Book Review: Purged In Fire by TK Toppin

Purged In Fire (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #2)Purged In Fire by T.K. Toppin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

View all my reviews

Book Review: To Catch A Marlin

What a fun ride!

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!