Wednesday 16 October 2013

El Paso Way

Blood for Justice #1
By Steven Law
Berkley, October 2013

When everything you love is lost to a vicious killer, you can either trust the law or take matters into your own hands…

As a young boy, Enrique Osorio witnessed the destruction of his entire family at the hands of Antonio Valdar, the Demon Warrior. Father Gaeta took him in, encouraging Enrique to wait for the right moment to confront Valdar man to man. But when Enrique meets Pang Lo, who lost his own father to Valdar, he knows his moment has come…

With Pang’s mastery of martial arts and Enrique’s hunting skills, they plan to catch the Demon Warrior before he reaches the Mexican border. With a determined sheriff also tracking Valdar, Enrique and Pang pray for the justice they deserve, fuelled by a passion to make a bloodthirsty killer finally taste his own blood…

Steven Law writes well, his descriptions painting vivid imagery within the minds’ eye. His dialogue is believable and his characters are very memorable. Actions scenes are often brief and hard hitting. His story is laid out in non-numbered chapters (each having a title instead) and are of varying length, and these are broken by scene changes.

This story brings together a small group of people from very different backgrounds and unites them in a deadly hunt for vengeance and a race against time to free kidnapped girls from Valdar’s clutches. Along the way, Enrique in particular, will have his beliefs tested, such as the temptations of alcohol and that of the flesh. He, and Pang, will also struggle to comprehend the decisions of others, especially after attempting to free two girls from slavery.

One of the biggest problems facing Law’s group of justice hunters is that each desires to kill Valdar themselves. How this is resolved I can’t tell here so as not to spoil it for those intending to read this book, what I will say is that how this turns out throws in some great twists to the plot.

Steven Law neatly leaves a story thread hanging and the close of the tale suggests that this will be the theme of the next book in the series, one that I’m certainly looking forward to reading.

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