Review: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

The Seven of Spades is back with a vengeance—the vigilante serial killer has resumed their murderous crusade, eluding the police at every turn. But a bloodthirsty killer isn’t the only threat facing Sin City. A devious saboteur is wreaking havoc in Las Vegas’s criminal underworld, and the entire city seems to be barreling toward an all-out gang war.

As Detective Levi Abrams is pushed ever closer to his breaking point, his control over his dangerous rage slips further every day. His relationship with PI Dominic Russo should be a source of comfort, but Dominic is secretly locked in his own downward spiral, confronting a nightmare he can’t bear to reveal.

Las Vegas is floundering. Levi and Dominic’s bond is cracking along the seams. And the Seven of Spades is still playing to win. How many bad hands can Levi and Dominic survive before it’s game over?

My immediate response upon finishing this book was:

Every time.




Imma have to re-think my whole vision of myself as "non-masochistic".

Cordelia Kingsbridge: slyly making readers redefine their self-image, one book at a time.

In other words...

Again! I knew it would. WE ALL KNEW IT WOULD! She'll prolly cliff us again in One-Eyed Royals. But I still steady keep reading them the second I get them. Like a junkie.

Honestly though, as hard as it was to read about two characters that I've grown to love struggle I wouldn't have it any other way. They have to test their relationship. It can't always be tongue slap your brains out sex and tender moments that make me heart eyes my kindle like a creeper. True, they're in a bad place right now but their connection to each other is soul deep and I know this too shall pass. There is relate-ability and authenticy in their issues which is what makes them difficult to read but also dovetails into stronger characterizations. I appreciate that these things weren't minimized or overwrought. Also, you know what the upside of them fighting is? ANGRY SEX FTW!!!!!!!!!

Where I think CK truly distinguished herself here is with the construction of this narrative. The Seven of Spades, I believe, is playing a larger puppet master role than I initially envisioned which opens up possibilities with regard to their endgame, and I do believe their is one. An endgame, that is.

Las Vegas's legendary organized crime plays a critical role in Cash Plays. The turf war has caught the attention of LVMPD and Dom gets involved by way of a possible kidnapping case he's working at his new PI job. There are three syndicates that run Las Vegas who seemingly have a cooperative relationship then Utopia bursts on the scene. No one knows much about them but they seem to be reaping all the rewards of said turf war. The lack of investigation into Utopia is my reason for deducting a half star. But even with that oversight this storyline was involved, complex and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

Get ready for LOADS of action in this installment! Levi BAMF ninjas out several times and even wends up on YouTube!

I love actiony books and this delivered while also subtly addressing the issue of gun violence and the role the police play in it that's in every headline and I liked the way it was handled; it wasn't preachy or didactic and it didn't divert attention away from the plot.

Those who suffer from depression may want to exercise caution with this one as both Levi and Dom seem to be struggling with it to varying degrees and coping with it in their own, sometimes maladaptive, ways.

Most concerning is Levi's relationship with the Seven of Spades and I don't mind saying I'm kind of beside myself over it. But I have to wait for the next installment.

Must read for fans of the series and psychological thriller fans.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.

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