Web of Lies is the second book in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series about Gin Blanco, a young woman with elemental powers who was orphaned when she was a girl and was found and raised by an assassin who taught her the tricks of the trade. She’s known as The Spider — the best assassin in the city — and is now wealthy enough to retire, which she is trying to do. She spends her days running a barbeque restaurant, but trouble keeps finding her and she can’t turn her back on people who need her help… or people who need to be killed.
This time trouble is in the form of a college girl named Violet Fox whose family owns some property coveted by a man who’s trying to coerce them into selling it to him. He owns coalmines and wants to add their land to his domain. Now he’s getting ruthless and he will use any amount of force needed to get that land. It’s up to Gin to stop him but her methods are not always ethical, much to the chagrin of police detective Donovan Caine, who has the hots for her. And vice versa.
Readers who enjoyed the first ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN book, Spider’s Bite, will probably be pleased with Web of Lies, too. It’s got plenty of action, some appealing characters (especially Donovan Caine), and lots of romantic tension. A new intriguing romance and perhaps a love triangle is on the horizon, too.
The plot of Web of Lies is kind of clichéd — a greedy evil capitalist becomes murderous — and it proceeds in rather obvious ways with several scenes that are too similar to scenes in the previous novel, making me wonder if Estep is already running out of creative ideas for this series. A similar issue is the repetitive prose — certain information and even actual phrases are repeated many times throughout the novel. If you’re a reader who gets annoyed by this, you’re certain to be pulling out your hair by the end of Web of Lies.
Despite my complaints, which should be enough to make me drop this series, I’m still interested in Gin’s personal life. I’m not sure why, but I want to see what happens between her and Donovan Caine and her new love interest. I also want to know what happened to her family. It helps that I’m enjoying the audio versions of these books, which were narrated by the wonderful Lauren Fortgang. I’m not going to rush out to buy the third audiobook, Venom, but I’ll give it a try if it happens to come my way.