Title: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3)
Author: Cordelia Kingsbridge
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Genre: MM Romance, Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook, Print
Length: 351 Pages / 90,500 Words
Rating: 4.5 Stars
In this game, the stakes are life or death.
The Seven of Spades is back with a vengeance—the vigilante serial killer has resumed their murderous crusade, eluding the police at every turn. But a bloodthirsty killer isn’t the only threat facing Sin City. A devious saboteur is wreaking havoc in Las Vegas’s criminal underworld, and the entire city seems to be barreling toward an all-out gang war.
As Detective Levi Abrams is pushed ever closer to his breaking point, his control over his dangerous rage slips further every day. His relationship with PI Dominic Russo should be a source of comfort, but Dominic is secretly locked in his own downward spiral, confronting a nightmare he can’t bear to reveal.
Las Vegas is floundering. Levi and Dominic’s bond is cracking along the seams. And the Seven of Spades is still playing to win. How many bad hands can Levi and Dominic survive before it’s game over?
♠ Personal Thought ♠
I don’t think I have suitable words to describe how I felt about this book, but let me try anyway. I just knew – prior to read this book – that this installment’s gonna be one of the hardest of the series in term of the characters relationship’s development. Or should I say the setbacks… Given the bumpy start to Levi and Dominic relationship, I kinda hope it took them longer to hit trouble. But “Seven of Spades” have some of complicated characters with major issues anyway, they were damaged people. So I should’ve foreseen the left over scars would catch up to them sooner [than later].
“Cash Plays” started with happy scene where Levi and Dominic were taking much needed holiday. After what they had went through on previous two books, it was such a relief to have this glimpse. All too soon, all hell broke loose and the body count started to rise; and our favorite couple were torn in different directions following the lead (of their cases).
I had always found the books in “Seven of Spades” series engrossing. Each installments had their major villains, just like this one. But the biggest bad wolf of all was the serial killer, whose existence loomed in the background. Always. The author cleverly choreographed the chains of events with twist and turned that got our protagonist questioned everything, even himself. Not only was it exhilarating to spot the shift in Levi, to me it was doubly painful witnessing Dominic’s slow lapses. All in the name of good intention. I swear this book got me unhinged; I shouted and shook my hand at Dominic to change his decision, ranting at Levi to be more compassionate, to name a few. It was exhausting. On the personal front, the whole emotional stuff the characters faced here truly had me wrung out.
The mystery aspect, the whole conspiracy theory of it, was a tad hyperbolic to me. While I loved that the protagonist nuclear circle consisted of shrewd people, it was daunting how inept [and corrupted] the police department was (I mean, I wish LEOs in fiction world could be way better than IRL!). That the Seven of Spades’ fixation on Levi displayed in some sort of bonding moments and their taking his best interest at heart was especially chilling (and as usual got me rack my brain over whom the most likely to name as the serial killer). In other words, just like its predecessors “Cash Plays” got me in tenterhooks and with how things turned up for Levi and Dominic, I’m really anxious on how – and WHEN, NOT SEPTEMBER – the next book would take them.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.