The second installment in the Dreg City
series picks up mere minutes after the epic battle at the conclusion of book one. Former bounty hunter Evangeline 'Evy' Stone finds herself facing an entirely new set of challenges. As she continues to adapt to the new body she inherited after her resurrection from the dead, and her newfound ability to teleport, Evy must also reconcile her feelings for ex-boss-turned-boyfriend Wyatt Truman. Unfortunately, there is little time for self-indulgence as Evy is recruited by Phineas, a shapeshifting member of an avian race known as the Owlkins, to protect a pregnant member of their species.
This request brings with it a certain degree of guilt for Evy. The Owlkins had been all but nearly exterminated weeks before when her fellow bounty hunters had been ordered to exterminate their home in an attempt to kill Evy who had taken refuge among the peaceful creatures. Now, Evy agrees to return the favor and takes these last remaining Owlkins into her "home", an apartment that once belonged to Chalice Frost whose body Evy now inhabits.
Meanwhile, at St. Eustachius Hospital, friend and handler Rufus St. James recovers from burns and bruises incurred from an explosion that destroyed his apartment complex. Handlers are essentially managers of bounty hunter teams known as Triads. Unfortunately for Rufus, the Clan Assembly (of non-human entities) is set to execute Rufus for his team's assault on the Owlkins...unless Evy can hand them the brass that actually gave the order. This is, of course, nearly impossible given the fact that the identities of the brass are shrouded in secrecy. It is known only that they are high ranked officials in the city's police department.
To complicate matters, enter Leo Forrester. Father of the late Alex Forrester--killed by a Halfie (half-vampire/half-human) in bok --Leo shows up at the apartment demanding to know the whereabouts of his son. Playing the role of Chalice, Evy attempts to calm him down, stating that she had not seen her roommate in days. It was easier than telling him the truth at the moment. She invites him to stay at the apartment and wait, but his bouts of rage frighten the Owlkins and Evy eventually asks him to leave.
Later that night, Evy comes under attack from two were-cats who break into her apartment. After a short brawl, one of the shapeshifting creatures is shot and wounded by Leo, who cannot believe his eyes as the creature changes from feline to human. Unfortunately, its partners manage to take the Owlkins away as they do not trust humans to protect them. Evy sets up Leo in a hotel room and promises to explain everything when she returns.
As if these challenges were not enough, a new enemy emerges with intent to raise a militia of weres and exterminate all humans in the city. As Evy and Phineas investigate this new threat, they learn that it is being coordinated by a human who may not be a new player at all, but someone very familiar with Wyatt Truman--someone with a score to settle.As Lie the Dead
is an enjoyable follow-up to Three Days to Dead
with the same action-packed, fast-paced style and well-developed story. This time around though, some of the characters' reactions to insults and stinging remarks seemed a tad unrealistic. More often than not, the characters flinched or winced or leaned against walls in defeat when being told off, reminded of a past mistake, or learning of new developments in the case. Also, the do-I or don't-I romance between Evy and Wyatt that carried over from book one was starting to drag and I was glad to see that resolve in the end, though the outcome was predictable. It was nice to see some other loose ends tied up as well.
I'll be taking a break from the Dreg City
series to read and review a few books that I picked up at Farpoint last weekend, but there are still two more books in the series, Another Kind of Dead a
nd Wrong Side of Dead
, which will be reviewed here over the coming weeks.