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    REVIEW: Trick Roller by Cordelia Kingsbridge

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    Seven Of Spades: Trick Roller – Cordelia Kingsbridge

    It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.

    But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.

    One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.

    Summer is here. Dropping by Dom and Levi. It’s good to see the two are progressing rather nicely in their relationship. They are working out the kinks and I am enjoying these moments even though I know something catastrophic happened later. Fair warning: do not read the blurbs of the succeeding books. Major spoiler alert.

    Maybe Dom’s ‘talent’ for lying charmingly had something to do with their issues in the next book. Here he used it for a good cause, he was making sure Levi’s apartment was safe under the pretext of cooking him dinner, so kinda okay but then coupled with his gambling addiction, this talent thing could go spiraling downward into the abyss. Don’t go there, Dom!

    I’m getting way ahead. Damn that spoiler!

    Fave moment: when Levi said to Dom, “Fight me.” I got the goosies.

    Loved that Carlos and Jasmine had their big moment.

    Trick Roller didn’t disappoint. The Seven of Spades was presumed dead by all except Levi, who was obsessed, and Dom, who discovered the SOS got their eye on him, Levi and their friends all this time. How are they pulling it off? I think Rebel knows them or else she would have reacted aggressively. Hmm…

    This installment was not as fast-paced as Kill Game but still it still grabbed me and didn’t let go. I like that there’s equal focus on the crime suspense part and the romance part. Sometimes in police procedural MM, the romance part is distracting, like I feel the MCs should be doing their jobs more and do each other less. Here, Cordelia Kingsbridge was able to give Levi and Dom their quality time together without detracting from the investigation. Great execution overall.

    Another thing that stood out for me with this series in general is how the author made a conscious effort to include as many female characters as possible. I’m so used to the average MM book where you get two significant female characters or three tops, usually, a bestfriend, an ex or mom. Here, majority of the supporting characters are female, even the ‘extras’, like a random forensic tech or private detective. It’s a nice change from the usual roles women typical play in MM stories. It also supports my guess as to the identity of the SOS. I know I suck at guessing the killer’s identity but maybe for once, I’m right on the money. Maybe.

    The main storyline for book two is an SOS-unrelated case of a dead doctor, assumed to be a victim of a trick roller. One of the interesting aspects of the case is that the victim was universally hated by all including his wife so that it became a question of who wanted him dead the most. Martine and Levi spent a lot of time going through a list of suspects while Dom was undergoing his internship at a private detective agency, working on a cheating spouse case. Trick Roller ended with the homicide case somehow tying in with Dom’s case and the SOS. That it happened wasn’t that surprising given that the SOS was bound to make their presence felt sooner or later but how everything came together was still believable and the twists were nicely done.

    Levi, Martine and Dom were also called as witnesses to the case related to the first book. That courtroom scene was super intense! I could see why people hate lawyers. Poor Levi was painted as the bad guy. Not condoning serial killings but it felt good to see the SOS put a stop to the lawyer’s bullshit right in front of the media.

    I didn’t mind that it ended with a cliffhanger. All the books are released already so you can binge on the entire thing. Seven of Spades is a highly recommended series for those looking for great crime thriller reads you can sink your teeth into. The MM romance part is just cherry on top. Also, there’s an adorable dog.

    Whether Rebel knows the SOS or not, I trust her to do her job but now that all bets are off, how long can Dom and Levi stay in the game?


    Trick Roller is not a standalone. I recommend reading Kill Game first, review here.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: High Roller
    Artist: Scrawl
    Album: Bloodsucker