Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the authors but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.
Murder City, USA
Bad Blood is the fourth in the Violet Darger series of books by authors Tim McBain and LT Vargus. Taking place approximately 6 months after her harrowing escape from Leonard Stump, Violet returns to the field to assist Loshak with his current case. Joining a task force in Detroit to take down a mafioso kingpin, Darger is teamed up with a face from the past and the awkward duo set out to chase down clues in search of a killer. Just as soon as the pieces start falling into place, more questions arise as Violet comes to the realization that the mafia’s tentacles are deeper than she had ever imagined. Not knowing who to trust, she sets out on her own, but what she ultimately discovers may be more devastating than the murders themselves.
Violet returns in this newest story, the fourth in the series to date, and the action is just as fast and furious. With the action taking place 6 months after her near-death experience in The Girl in the Sand, we see a Violet who is not quite 100% but is stir crazy to get back into the action. Surviving on coffee and narcotics is not the best prescription though, and I think this is probably the most reckless that Darger has been in any of the previous books. With the setting being Detroit Violet is out of her element from the start, but that factor gets ratcheted up when she is partnered not with Loshak, but with her one-time fling Casey Luck. Even with a rocky start, the duo is able to pull just the right string to start to unravel the web of deceit that has permeated the city for years. It is then that everything hits the fan and to say that there is a twist would be an understatement as it’s more like a Mack truck swerving out of nowhere to totally blow your mind. After finishing this installment, I am very curious as to Violet’s future. I can only see this continuing one of two ways and it’ll be interesting to see where McBain and Vargus take the series from here.