From the start, the cat-and-mouse game between copper Pedroni and vigilante Jax had me hooked! I was in the boat from the get-go!
Pedroni is a burned-out police detective who would rather keep his feet on good old terra firma than go chasing a slippery vigilante to a space-based wonderland of debauchery. But because it’s Jacinda Fish, a.k.a Jax Marlin, he goes.
In the tradition of Leslie Charteris classic series “The Saint,” Jax is a cross of Catwoman, Xena, and Simon Templar, with ninja skills and catlike reflexes. Pedroni reminds me of both Columbo, with his sometimes deceptive and intentional bumbling, and Nick Charles with his delightful biting wit and self-effacing view of the world. In TK Toppin’s deft hands, the mix is pure GOLD!!
As the story progresses we get a sense of both characters’ internal conflict as they fight their attraction to each other. Pedroni, jaded enough to wonder if Jax way isn’t better, and Jax idealistic enough to want to do the right thing, come together in a perfect blend of moral ambiguity that leaves the reader questioning where the line should be drawn.
I laughed out loud at some scenes and held my breath in heart-pounding excitement at others. Toppin creates a full and rich world with amazing wonders and believable details and paints a brilliant picture of them in crystal clear detail. She does it with a light hand and a master’s touch. Her action scenes only lack the heart-thumping bass rhythms of a musical score.
Just when you think the story couldn’t get any better, there are space pirates! Not just any space pirates, either. Captain Taris is a memorable rapscallion who deserves a book or two of his own!
I didn’t want this book to end. My one consolation is that this is one of many stories starring Jax and Pedroni.
Please Ms. Toppin… keep them coming!