Audiobook Review: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

Narrator: Rowan Scott
Listening Length: 10 hours and 31 minutes

Now that is what a spy espionage mercenary story should be, and it’s no surprise at the multitude of readers already singing this book’s praises!

Know that Jack is a government man, ex military, and strongly patriotic. When his deep undercover assignment investigating a shady businessman is ruined by top ranking assassin Ethan Blade, he’s not sure what to think when the mysterious and oh so deadly man saves his ass instead of kills it.

Ensue alternating chapters of “then” and “now”, as one slowly sees what happens a year ago when Jack and Ethan meet, clash, fight and slowly, but quickly, develop a tenuous trust that’s tested when they reunite again. Though my impatient self was chomping at the bit wanting to know all the details, the process of what evolves is cleverly revealed. This was a very effective way to tell the story, keeping me on edge with constant guessing at the fast paced progression.

Narrated by Rowan Scott, I thought he did a great job with the various accents. Granted there’s not much voice distinction, but he gets the nuanced emotions just right making for a consistent entertaining listen.

This obviously kept my interest as it alternates between time, peppered with plenty of action, conflicting feels, and a complex mystery as Ethan and Jack unfold a top level conspiracy and a traitor who only these two working together can bring down.

Fast, intense, sexy. I look forward to reading (and/or listening) to the rest of this impressive series!

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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