Monday, January 25, 2016

Review for Blind Chess by Cristelle Comby

Blind Chess
By Cristelle Comby
The Neve & Egan Cases, Book 4

Publisher: Cristelle Comby
Release Date:  November 2, 2015
Genre: Mystery/Detective
Format:  eBook/Print
Length: 154 Pages
ISBN 13: 978-1518882104

Buy Link:  Amazon 

About the book: 

It is supposed to be Neve and Egan. Two partners, a team. What happens when a member of this team of Private Investigators is shot, prognosis unknown?

As Alexandra Neve lays comatose and defenceless, Ashford Egan must take on their enemy alone, and find the cagiest criminal Scotland Yard has seen in decades. Determined to succeed, Egan will stop at nothing. He’ll hit on married women, plant bugs, hire hitmen. And he’ll do it all blind, which makes things ten times as difficult.

Double-crossed by friends, convinced there is corruption in those sworn to uphold the law, Egan is forced to form unlikely alliances as he moves forward in a game that requires skills, nerves of steel, and a willingness to play against all odds.

A fan of Ms. Comby’s first Neve & Egan Case book, Russian Dolls, I jumped at the chance to read and review Blind Chess, the fourth book in the series.  While I own both the second book, Ruby Heart, and the third book, Danse Macabre, I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, which I hoped would not impact my opinion of Blind Chess.  I can easily say that I not only enjoyed Blind Chess on its own, I look forward to seeing what the author does with this series in the future.  If you like mystery books with crime solving duos and plenty of action – this is a series you definitely want to pick up.

Told in first person from the view point of both lead characters, Alexandra “Lexi” Neve and Ashford “Ash” Egan, this installment begins with “Lexi” as she wakes up in the hospital in a coma.  She’s been shot and is not thrilled about not being able to tell her caretakers that she’s lucid and has questions about her injury, her prognosis and the police investigation that she’s sure is being conducted into her shooting.  She’s also worried about how Ash, her partner in the Neve and Egan Detective Agency, will deal with her shooting.  I’ve always liked “Lexi”, she’s a great character and I like how Ms. Comby has developed her through the two books I’ve read so far.  She’s smart, determined and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  She is determined to solve crimes that the police have either not investigated correctly or don’t have the time to investigate.  She’s the kind of woman you would be happy to call a friend and the investigator you would want to hire.

Ms. Comby then switches viewpoints to the Ash Egan, the older partner in the Neve and Egan Agency, who is highly upset when he is told that Lexi has been shot and is in a coma.  Ash is certain that a master criminal they have thwarted several times is behind Lexi’s shooting and is determined to bring the man down without the help of the police.  He knows “The Sorter” is in charge of a large criminal organization and suspects that he’s also somehow involved with the police.  He’ll do whatever it takes, even risk his life and freedom, to get justice for Lexi.  I already liked Ash and he really shines as he takes center stage in this story.  Refusing to let his physical limitation, blindness, get in the way, Ash has become confident and quite adept at getting around London on his own.  Using an established contact with a Russian gangster he and Lexi have dealt with in the past, Ash negotiates and conducts his own investigation which showcases his intelligence and strength of character.

The investigation is well written and Ms. Comby does a good job blending the action, suspense and emotional elements of her story connected.  While most of the story focuses on the mystery of who “The Sorter” is and how Ash tries to narrow down his identity, we do get to see Ash struggle with his emotions over letting people into his life.  He’s still afraid of getting hurt by others and now he must face how close he’s become to Lexi and what she means in his life.  The secondary characters are well developed and many are characters who were introduced in the first book. 

Will Ash discover who “The Sorter” really is and bring their “chess” game to a conclusion?  Will Lexi recover from her coma or will something worse happen to her while she’s in the hospital?  And what will the future hold for the Neve and Egan Detective Agency?  You’ll have to read Blind Chess to find out, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading future books in this series.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns