AVENGED, the third installment in the Pacific Coast Justice series, wraps up with a bang. Literally.
As Officer Carly Edwards gets prep to testify at the trial of a cop killer, three gang members are shot execution style. When a trunk load of weapons is confiscated from known gang members, Carly and her husband, Sgt. Nick Anderson—head of the Las Playas gang unit—fear a gang war is in the making. When it is discovered the weapons were stolen from a military base, along with explosives, the La Playas PD prepares for the worse.
When Carly has a run-in with an ex-con, she thinks nothing of it. Even though he took a swing at her, he’s a family member of Carly’s friend, and she lets him go as a favor. Unfortunately, from that point on Carly is embroiled in one bad situation after another. The ex-con files a complaint against Carly and a noted reporter accuses Carly of being a dirty cop and sets out to ruin her reputation. That’s when Carly realizes something isn’t adding up. In fact, she’s convinced it’s all a set-up. If she is discredited before she testifies in the upcoming trial, a cop killer could get off. Trying to figure out the missing pieces, both Carly and Nick put their lives on the line, praying they aren’t too late.
AVENGED was a multi-plot novel that kept me turning page after page. There’s not too much I can say without being a spoiler. Gangbangers and drive-by shootings, activists and demonstrations, a slanderous reporter, and friends being bullied by their ex-con brother—so many things going on at the same time, and they all seem to be connected to Carly. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the stories unfold and the connections being made. This was a great crime drama, with a lot of players to keep straight, but as I stated in my previous reviews of ACCUSED and ABDUCTED, the romance is very understated. You sense the love Carly and Nick have for each other, but they share very few scenes. I’ve really enjoyed Janice Cantore’s novels and the precision in which she writes. I will continue to seek out her books in the future.