Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Review: BROKEN SOULS, by Stephen Blackmoore

Stephen Blackmoore
Daw Books, 2014
264 pages
Fantasy / Crime

In the Second Eric Carter novel, BROKEN SOULS, by Stephen Blackmoore, six months have passed since the events that occurred in DEAD THINGS. Things are twice as hectic, and detrimental as last time!

Forced into a marriage with the Queen of the Dead, Eric is desperate to find a way to annul the binding vows. Aside from a wedding band he can't remove from his finger, Eric's eyes have become like pitch black marbles. No iris, no whites. He knows he'd made a rash decision in getting married, but there has to be a way out of the mess.

Eric Carter's life is in shambles. His sister was brutally murdered, his best friend is dead, and his ex-girlfriend hates him. He learns he is now King of the Dead, thanks to his marriage. Only adding to the shambles, the Queen's ex might not be dead.

With the death of mob boss, Jean Boudreau, there is a clawing match for power over the territory. A front runner is Russian Sergei Gusarov, and his demented sister Katya. Eric find himself hunting down the two wannabes. They have a obsidian dagger, and skin people in order to wear the pelts. Magic is afoot. The dangers are close to home. And Eric is the center of the mobster's attention. In short -- Eric is being hunted by the psychopaths!

Eric teams up with Gabriela Cortez, a Bruja (witch), who is a do-gooder, giving shelter to vampires in a self-run hotel. She knows all about the dagger. It was hers. She wants it back. And like-minded, has no love for the Queen of the Dead. The plan is simple, just three steps. 1) Get the dagger, 2) Stop the Russians, and 3) Kill the Queen of the Dead.

Warnings come from everywhere, and soon Eric has no idea who he can trust, making their simple plan becomes a whole lot more complicated. The Russians seem to know Eric and Gabriela's every move before the moves are made . . . and for this they walk into trap after trap!

Stephen Blackmoore has a gift. His gritty noir writing style is smooth, and easy to follow. The storyline is complex, and compelling. The characters are amazingly well crafted, and the world created is defined and imaginative. BROKEN SOULS is as good as DEAD THINGS. If you are a fan of Harry Dresden, you are going to love Eric Carter!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

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