L.J. Shen takes the Mob to a whole new level in Sparrow. Her creation of the anti-hero in Troy Brennan and the good girl, not so good girl, in Sparrow Raynes truly shows the depth of talent Shen unfolds. From the prologue forward Sparrow captures your attention and takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Hints of dramatic Irony help create the suspense and intrigue, as the reader buckles down into one of the best games of cat and mouse of the year. Shen knows how to twist and turn the reader each step of the way. Troy is depicted through Sparrows eyes in the beginning as the enforcer of the South Boston area:
People called Troy “The Fixer. He fixed stuff. Not in the handyman sense, mind you. He made people disappear faster than characters in Dennis Lehanes’s books. He could cut your prison sentence in half and fix you up with a passport and a fake Social Security card in hours. In days, he could even convince the people who were after you that you didn’t exist. Troy Brennan was Boston’s master manipulator, pulling strings like we were all his puppets. He decided who lived and who died, who disappears and who made a comeback.
Sparrow and Troy are however a paradox, because as much as Sparrow tries to fight it she’s his mirror image:
Despite everything, she didn’t lose her shit. It made me eerily proud of her. When she’d stood before me and repeated her vows, I’d imagined the girl I married would break in no time. Little did I know that Sparrow possessed the same quality I had when it came to people: For the most part? She didn’t. Fucking. Care.
Sparrow will keep you on your toes each step of the way. Shen breathes life into the twisted fates of both Sparrow and Troy with an interesting mix of wit, humor, fear, and so much more.
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