Title: Web of Lies
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publication Year: 2010
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: E-book borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
I’m Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coal-mining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
One of the things I really enjoy about this series is the world-building (or should I call it city-building?) that Estep has done. There’s a well laid out power structure in Ashland that was set up in the previous book, but that really starts to become more important in this one. Gin manages to get herself entangled in problems with one of the powerful men who’s third-in-command with Mab, the head honcho of the underworld, plus agrees to help someone with a separate problem. So the action in Web of Lies ends up getting a bit twisty and intersects a bit, which was interesting. A lot of times in fantasy books, the subplots are all kept completely separate, but it was more realistic to see the connections between everything going on in this book.
I actually found the ongoing romance/not-a-romance between Gin and the Detective to be really frustrating, and not in a good way. It was kind of annoying, actually. I didn’t really understand why Gin was bothering with him when he was so obviously conflicted, especially since she really knows nothing about him. It’s not like they’ve been close for so long that she’s losing much, and I just didn’t think it was all that realistic that she would be so calculated and practical in the rest of her life but not be able to sort this thing out quickly and simply.
Anyways, beyond that, I enjoyed Web of Lies. It was a good second book in the series, fleshing out Gin, Finn, and the others, as well as giving some more insight into Fletcher’s life even though he’s not alive in this book. It also sets things up really nicely for new plot lines going forward in the series, which I’m really looking forward to.