Title: Why the Devil Stalks Death
Series: Death and the Devil: Book Two
Author: L.J. Hayward
Length: 348 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Why the Devil Stalks Death is another excellent read by L.J. Hayward.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Jack Reardon uncovers secrets for a living, and the Meta-State spy is pretty good at it. Or rather he thought so until he met Ethan Blade—assassin, warrior, enigma. The unlikely pair have decided to give living together a shot, but Jack’s not entirely certain what he’s gotten himself into—or exactly who he’s in it with.
Jack’s worries are compounded when he’s assigned to a police strike force hunting a serial killer. With each new puzzle piece, Jack considers the true nature of a serial killer—and how similar it is to an assassin. To one particular assassin who’s having trouble adjusting to retirement. Jack’s unsure how to help Ethan—or if he even can.
When the killer strikes close to home, Jack must race against the clock to stop another murder, despite the price someone has put on his head. Could the matters be connected? Is a certain assassin at the centre of both? Surrounded by killers, the only one Jack wants near disappears, leaving Jack drowning in secrets. He’ll have to do what he does best—unravel the secrets, including Ethan’s—to stop the killer and save the life he and Ethan have only just begun to build.
**Content Warning**: Child abuse and child sexual abuse in a character’s history and not depicted directly on the page.
Review: Jack Reardon is in trouble—he’s being held for murder. Even after his release, he finds there’s a price on his head, more than one. The number five assassin, Eve Garrote, holds one of those tickets, and he fears that Ethan Blade could very well be holding another. When last Jack saw Ethan, Ethan made a promise, “I’ll see you soon,” but it’s been four months without any form of contact. Blade has left Jack vulnerable.
Jack finds himself working undercover with someone from his past, which he tries to keep secret from Ethan. Even when Jack knows that Ethan has to feel secure in his surroundings and the people that he trusts, secrets do not help this fragile relationship. As Jack gets deeper into tracking a serial killer, he finds himself doubting Ethan and what he’s gotten himself into.
I would very much like to explain this novel to you, but I won’t because I would screw it up! I think the blurb says enough, and I don’t want to give anything away about this complex spy/assassin plot. L.J. Hayward keeps you on your toes in this fast-paced, danger filled novel; it’s a roller coaster ride of a sequel to Where Death Meets the Devil. The author will put ideas in your head to make you distrust all the characters involved. It’s also packed with raw emotion from Ethan and Jack, and it will tear at your heart to the point you don’t know if they can survive all the chaos around them. There’s an in-depth look at Ethan’s past as a “sugar baby,” and those mysterious implants.
Because there are so many characters and factions involved, this novel is worthy of several reads, as the chapters go from After to Before and don’t seem to connect until you get further into the intense and intriguing plot. There are so many moments of “I did not see that coming!” and “What’s going to happen next?” that it was impossible to put this page-turner down.
There’s also a coda at the end of the book, from Ethan’s POV, which leaves us with that final ping that has me wondering what’s next in this outstanding, high energy series. All the novels and accompanying novellas give us a mix of danger and a look at the progression of Jack Reardon’s and Ethan Blade’s relationship, and how it’s always hanging in the balance.
Why the Devil Stalks Death is another excellent read by L.J. Hayward. And nice cover art by L.C. Chase!
You can buy Why the Devil Stalks Death here:
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