Blood Horizon: The Novella by R.O. Sawyer

Blood Horizon: The Novella

A Shark in Still Waters
From the "The Dark Series" series, volume 2
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A novella focuses on crime-world retribution.

This sequel to Blood Horizon (2016) opens in an atmosphere of anxiety and dread: the Delgados—Faustus, Rosemarie, and their daughter, Rayna—are living in rural Texas and working hard to keep a low profile. For years, Faustus was a paid assassin in the employ of a temperamental, unpredictable crime lord known as Ulysses, but that relationship ended when the hit man was ordered to murder a young man he practically raised as a son. He refused the job, and in retaliation, Ulysses had Rayna’s fiance shot dead on her wedding day. Embittered with grief and burning for revenge, Rayna—trained from childhood in her father’s deadly profession—kills the kingpin’s two daughters and flees with her parents, determined to live far outside the reach of the enraged Ulysses. But in classic crime-story fashion, this goal proves impossible; using a combination of high-tech gadgetry and Ahab-like obsession, Ulysses zeroes in on the family. Rayna’s own use of advanced technology brings her in contact with a charismatic computer whiz named Kirk, with whom she surprises herself by starting a romantic relationship, a liaison rendered with a very believable combination of maturity and erotic tension by Sawyer (A Highlander’s Love Story With The Enemy, 2016, etc.). In only a few dozen tightly packed pages, the author manages to work in generous helpings of intrigue and violence, well-deployed flashbacks to deepen and enrich the main characters, and several surprising and very satisfying plot twists, including a climactic one that even seasoned thriller readers may not see coming. And through it all, the portrayal of Rayna herself remains the high point: she’s a richly realized action hero, conflicted with a love of her parents and a complicated hatred of Ulysses. Even the villain himself achieves an added dimension of viability by the story’s end. While the first book introduces Rayna to readers, this sequel can easily be read independent of that volume, and it should leave readers very much wanting more.

A compulsively readable, taut thriller in which a strong protagonist risks her life—and her heart —to survive a madman’s quest for vengeance.

Pub Date: June 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5349-2456-7
Page count: 124pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: