The Assassins by Gayle Lynds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have had many thoughts about The Assassins and the characters in this story as I was reading. But, as I was at the last part of the book and the action and story intensified, which is saying a lot given how action-packed and intense the entire book is, I thought it is almost over and I just want to slow down my reading so it lasts longer. I loved it! I received a copy of The Assassins from NetGalley and though I don't always like the books I have to review, I love it when they are great. The Assassins is the 2nd book in the Judd Ryder and Eva Blake series and it just gets better and better.
The Assassins starts a few months after where The Book of Spies left off. Though you could read them alone you miss out on so much by not being introduced to the characters in the first book. Judd has been in Iraq doing community service work and Eva has been training at the CIA farm. Just as Judd arrives home from his trip things go a bit haywire as he sees what looks like his exact double killed in front of his own home. As incredible as that is the story just gets more incredible as six assassins, including The Carnivore that we were introduced to in The Book of Spies, square off against each other.
Judd Ryder is a deep, flawed character who you don't know whether to cheer for or worry about because he seems to be on a precipice between good and bad. At the same time you can't help liking him. He feels pain and strives to do what is right but has some serious shadows in him that make watching him tackle the situations they face worth it. The Carnivore is someone you shouldn't like but somehow you can't help it. Even in The Book of Spies you find yourself drawn to him despite him being an assassin. He has rules that show his humanity even as he is "wiping" someone. Tucker has a huge fight on his hands in this series. He seems to be fighting for everything but his marriage, though he knows his wife is a bit fed up with his always working. His fight gets even more life-threatening in The Assassins and we really see the brighter side of Judd here as he worries for his friend. Eva, we have always worried for her but want her to be ahead. She deserves it after everything we know she has gone through in The Book of Spies. Another reason to read it first is to see the evil normal people can do to each other.
After my experience with these last two books by Gayle Lynds I look forward to reading more by her and definitely to see what Judd chooses for his life.