REVIEW: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo are reunited and more committed to each other than ever, but they can’t truly move forward with their lives until the serial killer who’s been tormenting them is behind bars. When a secret burial site is discovered in the desert with the remains of the Seven of Spades’s earliest victims, that goal finally seems within reach.
But just as the net is tightening, the Neo-Nazi militia Utopia launches their master plan with a devastating act of terror that changes the landscape of Las Vegas forever. As Levi and Dominic scramble to prevent the city’s destruction, they’re opposed by treacherous forces that propel them toward catastrophe. In the end, Levi’s fate may rest in the hands of the very killer he’s been hunting.
The race to save Sin City is on, and these players are going for broke. No matter how hopeless things seem, as long as they’re together and they’ve got a chip to play and a chair to sit in, they’re still in the game.
This is a last book of the five book series (which were basically five parts of the same story) and what a ride it was. Overall I highly recommend the series unless you cannot read about some topics – for example addiction. Dominic does not relapse in this book but he comes close once or twice and I thought it was very nicely, very realistically done (said a person who never dealt with addiction though). Basically I loved how the author handled this theme, but if this is upsetting to you beware.
The book begins with the guys getting a little breather of being together and moving in together. They also help Carlos right before his wedding to Jasmine. The breath of happiness does not last all too long though – the case that Dominic investigates at his work leads his and his team to take a closer look at Utopia. Utopia are a bunch of white nationalists murderous pieces of shit human beings who apparently want to destroy Las Vegas because reasons – horrible reasons, but the reasons you probably know by now. There are acts of terror in this book being carried out by the way, yes I know it is a spoiler, but it is also a warning to stay away if it is upsetting to you.
The book is starting to move in a fast and furious tempo early enough in the story. I don’t remember for sure when maybe at 25 – 30 percent at my Kindle, maybe a little earlier.
There is of course Seven of Spade and Levi and their little group of friends gets some progress in doing their own, sometimes not very legal investigation in their identity, but when the word about Utopia’s plans gets out. All official resources are shifted to deal with them and our guys are left almost on their own to try and find out who was it that actually terrorized them (terrorized Levi first and foremost of course, but not just him) and who committed all those murders.
I should have said earlier, from the first book I thought I knew who Seven of Spades was and I was totally wrong. Moreover, when a book friend guessed correctly before this book was out, I did not really dismiss her theory, I just could not figure out at all how this could be true. Big kudos to the author for surprising me.
At the same time and once again, the blurb talks about it, so it is not a spoiler – due to REASONS Seven of Spade ends up helping our heroes deal with Utopia. I kind of hated it. I mean I loved the story – it all fit within the story, but I felt like the author wanted to find a way to humanize the Seven of Spades and I wanted to throw up when I read about this person not being a complete sociopath just a human being with a fractured soul. Don’t get me wrong, the author does not give them a complete pass or anything like that (using them because don’t want to spoil the identity). I thought she was trying to portray Seven of Spades in the same complex manner as she dealt with the most other characters (pretty much all the characters in the series who had more than one word to speak :)). Normally I would be all for that and of course I don’t dispute that any human being has a capacity for evil.
But I guess to me, there are a limited number of crimes which I would argue most people would never be able to commit, only monsters and to me Seven of Spades crimes were that and by doing them , I suppose that I cannot call this character anything else but a monster. Yep, despite them killing people who “escaped justice.” I put this in quotes because we do know that it is not true – at least one innocent person died due to Seven of Spade’s reign of terror and several others were hurt.
I am not arguing for another story that should have been written on pages. I am saying that characterization of Seven of Spades as written when their identity was revealed kind of fell flat for me.
Everything else was wonderful. Romance was completely swoon-worthy and I loved how the author managed to do the real suspense and still have enough page space to show us how much Dominic and Levi are in love and try to support each other.