Friday, 18 January 2013

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1) by Rachel Caine

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop struggling to prove her partner's innocence after he is sent to prison for murder, and she's willing to take whatever help comes along ... but she's about to make a bargain with the devil. Approached by a mysterious, attractive stranger with a check and a business offer, she finds herself plunged deep into a world where nothing is as it seems - not James Borden, Attorney At Law, who fascinates her even as she doubts his honesty; not Lucia Garza, her beautiful, brilliant new partner with hidden depths and secrets; not The Cross Society, who seems to be able to know more about the cases she's being sent to investigate than Jazz does herself. With each new revelation, Jazz and Lucia uncover a world of psychic predictions and unseen forces, and find themselves playing not just for keeps, but for souls. With lives at stake, Jazz finds that every choice she makes is dangerous ... even the one to fall in love.

  Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine

My rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin UK Ltd and Netgalley.)
34-year-old Jazz Callender is an ex-cop. Her ex-partner Ben is in jail for murder, but she’s sure that he’s innocent, she just can’t prove it.

One day she encounters a man in a bar called James Borden. He’s a lawyer with Gabriel, Pike and Laskins (GP&L), and has a letter in a red envelope for her. The deal – she has to go into business with another woman who she has never met called Lucia, start a detective agency, and then do jobs for GP&L. In return – they’ll give Jazz and Lucia $100,000 to set up their business, and $5000 per case which they then work for them.

Neither Jazz nor Lucia can decide if it’s a good idea to take the deal or not. But when someone then tries to kill them, they figure that they’re targets already now, and take the deal.

The deeper they get, and the more they find out Gabriel, Pike and Laskins, the less dealings they want to have with them though. The cases they are sent on are simple enough, but it seems like someone can see the future, and is trying to prevent events before they happen.
How do GP&L know what is about to happen before anybody else? What are Jazz and Lucia getting themselves involved in? And should they continue to follow the instructions delivered in red envelopes?

This was an interesting story, which was part crime drama and part supernatural mystery. The messages in the envelopes where all quite strange requests, that didn’t seem to have any bearing on anything, but when followed, revealed occurrences that Jazz and Lucia couldn’t overlook.

Both Jazz and Lucia were quite strong female leads, and both knew how to look out for themselves and one another. They also had strong ideas about right and wrong, and weren’t happy to blindly do as they were told all the time.

Borden was an okay character, but I didn’t fall for him the way Jazz did. The romance angle in this book was very brief though, the story was mainly concerned with the mystery of where the envelopes were really coming from and how someone knew what was going to happen before it happened.

If anything, this book most reminded me of the TV show Angel, as there were several similarities. Angel’s a private detective – Jazz’s a private detective, Angel ends up working for a law firm Wolfram and Hart – Jazz ends up working for a law firm GP&L, Angel has his sidekicks – Jazz has her sidekicks, and ultimately, something supernatural is going on.

Overall; a paranormal mystery/crime drama.
6.5 out of 10.


About the author:
Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the immensely popular Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series. Rachel is married to award-winning fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, and has two iguanas as pets: Popeye and Darwin.


  1. I read and enjoyed this, too, Sarah. It was a fun read and I totally agree with your comparison to Angel. I got approved for the 2nd one and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. :)

  2. This one sounds kind of creepy!

    1. There is a sort of supernatural thing going on.

  3. I love a strong female lead, and two of them sounds even better.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. These girls definitely know what they want and go for it!

  4. I LOVE Angel. I like that this has a crime drama feel. I don't read many of those. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It's a bit like a supernatural detective agency!

  5. Sounds like an interesting read! I will have to check this series out. Great review!