(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“There are plenty of people in this world who want to see me dead, what the hell difference does one more make”
That’s one of the occupational hazards of being a professional blackmailer, which John Sharp knows all too well. After all he has made a lucrative career at it.
I first met John, or One Eyed Jack, in the debut novel, and we’re reuniting with him in author Christopher Lynch’s latest John Sharp adventure, Russian Roulette.
The book is actually the next chapter, as it picks up literally hours from when the first novel ends. Six years earlier John blackmailed the wrongs man, who in turn had a plastic surgeon do a number on his eye. The surgeon has since died, but a powerful Russian mobster and his hit-men are still after Jack. He figures that if he finds the unscrupulous doctor’s wife, he’ll be able to get some answers that may save his life.
Unfortunately, the surgeon held a lot of secrets that he didn’t share with his wife, one being that at his death he left her with nothing. So she really didn’t have a lot to lose by helping Jack. Through this journey both she and Jack would learn a lot more.
Russian Roulette takes us on a wild and dangerous adventure. One wrong move or one stupid decision could leave Jack dead. This novel doesn’t let up nor does it give the reader a break with all of its twists and turns… and of course, that’s a good thing.
The reader doesn’t need to read the first book to understand and enjoy Russian Roulette. However, since I did read it, I felt that there was nothing to replace the novelty of One Eyed Jack. Having an extortionist as a protagonist was new, unusual and edgy. The newness wore off by this book. Though the situations keep us on our toes, we don’t learn anything new about Jack. I wanted something more revealed about him and his character.
Hopefully there will be another sequel where I’ll learn more about our blackmailer. I also hope that Christopher Lynch will add something edgy or shocking. Then again, I better be careful what I wish for.