Donovan Schist's current job was supposed to be an easy one: grab Phoebe Mosey before pimp and murderer Stanny Slash does, and drag her back home to Ohio—kicking and screaming if necessary. But when a blazing river halts their steam train in the middle of nowhere, the veteran turned detective starts to wish he had stayed in New York.My Thoughts: First off, I love this cover. It's gorgeous and dark enough to tickle my fancy in a big way. Yes, I'm just a big, old cover whore, aren't I? I'm okay with that. Now, I haven't read book 1 in this series but I was intrigued enough by Donovan Schist and the world he lives in to seriously eyeball it. I liked that I was able to jump in at book 2 and had no problems following along with who was who and how this world functioned.
With a homicidal Stanny hot on their trail—maybe poisoning Stanny's man was a bad idea—Donovan needs to get Phoebe out of Juniper Junction fast. Even if that means taking a few jobs for some quick cash.
He doesn't expect to find a mining company on the brink of war with a union, or bloodthirsty strike-breakers itching to use a steam tank and other weapons he hasn't seen since the War of Southern Secession. Or that underneath it all lies something much darker—an unspeakably diabolical conspiracy.
Speaking of which, there are some fabulous bad guys and not-so-bad guys here. Doctors and working men, soldiers and knee-breakers, Donovan has to figure out who's working what angle and if he can trust any of them with his life and that of his charge. I liked Phoebe, I must say. She was naive and innocent to the ways of the big city but she had enough grit and determination to see her through the harrowing events that she found herself in.
With dark, layered world building and a diabolical plot that threatens everyone in its path, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Donovan's world. It's not pretty and it can be downright brutal, but it keeps you on your toes and makes you wonder what's next for this world-weary detective.
Books in this series
1. Cruel Numbers
2. Vacant Graves - Kindle
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