No Justice by Darcia Helle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Leaving Las Vegas Meets Dexter
In No Justice, Darcia Helle creates a gritty world reminiscent of the movie Leaving Las Vegas. Instead of alcoholic Nicholas Cage turning to prostitute Elizabeth Shue for solace, this time it’s hit man Michael Sykora falling for prostitute Nicki. Similar to the TV show Dexter, Michael kills bad men — like the one who murdered his wife.
From the first line…
Let him laugh. One more hour and he’d be dead.
…it’s clear a dark ride awaits. Somehow Darcia manages to show Michael’s integrity despite his sinister side vocation as hit man.
Although Michael first met Nicki when she serviced him as a prostitute, both developed genuine feelings for each other. He felt guilty for his attraction to her due to his allegiance to his dead wife, so he cut off all ties with her. But when Nicki later calls him, scared and on the run from her friend’s thuggish boyfriend, Michael can’t help but jump into the fray to help her. And when Michael goes in, he goes all in, encountering true danger from creepy Anthony Lott and his gang.
Michael’s day job is computer programming, and his office assistant Ruby is one of my favorite characters.
Ruby tapped on the side door, then, without waiting for Michael’s response, pushed it open and stepped inside. She said, “You’ve been locked up in here brooding all morning.”
Michael clicked out of the window he’d had open on his computer screen. He said, “I’m not brooding.”
“You prefer I call it pouting?”
Frowning, Michael looked up. Ruby had taken her non-nonsense stance, with both feet planted firmly about a foot apart and her hands spread out over her fleshy hips. “I do not pout,” he said.
“Really now? You look in the mirror yet today?”
“You come in here solely for the pleasure of giving me a hard time?”
“Course not,” Ruby replied. “It just comes so easy, sometimes I can’t help myself.”
Other well-drawn supporting characters include Michael’s two friends: Ruby’s son Isaac, a police officer, and Sean, a fellow hit man who Michael originally hired to take out his wife’s killer. I love the complexity of both of these characters. Lawman Isaac just might know about Michael’s secret penchant for murder but keeps it quiet. Sean is a ruthless killer who demonstrates admirable loyalty toward Michael.
I look forward to reading Michael’s future exploits in
Beyond Salvation -- it appears Nicki will still be hanging around, worming her way into his cold, shattered heart. It’s wonderful to hear Darcia is writing book three in the series!
View all my reviews
And now welcome to Darcia Helle for an interview:
2. My review compared this novel to Leaving Las Vegas and Dexter. Have you seen either? Do movies or TV shows inspire your writing?
3. One of my favorite characters is Ruby, Michael's assistant. What went into her character development?
5. I hear you're finishing book three of this series. What are your plans?
Thank you Darcia! Can't wait to read Beyond Salvation.
And now please join us for the Omnific Publishing Author Blog Bounce!