Selena Laurence has quickly become an auto-buy author for me. It is all about her characters. She makes them so authentic and complex that you'd swear they were going to step out of the book and have a cup of coffee with you.
I was thrilled when I saw the blurb for Breath of Deceit. An Irish crime family? A genius hacker? I started waving my hand in the air like Hermione, begging for a chance to review it. Me! Me! Pick Me!!!!
The Departed gets a modern upgrade with the injection of cybercrime and four sexy Irish mob brothers fighting to stay alive amidst drug deals and FBI probes.
Cian MacFarlane is the oldest son of Chicago's reigning crime family. Now the defacto boss of the organization after his father's retirement, Cian is feared by his enemies and revered by his brothers. But what if Cian isn't all he seems to be? What if his end game isn't to maintain his father's empire but to topple it? As the MacFarlanes broker a deal with the owner of the world's largest dark web site, Cian brokers a deal with the FBI. But when he meets Lila Rodriguez, a genius hacker working with the dark web, his feelings for her only make life more complex.
Determined to save his brothers, even if it means sacrificing himself, Cian lives moment to moment in a deadly underworld of cybercrime, drug deals, federal agents, and a vengeful parent who won't hesitate to remind his oldest son what it means to be a MacFarlane. Through it all, Cian fights for his brothers to make it out of Chicagoland crime. But will the pieces fall into place before his breath of deceit is discovered?
Since Breath of Deceit is the start of the Dublin Devils series, the beginning has a little bit of set up and sorting of characters, but then it takes off and you can't look away.
Lila is the epitome of a strong female character that kicks ass with her brains and skills rather than Lara Croft style. She's witty, smart, and doesn't bother waiting around for the male characters to take charge. She can handle it herself.
Cian is the perfect antihero. He's doing what he has to do to protect his family and doesn't really care if that's in line with the law or not. He has his own code and part of that means doing what's necessary to protect those he loves.
This cast is round out with three of Cian's brothers and their tyrant of a father. The family dynamics are heart-wrenchingly realistic.
This book reads like Sons of Anarchy meets Road to Perdition (or maybe Casino.) It's an intriguing plot that delves the reader deep into the underworld of organized crime and even deeper into the mind of a man born to lead who only wants out.
Selena Laurence is an expert at building tension and suspense.
I actually breathed a sigh of relief at one point. Of course, that was short-lived because...well, I can't tell you. But trust me, it's intense.
Without spoilers I will say the ending leaves you satisfied but dying for the next one!
I will be recommending this to several friends and anxiously awaiting the next in the series!
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