Evil Without a Face
(Sweet Justice, #1)
by Jordan Dane
Haunted and obsessed . . .
She sleeps with a Colt Python in her nightstand and her senses on alert—Jessica Beckett isn’t taking any chances. Hiding a chilling secret, living in a world of snitches and felons, good cops and bad dreams, Jessica is a bounty hunter who brings lowlifes to justice. But not even she can imagine what she’ll face when she tracks an online predator who has abducted a naïve teenage girl.
Making promises that can’t be kept
Former NFL quarterback Payton Archer swore to his sister that he’d find her only child. But the police have no leads, and the teen’s trail has turned cold. Plagued by personal demons, Payton’s never considered himself a hero, but this time he has to be.
And fighting a faceless enemy
Joining forces to save the seventeen-year-old girl, Payton and Jessica discover that she’s nothing but a pawn in an insidious, terrifying global conspiracy. They’re battling a new kind of criminal . . . and soon their race for answers will become a dangerous struggle for survival.
**Review: **Spoiler Alert!**
Seventeen-year-old Nikki Archer is running away from home, away from her single-parent, alcoholic mother. She wants to start a new life far away from Talkeetna, Alaska. And a friend she met online, promises she and her dad can help her.
And after finally getting to Chicago, Nikki learns all too quickly that her friends isn’t whom she said she was, and neither is her father. Nikki has been kidnapped with a subtle ploy, one where she believed her friend could help her get into a modeling agency. In reality, teenagers no more older than children, are being kidnapped and sold … privately, the biggest sex trade that stretches around the globe.
Payton Archer, an ex-NFL’er, believes himself worthless, and has acted that way for a long time. But when his sister calls, begging for his help, he realizes that he has to face life head-on: he’ll find and help Nikki, no matter what it takes.
Jess Beckett’s past is actual hell, and she won’t bring herself to think about it. She believes she’s moved on. She is now a Fugitive Recovery Agent, aka Bounty Hunter, sleeps with a Colt Python either in her nightstand or under her pillow, and doesn’t trust anyone with a 20-foot poll. The only one that can remotely touch her is her best friend, Samantha Cooper, a Chicago Vice cop.
Most cops don’t like Jess. She pushes to the max, and more times than not, jumps way over the line of the law, to apprehend the fugitive she’s after. But when she bumps into one fugitive she’d love to rid the world of, she does everything physically possible to bring him down, only for him to be let loose again. Seems the pedophile is a paid snitch for the cops, and that grinds Jessie’s cookies to dust. After stealing property, a laptop, Jess has her hired tech employee, Seth Harper, try to break into it, but he’s unable to get much out of it. But both are curious and suspicious of what’s on there, and Seth loads the computer with a device that can keep track of keys that are typed. And when she has to trade the laptop for Seth, both are determined to bring the man down. But the pedophile ends up murdered, and detectives suspect that Jess was the one that took him out. And now Jessie’s racing against the clock – find the killer and stop Globe Harvest.
Meanwhile, Payton and his friend, Joseph Tanu, a retired trooper, follow clues that lead them right to Chicago, and on the trail of Nikki, and what is now known as Globe Harvest.
And now it’s down to the wire. Find the missing and kidnapped kids and shut down Globe Harvest.
**Not bad… not bad at all!
I liked Jess right off. A no-nonsense tough cookie, Jess does what she has to in the heat of the moment. As a character, she had me snort with laughter quite a few times with her one-line quips and sarcasm. She reminded me very much of me in that aspect. While I felt bad about her past, I didn’t pity her, for she’s pushed herself to get passed it, to become better than ‘what could have been.’ If she was a real person, she’d be something to admire.
Payton irked me a little at the beginning of his part in the story. I don’t like characters that are introduced with stupid moves and self-pity. But Payton overcomes my first thoughts about him, and turns into a loving and heartsick uncle who’ll do whatever it takes to find his niece and bring her home.
All the characters are interesting, some coming of in a suspicious manner, but as you learn more about them, you learn who you can trust, and who you can’t.
I liked the mystery, suspense and action in the book. It wasn’t sparsed too wide, and it wasn’t too thick. I liked the romance that started between Jess and Payton, but I can’t see it lasting into anything serious. Their worlds are just too far apart. I also liked how the author put it bits and pieces of what Nikki and the other girls were going through. It added to the suspense and the horror I felt as a mother who can’t imagine what I’d do if my daughter ever ended up in Nikki’s position. Scary.
While not my favourite book, it definitely shows promise to the beginning of a series. I’m looking forward to the second book, The Wrong Side of Dead.