I’m a big fan of TK Toppin’s “To Catch A Marlin” series. I just love the way the author has drawn the characters of Jax Marlin and her copper, Michael Pedroni, and I love how they do their intricate dance in a cat-and-mouse chase.
In Purged in Fire, Jax is up to her old tricks, tracking down a sadistic bad guy at Ring of Fire space station in order to give him some of his own. Pedroni, her ever dogged shadow is hot on her trail, still undecided whether to kiss her, or take her in.
Peppered with sly humor, the dichotomy between Pedroni’s by-the-book life view and Jax’s skewed perspective of right and wrong creates just enough conflict between the two that the reader can accept their unusual relationship. Both characters see their world in absolutes of right and wrong, though Pedroni insists on working within the system, Jax sees the system as part of the problem. While you cheer for them to share more than the occasional kiss, phone call, or flirt, your rational mind knows their relationship can never be, though these two are so obviously perfect for each other.
In true Marlin fashion, the setting is exotic and skillfully woven into the story, Jax and Pedroni spend a certain amount of time distracted by thoughts of the other, and the villain’s comeuppance is gruesome and in keeping with his crimes.
My only complaint with Purged In Fire is that it was far too short. I really enjoy the convoluted twists and turns of Toppin’s longer works. However, Purged In Fire was a fantastic escape and a quick read that I highly recommend.