Monday, December 23, 2013

The Spider-Jennifer Estep

The Spider Jennifer Estep Pocket, Dec 24 2913, $7.99 ISBN: 9781451689013 In downtown Ashland, thirty years old Gin Blanco opens up her Pork Pit with her usual anticipation someone someday will kill her for her activity as the assassin Spider. In what is a quiet day, her lover Owen Grayson notices Gin is more tense than normal. When a delivery man arrives with a box, Gin reacts as she did with the last package courier who lies in the freezer awaiting the disposable talent of head cook Sophia Deveraux. She demands he tell her what is inside the box; but he insists he does not know. Realizing the frightened person sees her as insane restaurant owner Gin Blanco; she relaxes a bit and over tips him before cautiously opening the package after closing the restaurant. Inside are black roses with a card saying “Happy Anniversary”. She tells Owen what the flowers symbolize. Starting when she was thirteen, the previous Pork Pit owner Fletcher Lane taught Gin and his son Finn the art of assassination. When Gin was twenty, she went out on an easy mission that turned ugly. Now her past has returned, but the adversary faces a field tested veteran not a na├»ve rookie. This Elemental Assassin prequel is a strong entry as readers see the traits of super Spider but also the lack of experience and maturity; as Gin makes enthusiastic rookie mistakes. Action-packed and consistent with other books (see Heart of Venom) in the series that occur later in the heroine’s timeline, key players who influenced her life (like her teacher and his son) add depth to the exciting thriller. Fans will appreciate reading about a pivotal moment in the transition of Gin into Spider. Harriet Klausner

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