Monday, 6 January 2014

Exit Strategy, by Kelley Armstrong

3.5 stars

I've been something of a Kelley Armstrong fan for some time now, having torn my way through the Women of the Otherworld series, plus two supernatural YA trilogies, and discovered they were brain candy of the highest order. With the last entry in this trilogy now published, I'm turning my attentions to Nadia Stafford. There are no supernatural shenanigans in this one but thankfully it's just as addictive as Armstrong's other work, as well as continuing with her tradition of starring heroines who don't make me want to do this:

A former cop, Nadia was ousted from the force following the death of a suspect - one that wasn't exactly accidental. Having lost everything in the aftermath, Nadia has started a new life as the owner of a hunting lodge. One that moonlights as a hired killer. Trouble is, Nadia (professional name: Dee) isn't the only professional killer around and one of their number looks to have gone rogue, attracting a lot of police attention. So when Nadia's mentor, Jack, shows up with an offer for her to join him and few others from the hitman community to take the guy out, she does.

Setting up Nadia's world nicely and introducing us to some characters who will obviously become big players as the series progresses, I really enjoyed the way Armstrong wrote about her and the way she approached tracking down the killer (and I really enjoyed Evelyn, the gun-toting and not very trustworthy OAP). 

The scenes around the killer's victims were all very effective and, while I'm no expert on police-work or, indeed, that of professional killers, all of the details and techniques at least seemed plausible to me.

I was glad to see the initial case would be solved in this entry - no cliffhangers here! - and while I'm not particularly keen on love triangles, so far Nadia's is taking a backseat. And although I'm sure it'll become more of a focus as the series progresses, I quite like Jack so am happy to see how this builds (as I am equally sure that he will emerge the victor).

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