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Rated 5 of 5 stars

Shady Cross by James Hankins was a romping good time with humor, suspense and lots of action. You won’t be yearning for any more fight scenes for a while with this one. I truly enjoyed the main character, Stokes. He was funny, dry and all about business. I liked that he wasn’t too smart and was very average in all others categories which fit nicely into the irony of the ending. There were some things you could hate about him (like abandoning his girlfriend and child by just leaving and never coming back). So don’t think you’re getting a superhero in this book that saves a little girl because the ending will leave you gasping.

It has some pretty gruesome scenes and especially weird sequence of events but you’ll find a startle every few chapters. Not the “trying too hard to wow you kind” but the real, “damn, I just stepped in some shit” type of scenarios. In a world where everybody owes everybody and no helps for free, you find a career criminal with a semblance of heart drowned by a heartless antagonist. Very good writing by Hawkins! Bon Shaw was a critical piece of how good this story was. His voice and his choices were spot on with Stokes and I felt like each character was different. Bravo!

Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended

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