Brenna's background in tabloid journalism, covering Hollywood, stands him in good stead in describing both the glamorous and seamy side of those businesses. And he does so with great vigor—the sex and violence are frequent and graphic: "his blade slashing at the guard’s skinny throat. Blood pulsed over him; the deluge pleased his soul." Even the sex is forceful: "Mistress Giana Gallina…. was an expert with whips for lashing and paddles for spanking." The plot gets a little convoluted with a lot of motives and double-crosses, but the action never lets up for a minute, with a continual string of cliffhangers.
Passion is the one constant that ties together all the characters, whether it's for money and power, as with Lord Rothenberg, or a political ideal with Muslim terrorists. The focus is mainly on Delano, who does show some growth as his passions change. At the start, he's a devoted journalist, but later becomes consumed by revenge before finding an intense, if troubled, relationship with Rachel. She has her own issues, with an extreme love-hate relationship with her family despite her father's mistreatment of her. All these emotions eventually boil over into several final revenge scenarios. Readers open to outsize passions themselves will likely be breathless.
Takeaway: Fans of hard-edge action will revel in characters who never hesitate to act on every thought of hate and lust.
Great for fans of: Harold Robbins, Alistair MacLean.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: B+