Review of ‘Double Crossed’ by Ali Vali
Reed is a self-employed assassin. Raised by an addicted and neglectful mother until removed by the Nevada State, she grew up forgotten in a foster system that spat her out at the age of eighteen. Reed ditched her previous identity and started working towards complete independence from everyone and anything. After all, no one had ever helped her in life.
Brinley Myers moved to Las Vegas with her one-year-old son. Her previous partner cheated on her and that made her turn to an ill-advised night with a man, leaving her pregnant with Finn and hounded by the man’s family for money. Getting a fresh start away from them took her to the Moroccan Casino’s accounting department. Soon, her life is upended when her employer takes out a contract on her. Reed is in even more trouble as she struggles to eliminate an innocent person while getting caught in a war between the powerful mob families in Las Vegas.
‘Double crossed’ is a mob story with romance at the side. Thirty percent into the tale and the mains had yet to meet. There was a lot of mob family-related dynamics that made this feel like a Joe Pesci movie. Interesting if you are into it, but not so great for romance fans. If you enjoyed the movie ‘Casino’, this will be enjoyable as well.
I have to say, this book moved me in a few different ways. It made me shake my head at how a child had to endure so much in life and get by with so little support. It also made me question what I was reading when Reed simply committed a double murder. The author even managed to evoke some sadness when Reed left an escort behind. Ms. Vali did a great job of conveying feelings, whether it was anger, greed, sadness, regret or loneliness.
Reed isn’t an easy-to-love character. There was something about her not making excuses for her choices that made her a likable character in the end. She openly admitted to Brinley how damaged she was. How she was no better than the people who hired her to eliminate other individuals. On the other side, Brinley falling in love with the person hired to kill her was crazy, but somehow Ms. Vali makes it sound credible in some twisted way. Still, the romance was lacking for me and while the ending clearly sets this as just the beginning of a series, I was not crazy about the choices the mains made. However, I will read the next book and just accept the premise of the story and enjoy it for what it is, a lesbian thriller book.
Overall, a good mob-related novel. 4 stars
ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.