Reviews and updates from Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series
This series keeps building—the tension, the pace, and the characters. In a way it’s one continuous plot, from Reprobate to Peccadillo to Rogue. All are intense, and this one is the most explosive. To use a running analogy, it has more hill sprints. The protagonist is as much in danger herself as other people are in danger from her, though she might not see it that way. As always, Halm gets inside the minds of people on both sides of the law, without casting anyone as the “good guy” or the “bad guy.” And they are often not guys. The law enforcement leads are female as well as the assassin; the story is framed around the conflicts between strong but flawed women. I was glad to see DEA agent Deborah Stern back. She and Katla are worthy opponents. The differences between Katla’s boyfriend Bram’s martial artist’s view of violence and her view as a professional assassin are another element of conflict in the story.
The gentler characters in the series, Bram’s ex-girlfriend Anouk, his friend Zeph—and I’d consider Katla’s macaw Kourou a character—keep the story emotionally accessible to the reader. Though she’s fascinating, it may be hard for most of us to fall in love with Katla the way Bram does. But it’s easy to share his and Katla’s fondness for these other characters. (I wonder if the chapter with Zeph in it, which is almost like an interlude in the plot, was there to keep readers in touch with that part of Bram’s life as well to let fans hang out with Zeph for a few pages.) Many of the complications in Katla’s life come from having relationships with people who are not like her and yet end up a dangerous situation because of their connection.
The writing is masterful in most places, with a few minor shortfalls. In the Berlin chapter, there was more detail about how to get around Berlin than seemed necessary to construct the scenes. Overall, though, the dialog is sharp and the story flows.
If you haven’t yet begun at the beginning of this series, start with Reprobate. You may want to read all three books back to back. I found Rogue to be the kind of book where I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next, and yet at the same time I didn’t want it to end. The next book in the series isn’t out yet, and I’m going to have to wait for my next Katla fix.