You guys – I kind of forgot how much I enjoyed EP Spiegel’s world of underground hitmen and a case of mutually assured destruction between father and son. I knew I had a good story scheduled when I agreed to review The Devil’s Game, but good grief, it exceeded my expectations!
(By the way, here’s a link to my vlog!)
So, for those of you who’ve forgotten, I previously reviewed the first book in the Capfield series; and for those of you who don’t know… maybe go take a look at that one, or better yet, read book one first.
I think I, like some of you (maybe?), know that I love romance, but always forget how much I enjoy crime. So it’s always a pleasant experience when I come across stories like Spiegel’s.
This is the sequel to her first book–we’re still following Jet Cage and his rag tag team of teens, now not-so-affectionately called “the Rat Pack,” as they try to hunt down and kill Robert Cage. Cage, a homicidal hitman who killed Jet’s mother, is hellbent on killing Jet as well, so it’s quite an exciting and anxiety-inducing story.
The Devil’s Game picks up where Racketeer left off: Cage kidnapped the bar keeper’s daughter, both Cage’s are looking for each other, Wesley Duke is trying to sneak away from his father to help his friends. This time, we meet a few new characters, which is always fun. There’s Winter, who’s also a hitman for Mr. Duke (a major crime boss); and Daisy, a purple-haired, one-legged, frog-toting, crime documentary enthusiast who both join the Rat Pack, much to the despair of Cage.
In fact, while the plot was intriguing–there were a few more action scenes, a little more inner-crime-organization drama, etc.–I think the characters are what really make The Devil’s Game so intriguing.
In the first book, Cage is essentially the boogeyman, kinda has famous serial killer vibes, but in this book, we get to look into his psyche. We see that he’s a tortured soul, haunted by his murdering his wife, terrified of being killed by his son. The amount of character development was impeccable.
Similarly, you had the sense of Jet and his crew as a gaggle of resourceful teenagers, but now, you see that Jet (at some level) still loves his dad and feels as though he’s forced to kill him; Isaac steps up to be more of a team leader; Lucky’s actually super strong and some scary hitmen are scared of him–how cool. I loved getting to see the characters grow. I wanted to see if and how they’d adapt to Cage’s plots and how they’d execute their own. I wanted to know how the heck Daisy actually fits in–she’s introduced fairly early on and then comes back as a more developed character later–and same with Winter.
Actually, on the note of how characters fit in, and where; Spiegel is so skilled at setting up the plot as the book goes on. I love how interwoven the history and people are in Capfield. It was [SPOILER] such a fun plot twist that the cop who pulled over the team in the first book turned out to be Ted’s mom; a similar character connection is made in the second book as well.
It’s these little details that really flesh out a story and make it enjoyable, and Spiegel did an excellent job of creating a world and the people within it.
If you like crime and suspense, you’re sure to like this book. There aren’t too many triggers, so I think it can appeal to most readers.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Be sure to look out for next week’s post on Capfield #3: The Goodberry Man.