The third book in the Fallen Angels series, published September 2011.
As the son of a serial killer, homicide detective Thomas 'Veck' DelVecchio, Jr., grew up in the shadow of evil. Now, on the knife-edge between civic duty and blind retribution, he atones for the sins of his father - while fighting his inner demons. Assigned to monitor Veck is Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly, whose interest in him is both professional and arousingly personal. And Veck and Sophia have another link: Jim Heron, a mysterious stranger with too many answers...to questions that are deadly. When Veck and Sophia are drawn into the ultimate battle between good and evil, their fallen angel savior is the only thing that stands between them and eternal damnation.
After the recent loss, Jim Heron is determined to safe the next soul, and when Archangel Nigel does not want to tell him who that soul is, he makes a bargain with Davina, the demon, and his enemy. They are playing for opposite sites, but Davina has a weakness for Jim. No matter how she tortured him, he did not break. So, if she will tell them who they are battling for, he will be hers whenever she wants to.
The next soul is Thomas Del Vecchio Jr, son of a serial killer. His father is pure evil, and Veck has been afraid his whole life that he will turn evil as well. After all, he is his father’s son. There is darkness inside of him. He is riding that edge between good and evil very closely lately. Another serial killer has come to Caldwell, and though he has escaped, the police have confiscated his truck full of mementos of his victims. Pieces of flesh, clothing, jewellery. Veck just knows the killer will come back to the scene of his last crime, and when he finds him, he will kill him!
But some one, or something, beats him to it, and he finds the murderer with a torn throat, dying in the forest. His memory is gone, but he calls 911 nevertheless, convinced that he has gone over the line. But the Internal Affairs officer on his case cannot find any evidence of that. His hands and clothes and weapons are clean, no bloodspatter, and he did not have the means to clean himself up. But Sophia Reilly will have to follow the rules, and so she takes his weapons and his cellphone and his wallet, and tells him to go home, while CSI processes the scene. The murderer is rushed to the hospital in the ambulance, and Veck goes home on his BMW motorcycle. There is an instant attraction between Veck and Reilly, but both are professionals, and will not act on it. But when Sophia, who is staking out Veck’s house, sees him full frontal nude in his un-curtained bathroom window, she sure is flabbergasted! That is one fine male body!
The next day, as there is no evidence linking Veck to the crime, and the coroner decrees it was an animal attack, Veck can go back to work. But not on the serial killer case! And Sophia will be his partner for a month, keeping an eye on him. Veck decides on a missing person’s case, a young woman named Cecilia Barten, whom he suspects is one of the victims of Kroner. And he thinks it will be a backdoor into the investigation of the serial killer.
Of course, Veck is wrong. Cecily was one of Davina’s victims, and the one that Jim Heron wants to see freed from her wall of souls. But Jim also wants to find her body, so her parents can get some closure. Posing as FBI agents, Jim, Adrian and Eddy approach Veck to assist with the case. Adrian and Eddy are totally against it, they want Jim to focus on the battle, and not on a death girl that is beyond their help. She is just a casualty of the war, like so many others. But Jim refuses to see reason, and wants to do whatever he can to find his Cissy.
Veck doesn’t really trust Jim, there is just something off about that guy.
Sophia also does not trust Veck’s reasons for picking this case. They are supposed to be working on cold homicide cases, not missing persons. But the more she finds out about Cecilia, the more she knows this is not a runaway, but a good girl that encountered something bad. And she makes them promise, that the minute they find out, Cecilia is one of Kroner’s victims, they will back off.
Meanwhile, Kroner is recovering mysteriously well in the hospital. His doctor’s did not give him long, but somehow, he getting better. What they don’t know is that Davina has visited her minion … she still needs him to torment Veck some more.
The attraction between Veck and Sophia is off the scale, and neither can fight it for long. When Veck sees the shopping bags with the Victoria Secret logo on them in her trunk, his curiosity certainly spikes in interesting ways. And their pizza dinner never gets eaten … They both know it is a bad idea, she being Internal Affairs, and he being in her charge for the next month.
But of course, Davina doesn’t want them to be happy together, she has made very different plans for them … and playing people is what the devil is good at after all …
A lot happens in this very fast paced book, and it sure had some major surprises for me! Things I would never have seen coming. I have forgotten what happened in the BDB book that crosses over in this one, which vampire has almost killed Kroner, and why, but that did not matter at all. But I think I will be rereading some books in the near future to refresh my memory …
I really did like Sophia. She was strong, new what she wanted. And she was not shy to go after it. I really liked meeting her parents, and how that made Veck behave himself. He never met a girls’ parents before. Sophia is a very capable cop, and she believes in her job and what she stands for. Veck is a great hero in this book. He is so unsure of himself, he knows there is evil inside of him, and he is fighting to stay on the good side of the line. But Kroner made him plan to kill. And even though he did not go through with it, as someone beat him to it, he had the intention. And that sure makes him condemn himself.
Meeting his father, just a few days away from getting the needle, was an eye opener. True evil does exist.
But well, Jim Heron and his fellow angels sure made the book. Dissention in the archangels ranks, and a very very surprising ending. I have no idea where J.R. Ward is leading this series too. If this is just a way to make the series longer than 7 books or what. Of course, I dislike reading teasers and stuff, so I am willing to be surprised. And as I truly love those books for they are great, I will happily read however many there will be.
The writing is superb, the pacing is fast, the characters great but flawed and you just have to care for them, even love them, and you need to know what happens on the next page; the next chapter. The love scenes are hot, the emotions run high, and I dare you to read this book without needing a tissue. Jim Heron is a very strong character, I totally admire him for his dedication, and what he does, what he is willing to personally sacrifice, to reach his goal.