03 January 2013

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) by Rachel Caine

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) by Rachel Caine.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Paranormal, Urban Fantasy.
Publication : October 5th 2012 by Mira Ink.
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?

Reviewed by Kelly.

Jazz seems just down and out when we begin this and by the end.... things take quite a turn.

Jazz is in a bar she has never been in before drowning her sorrows, when a man comes in and changes her life forever. He carries a red envelope and says he has an offer for her. He calls her by name and knows more than he should about her. She wants no part of him and we end up in a bar fight where we see how, ahem, “bad ass” she is. She wipes everyone’s butts and the guy who came to find her is definitely not a butt kicker. But she ends up leaving the bar with him and trying to let him explain. She is both freaked out by him and intrigued.

He offers her a job starting a detective agency with lots of money to fund it. He also gives her a resume of who her partner will be. Lucia is her name and she is past FBI. They meet and reluctantly agree. They just have to do occasional jobs for "them". Who "them" is exactly takes a while to really figure out.

Jazz wants to find the evidence that will free her past homicide detective partner. She also needs the money. She has a friend, Manny, who helps her tracking things she needs done on the side. Manny has had a traumatic event and he is skittish and distrustful but is also a genius.

Jazz has constant contact with the man who originally offered her the job and finds out he is a lawyer for the firm that sends them the jobs. His name is James Borden and there is a slow relationship building with them.

Lucia, Jazz’s current detective partner, is everything Jazz isn’t. She always looks fresh and well manicured and always seems to have a gun or whatever is needed.

The story really revolves around these red envelopes with jobs in them. Most of them don’t require any thing to be done just observe and photograph. Something is fishy with all this, because how is it that these red letters always instruct on exactly what time and where to be and who to watch down to the very last detail? It drives Jazz and Lucia (AND ME) crazy. There is constant action, crazy car chases, lots of guns going off, hospital visits and more than one person who is finding romance mixed in.

Finally, they ask for more info on how and why this is. They learn a lot. I can’t say exactly how it works, because you have to read it, but they parallel it to playing chess and everyone having a part. But some people don’t make any difference and some do. You don’t get the full jest until almost the end how it all works. But “if everything we do makes a difference, is this right? Are we doing the right thing?....... You could make yourself crazy, thinking these things.” I went crazy thinking these things! It is a constant how is this possible until the end where Jazz starts to deviate from the instructions and finds herself in a heap of trouble and then... well, I don’t know because that's where it ends and I need to go and buy the next book ,now,to see what happens next.





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