Synopsis: Introducing private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas 'Po' Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers. When her local District Attorney offers her a considerable sum of money to track down state witness Crawford Wynne, private investigator Tess Grey is in no position to refuse. Wynne is one of the few men still alive who can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. But Tess is not the only one trying to track Wynne down. Suarez's psychotic brother Hector has been hunting and butchering anyone who is a danger to his brother. Tess needs help and there's only one man she can turn to: Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere, known to all as Po. Po always gets his man, but he has never been teamed with a woman before. Both have their own agenda for taking on this case, and neither fully trusts the other. But of one thing they are sure: if they don't cover each other's backs, they are both going to die.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I must admit to having never got started on Matt Hilton’s successful series of books featuring Joe Hunter. I also realised I was so far behind that it would take me ages to catch up, so when I saw he had a new series out I thought it was a great opportunity to sample his writing. The two main characters in this new series are Tess Grey, an ex-copper turned Private Investigator and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere who is an ex-con. I have to admit now I have finished the book that I struggled to get into it. Tess seemed a little dull and by the book for my liking. However, when Po turned up (GREAT lead character nickname by the way) things got a bit more interesting.
On reflection I think with it being a new series the slow start is because you are getting a feel for the character Tess. There are reasons relating to her past as to why she is the type of woman she is now. When she is given the opportunity to work for Emma Clancy as a PI she jumps at it and is introduced to Po as a man that can help her track her target down. Tess and Po need to find Crawford Wynne and bring him back as a State Witness. The story started off a little slowly and I felt like Tess needed a bit of a kick to liven herself up. Thankfully the charming ex-con Po more than made up for her as a character in the beginning.
The other character I cannot help but mention is an old friend of Po’s named Pinky. This guy HAS to make a comeback in future books as was absolutely brilliant! As the story progressed it became clear that Tess was becoming much more herself the longer she spent around Po. By the last quarter of the book we see the real Tess and it was a complete turnaround. There is the requisite bad guy and his helpers with a big dose of violence and some good old fashioned gun fighting going on. For a book that was a bit of a slow burner I ended up being totally captivated by both Tess and Po. The storyline picked up it's pace and the last quarter was full on and I was practically speed reading. Plenty of action, thrills and two cracking new characters...what more could you ask for?
I must say this is a brilliant start to a new series and I really can’t wait to see what book 2 holds in store for them. I will certainly be getting the next in the series as soon as it’s available, and who knows maybe now I will be more inclined to get started on the Joe Hunter series. Overall I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to the next one.