Fog City: King Slayer – Layla Reyne
Never fall for a mark. Mission fail.
Christopher Perri—a.k.a. Dante Perry—infiltrated the Madigan organization with one goal: vengeance for his murdered partner. Falling for the assassin at the head of the table wasn’t part of the plan, but Hawes Madigan is not the cold, untouchable Prince of Killers Chris expected. Everything about the newly crowned king is hot, and every inch of him eminently touchable…and off-limits once Chris’s cover is blown.
Exposure couldn’t come at a worse time. Hawes’s throne is threatened, and Chris suspects the same person who killed his partner is behind the coup. Working with Hawes benefits them both, but Chris’s employer has other ideas. Dismantling criminal organizations is what Chris does best, and his boss expects the King Slayer to deliver.
But Hawes is taking the Madigans in a new direction, one Chris can get behind, and the two men form a shaky alliance strengthened by the irresistible attraction between them…until Chris learns who killed his partner. Once he knows the truth, the King Slayer is unleashed, and Chris will stop at nothing to destroy those who betrayed him, including the king who stole his heart.
Twists and turns—and cliffhangers—continue in book two of the Fog City Trilogy. Read at your own risk!
King Slayer picks up immediately from the very last part of book one, where Hawes was handcuffed to the bed and Christopher Perri turned the world upside down with his shocking revelations. Plans of working together were proposed but trust was in short supply. Hawes was burned all right but didn’t stop him and Chris from getting into each other’s pants yet again.
I mentioned before that Hawes wasn’t that badass for somebody who leads a family of assassins. Seeing him from Chris’ perspective, the parts of the King that other people, me included, see as weaknesses only that proved he had a soul (also that his badassery is there when he needs to be, not something he flaunts). Hawes fought hard to keep that part of him. The assassin was always described with sharp edges but there’s a softness to him that makes it easy to see why Chris would fall for a mark like that.
Still not into Dante/Chris, but I liked the story better from his POV. My earlier impression was that of him being a manipulative bastard so I feel a lot better understanding his motives this time. And he was willing to do more than just blur the lines as he fully committed himself to the mission. Many times, he outright lied to his coworkers about the details of events to protect the Madigans. I was left wondering if he still has a job after this. Then I remembered, this was his last hurrah. The guy had nothing to lose. Knock yourself out, Chris! I have an idea what he’s going to do after all this is over. Can’t wait!
I liked how Fog City connects to the bigger Layla Reyne universe. Definitely enjoying those little references to the FBI and that SAC with an Irish accent ( ~ _ ^ )b. New characters were introduced including a by-the-book agent, Scotty Wheeler, who turned out to be not so bad after all. I wouldn’t mind reading a book about him. I could see an opposites-attract enemies-to-lovers thing going for this agent. Make it happen, please!
King Slayer clocks in at 5+ hours, relatively short but very twisty. Major hints of who’s behind the plans to get Hawes out of the picture dropped like a bomb. Who that person was was surprising and in hindsight, made a lot of sense because who else had a vested interest in the future of the business? The most surprising part of it all was that their interest was serious enough to make it worth eliminating someone as closely connected as Hawes. Damn! How would this play out? Can Hawes pull the trigger when the moment of truth arrives?
Like Prince of Killers, I was swept along by the fast-paced writing. It’s still as tight and suspenseful as ever, but there’s less of a rushed feeling and more getting into the moment. I loved the ending for this book. Still very cliffy but satisfying because some questions were answered and finally, Hawes and Chris are in sync.
Saw the cover for book 3, A New Empire. Oh-em-gee! I know Chris is retiring but whatever you do, stay in business, Hawes.
Layla Reyne book here
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits