There’s a Fight Club reference. I really shouldn’t have to sell it further than this but I will.
Authors: Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
From the Publisher
After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
I loved this! I’ve made no secret about my affinity for Voinov. Now I’m starting to see the special magic he and his sidekick Witt can create. No, I haven’t read the Market Garden series yet. Stop judging me.
Hostile Ground reminded me a awful lot of The Departed and I freakin’ LOVE THAT MOVIE! We’ve got the son of a bitch gangster/sociopath in Lombardi. Seriously, this dude is scary-two to the chest, one to the head scary. We’ve got the undercover cop in Mahir who’s in way over his head and, finally, we’ve got Ridley, Lombardi’s enforcer with the icy, penetrating stare, ever present sunglasses, way too much sex appeal and an utterly unreadable face. But is he a sociopath?
What made Hostile Ground such a page turner for me was the investigation into Lombardi’s crime ring. Drugs and prostitution are a given, but that doesn’t fully explain why or how three cops got put six feet under nor does it explain where in the fuck all the money is coming from. How widespread is this network? Is it international? What all does it involve? Who all’s involved? I really sunk my teeth into this one.
Mahir’s attention is divided between his real life and Saeed, his undercover persona, since his nephew, Kinza, ran away from home straight to the one uncle that’s always been there for him. Now I know these authors too well to believe for a second this plot line isn’t going to weave into the other somehow. The pressing questions then become how and, more importantly, is it going to hurt my feelings?
The sexy times were really more stress relief for me and the characters. I/we needed that shit! They are savage with each other befitting their situation and personalities. Lots of toppiness, biting, pining of arms, a little choking for good measure you know, the good stuff. In a nutshell, Witt and Voinov brought it. I will say in one scene they did beat the hell out of the ‘control’ drum more than I thought was strictly necessary.
“I like it dangerous.”
Quite a few racial epithets and gay slurs are bandied about, so if that’s a trigger, you’ve been warned. The characters in Hostile Ground are gritty and unsavory for the most part. Some are world class douche canoes that need to be put down. They are criminals and thugs and they are portrayed as such. No holds barred. Asshattery galore. Yada yada yada.
The tension Witt and Voinov create is visceral as well as intellectual. Be forewarned, parts of the investigation will turn your stomach. As far as the writing, it’s Voinov and Witt. Do I really need to say more here? The only drawback for me was I would’ve liked a more detailed explanation of the investigation’s findings. I know. I hear ya saying, ‘it’s a romance novel, Wench’! I know. I know, but still… Maybe a news clipping or a mock report at the end? *backs away slowly*
All and all, it was highly entertaining. Excellent pacing. Authentic dialogue. The works. If you like crime thrillers and/or either of these authors, you won’t be disappointed.
Where to Buy
I would like to thank Riptide for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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