cover image Bitter Bite

Bitter Bite

Jennifer Estep. Pocket, $7.99 ISBN 978-1-5011-1127-3

Estep drags readers along the tracks of an emotional roller-coaster right along with her protagonist, the infamous elemental assassin known as Gin Blanco, who heads the criminal underworld of the fictional Southern U.S. city of Ashland. This 14th book (after Spider’s Trap) finds Gin desperately trying to figure out a way to break some unwelcome news to her foster brother, Finn. Unfortunately, someone else leaks it first, leaving Gin and her cohorts to pick up the pieces and avert disaster. As always, Estep delights in torturing the characters in her urban fantasy series, perhaps a little bit more than they deserve. Even though some may argue that Gin’s own actions have led her down this path, Estep’s willingness to pile on the troubles keeps Gin sympathetic, ensuring that readers will continue rooting for her. This installment’s plot is intriguing, but it’s primarily a transition book, setting the stage for the next act in the series. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)