Review: Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine

Title: Devil’s Bargain
Author: Rachel Caine
Series:Red Letter Days #1
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin UK Ltd./MIRA
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2 Hoots
Reviewer: Dori
Buy From: Amazon/ Barnes and Noble

Sum It Up! Devil’s Bargain weaves an interesting tale.

Jasmine "Jazz" Callender is on the downhill slide to ruin. Once a decorated homicide detective, she's lost it all: her former partner's been convicted of murder, she's been cashiered out, and she's drinking away what little self-respect she's got left.

But Jazz has a talent for trouble, and somebody knows it. When a mysterious, sexy stranger comes looking for her with a fateful red envelope in his hand, she's about to make the deal of her life...for good or bad.

The deal requires her to enter into a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases that arrive in special red envelopes...which is odd enough, but gets weirder as she and her new partner Lucia realize that they may be working for someone with supernatural abilities.

And maybe they're not on the side of the angels anymore. (Goodreads)

For fans of the television show, Person of Interest, Devil’s Bargain has similar overtones. Instead of a computer choosing how to save or help, a red envelope is received from an unknown source.  Imagine yourself receiving an envelope, from an unknown benefactor, telling you to set up a private investigation company with someone you don’t know.  Also, to sweeten the pot, there is a check made payable to you and the other person for $100,000.  Would you take the deal or would you question the motives behind it?

Jazz and Lucia received such an offer from Gabriel, Pike, and Laskins, LLP.  The only request by the law firm was Jazz and Lucia take the occasional assignment from the firm and the assignment takes precedence over other assignments.  After careful consideration, the private investigation company becomes a reality.  Unfortunately, after the first few assignments from the law firm, Jazz and Lucia learn their assignments have a bigger part to plan in the firm’s true goal of controlling the future. 

Devil’s Bargain weaves an interesting tale of how events of one person’s life can affect the loves of many.  The idea of a company using psychics to save the integrity of the future leaves one with ethical quandaries.  Does a person have the right to kill or alter a person’s fate to save the many for the bigger picture? Unfortunately, the story leaves too many holes to find the answer.  Rachel Cane tries to convince the reader of altering the future but fails on the most basic level. The interactions and friendship, of Jazz and Lucia, seemed plastic, even though they are business partners. Jazz tunnel vision of acquitting her former partner of murder outs her into unnecessary situation. Jazz’s relationship with James Borden is lukewarm at best. Although the ending made up for the holes in the plot, there is little to hold the reader’s attention. Maybe in the sequel there will be more answers than questions. 

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