A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.
But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.
Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.
The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.
Think of Las Vegas and you might think of gambling, living the high life, and of course sin! Well it just so happens Ms Kane has decided to delve into that a little deeper. A hero who is almost an anti-hero because E. L. Speare (don’t ask what E stands for!) lives for sin. Sure on the strip you can find greed, envy, avarice, vanity, gluttony, and lust and boy does Speare feast on it all. However, his tale is not just one of evil and depravity; no it's something far more complicated than that. If you are looking for a tortured hero then allow me to introduce you to one right here because the things Speare does are not for himself; no, his activities quite literally feed another being!
I wasn't sure at first if I would be pulled into this as Speare just didn't seem that likeable but as I followed the crumbs the author left, it opened up this story. There's a phrase about being caught between a rock and a hard place and it describes Speare and his truly abysmal circumstances very well. Whilst not strictly action packed it is a story with mystery that unravels a little at a time as we learn more about Speare and those he interacts with. Speare has no choice and that's important to remember but he does have a heart and is prepared to sacrifice for those he feels worthy.
My final thoughts are I'm not sure if this is a new series or just a standalone but there are certainly possibilities for more, but frankly I'm not sure how it would proceed. I ended up liking Speare and that actually surprised me. Yes, it's a story told from his point of view but the heroine stood out as bright, confident, and very smart but don't be fooled into thinking this is a romance because it's not. This is a suspense driven story with strong paranormal elements and a dark undercurrent, you have been warned!
I was gifted a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.