Series: In the Company of Killers #1
Published by J.A. Redmerski on June 19, 2013
Genres: Romance, Suspense
Length: 9 hours 47 minutes
From New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author J.A. Redmerski, comes a dangerous and boundary-pushing new crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers.
Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don't go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.
While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.
As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor's brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.
This is their story...
My Initial Reaction…
I have to give a great BIG THANK YOU to Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer for telling me I would love Killing Sarai. Kimba – you were SO right! I jumped in- after discovering that I’d owned it for MONTHS after buying it for only $0.99!!- without even checking what it was about and loved it.
Killing Sarai is told from the point of view of Sarai and Victor – and this is one of the few times that I think losing either point of view would have ruined the book. Seeing both of their perspectives was absolutely essential for me.
I loved Sarai from the get go – though it took me a long time to imagine her as a 23/24 year old. It wasn’t until maybe a third of the way through the book that she grew up in my mind. I don’t know if that has something to do with the way she was described or the instant connection I had between this story and The Professional, although the two stories end up being VERY different. Anyway, Sarai is a survivor, pure and simple. She was given to her mother’s drug dealer (Javier) when she was was 14 years old and spent 9 years as his captive in Mexico. Even though he “protected” her from the treatment all the other girls received – rape, brutal beatings, death – she was still his to do with as he pleased- and he did. An experience like that could have turned Sarai into a victim, but she’s not. The second we meet her, that’s painfully clear. She’s done what she had to survive and now she’s getting out. By hitching a ride with the American assassin that Javier just hired, Victor.
Victor is everything and nothing like what you’d expect in an assassin. He’s cold and unemotional – or so he likes to think. But something changes when Sarai sneaks into his car. It’s infuriating (in the best way) to watch because you know he’s GOT to care for her. He HAS to help her. But then pages and pages go by and, while he hasn’t killed her, he doesn’t seem like he’s going to help her either. He’s going to use her to do his job and that’s it. I kept waiting for his barriers to drop, for him to show that he was more than a hardened murderer. But he’s been trained to be an assassin since he was 9 years old and it’s the only life he’s ever known. He doesn’t have the luxury of a personal life. That uncertainty about what he was going to do, combined with some very provocative situations created some INTENSE, FANTASTIC sexual tension.
The title – Killing Sarai – would be absolutely perfect if it had a question mark at the end of it. Because that’s what this book is all about – are we or aren’t we killing Sarai? When she got into Victor’s car she really believed that he would have to help her, perhaps she counted on the fact that he was an American like her. But once that certainty fades, the question keeps coming up of what to do with her. And one option is always to kill her. But I think it’s also a question of what will kill Sarai’s soul. What will push her beyond the brink. Beyond the place where she has any hope of recovery and a normal life. She’s a survivor, but will surviving kill her?
As you can imagine, in a story that centers on an assassin and the pet of a notorious drug lord – Killing Sarai has lots of action and intensity. And that was great. But for me it was the constant uncertainty that made this a fantastic, if you’ll forgive the phrase, mind-fuck. The character development and the ways the story kept turning in on itself pulled me forward and I hated every time I had to put it down.
I really enjoyed Killing Sarai and, while it didn’t end on a cliff hanger per-say, it left with enough of a twist that I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next one.