the robber’s attorney father, and by extension, with Mab Monroe, a vicious, torturing, immensely powerful, Fire Elemental who may have been the murderer of Gin’s family and her torturer at age thirteen. Quickly another family becomes involved, and Gin goes face to face, Stone magic against Stone magic, with a megalomaniacal dwarf active in mountaintop removal-an issue Gin can’t fix but must still mourn. Detective Donovan Caine, the only upright individual on Ashland’s corrupt police force, and Gin’s one-time-only lover-a man almost too moral for his own safety-again involves himself in Gin’s life, and the fireworks explode.
A great read for those who have read the first in the series (Spider’s Bite) but an equally great read as a stand-alone, “Web of Lies” is not to miss.
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