Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep is her second Elemental Assassin book and features Gin Blanco, BBQ pit proprietress. Gin retired from her previous profession as the infamous assassin known as Spider after her trainer and mentor was brutally murdered while Gin was on assignment. Semi-content to enjoy the home and restaurant bequeathed to her, a botched attempted robbery jolts Gin out of her complacence when she discovers that one of the assailants is the whelp of one of the most powerful lawyers in the city who has direct ties to the corrupt Fire Elemental who rules with an iron fist. Harassment escalates until an attempted shooting of Gin’s only customer ensnares her in a struggle between a former friend of her mentor and the dwarf who seeks to illegally expand his mining rights no matter who is in the way. Once again, Gin crosses paths with the upright Detective Donovan Caine who still fights against his attraction to the person who confuses his rigid moral code but she also has another complication in her life when she comes to the attention of rich and powerful Owen Grayson. Retirement doesn’t quite seem to be the right answer for Gin who must depend on her recently unused skills as an assassin and learn to better utilize her Elemental powers of Stone and Ice if she plans to live long enough to solve the mystery behind her own traumatic childhood.
We have another fascinating urban fantasy featuring a kickass heroine who thinks nothing of defending her property and self with lethal force. Slowly, the history of Gin Blanco’s traumatic childhood is being revealed along with pieces of the past life of her secretive mentor. The complex interaction between those who can manipulate the Elements almost obliterates the frightening concept that most of these people are amoral beings who are ruthless at controlling their surroundings. Gin Blanco is just as ruthless in her pursuit of justice according to her own code and the charm of her tales is that the reader comes to root for her despite her violent actions.
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I'm Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.