Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spider’s Bite-Jennifer Estep

Spider’s Bite
Jennifer Estep
Pocket, Jan 26 2010, $7.99
ISBN 9781439147979

Gin Blanco is a resident of the Ashland Asylum for two weeks. In group therapy she explains she kills people as she is the notorious Spider, the most feared assassin east of the Mississippi. She prefers to use mundane ways to commit homicides, but can use her Stone or Air elemental powers if needed. No one in their right mind until they are dead would believe the Spider is a female as gender bias is strong in Gin’s line of work. Her paying job is to kill the shrink, but she also adds the rapist orderly as pro bono; 30 seconds and both are dead.

A client hires Spider to kill whistle-blowing businessman Gordon Giles. However, the Air Elemental who hired her through her handler Fletcher Lane brutally murders her mentor as going after Giles was a trap. The killer made one critical mistake by failing to eliminate Spider. This one is personal, but what has made Spider the best assassin is she knows when to partner. She teams up with Ashland police detective Donovan Caine, who loathes her for killing his partner, but wants her too perhaps because he is the rarest species in Ashland, which has every form of supernatural and natural essences. He is an honest cop.

From the opening comment that her name is Gin and she kills people for living and throughout, this is a grim urban noir fantasy starring a killing machine who leaves behind quite a body count. The death toll leads the audience to wonder what the hell she puts inside her barbeque at the Pork Pit. Fast-paced and filled with action within a dark atmosphere, readers will enjoy following Spider’s escapades as she works the Carolina case taking one bite at a time but getting closer to the killer with each step.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: