Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops — especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/M Thriller Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is the first book in the series and I was not disappointed. It is fast paced, has a lot going on, but comes together in a way that doesn't seem predictable.

Levi is trying to get over his officer involved shooting (OIS) and knows that despite his feelings, he still has a job to complete. Even with his OIS hanging on him like a guilty weight, when there is a string of murders all linked with a common MO, Levi and his partner race to figure out who will be next and why.

Levi's personal life is somewhat in disarray. His partner of a few years... well, let's just say that I really disliked Levi's partner and thought he was a whiny toddler who simply wanted what he wanted and didn't really care about Levi the way a true partner should. I also thought that Levi's parents were somewhat annoying and not truly necessary in the story.

Dominic is a recovering addict, ex-Ranger, and now he's a bounty hunter. He loves his job and knows that it allows him to feel a similar rush that his addiction allowed. When his path crosses Levi's again, he appreciates the packaging and knows that if it were a different time and place, he would be all over Levi.

I thought that the mystery in this story was fantastic and loved feeling like I was racing against the clock. I can't wait to see what happens next and whether or not Dominic's friends will become a more integral part of the next books.

This year I'm all about books that mix crime solving and romance and Kill Game was right up my alley. Detective Levi Abrams and bounty hunter/bartender Dominic Russo inhabit the same world when we meet them. Levi is in a long term committed relationship that is starting to fall apart. Dominic is single and his big Italian family is keen to see him settle down. Dominic gets caught up in Levi's investigation in the Seven of Spade's killer when he discovers one of the victims.

Kill Game is a well paced story. We get time in Levi and Dominic's personal lives as well as their professional lives. I feel like we are just only getting to know them and that there is still plenty more to learn about these two as people.

The criminal investigation is intriguing and doesn't get bogged down in too much detail. For me finding the serial killer was just as exciting as the slowly developing relationship between Levi and Dominic.

This is the first book in the Seven of Spades series and when Kill Game came to a close, there was still so much more to know and I can't wait to see where this series goes. So I don't forget the release, I've already hit Riptide Publishing to pre-order book #2, Trick Roller.

Oh wow! This is a fast-paced thriller that I read in a single sitting. I couldn’t put it down. The story is familiar – a slightly maverick police detective hunts a cunning serial killer – but it is the brilliant characters and the perfectly paced plot that make this story special.

I loved the characters. Levi, an obsessive Las Vegas police detective, leads the hunt for the Seven of Spades killer with the help of his partner, Martine. At first, Levi feels a little too familiar. He is a great cop, but his personal life is a mess. But it is the details that make him special. He isn’t maudlin or self destructive in a Harry Hole/Kurt Wallander kind of way – he’s just a bit lost and a bit trapped. I loved his slightly lax Judaism. His slightly stifling parents. His surprising Krav Maga skills. He is a character I want to know better and I’m so glad he has his own series.

Like Levi, Dominic is an equally complicated character. He’s a bartender and a bounty hunter. He’s a reformed gambling addict who lives in Las Vegas. He’s a former Army Ranger and we only get to see a glimpse of his skills when he starts working with Levi. Again, I found Dominic fascinating and I can’t wait to see him develop with the series.

I don’t want to give any of the story away, but I love the way this first book unfolded (though I was furious with the cliffhanger ending). Readers flip from Levi’s official investigation to Dominic’s more flexible personal investigation. I loved their different approaches and I loved the way their skills complemented each other. The story is perfectly paced – it doesn’t slow and my attention didn’t waver.

I loved this book so much – but I’m still a little annoyed that I have to wait for at least another book before I can know the identity of the Seven of Spades...

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Kill Game (Seven of Spades #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge to read and review.

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