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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Spectre Black

Series: Cyril Landry #3


Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 9/22/2015

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars

When homicide detective Jolie Burke awakens to intruders in the dark of night, she’s forced to flee. Jolie’s nobody’s victim, but she cannot fight this faceless enemy alone. She reaches out to Cyril Landry, the ex–Navy SEAL who is long on special-ops skills and short on patience. He suffers no fools—ever. But when Landry rolls into Branch, New Mexico, Jolie is gone, and there’s nothing waiting for him but trouble.

As Landry hunts for Jolie, he becomes immersed in a quagmire of corruption—a toxic brew of graft, homicide, and the ominous shape of something much bigger. Framed for murder and dodging a sexy FBI agent and a suspicious sheriff, Landry finds himself pitted against a psychopath with secrets even blacker than his sinister sports car. Now Landry’s on a double-barreled mission: reach Jolie before the killers do and dig up some dirt on his enemies before they get the chance to dig his grave.

My Review

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. J. Carson Black returns following Hard Return, with her riveting third installment featuring, the mysterious unstoppable, ex-Navy Seal Cyril Landry in SPECTRE BLACK as we catch up once again with the dynamic duo (hot, sexy, witty, dangerous),and New Mexico’s homicide detective Jolie Burke, who is in trouble; a deadly mission of corruption. A cop + assassin = Fireworks! In Hard Return, (Cyril Landry #2), former Navy Seal, Cyril Landry, assumed dead, lives off the grid to protect his wife, and his teenage daughter. Laundry moves from one hotel and place to another, using different names, personalities, and has more cars and guns than an army. He has so many enemies, it is hard for him to narrow down which one wants revenge more. A fearless, intelligent paid assassin, (Clint Eastwood type), is one step ahead of anyone who gets in his way. Jolie and Cyril have a complex past. They work together like a well-oiled machine. From The Shop, Hard Return, to Spectre Black. It has been a year since they have seen one another. Lovers at one time. Allies and friends, until the end. Jolie Burke, a cop in New Mexico needed Landry’s help previously, and presently as the book opens, someone is breaking into Jolie’s house, while she manages to get to her car; the intruders have tampered with her car, she is out of gas and has no cell phone signal - in the middle of nowhere. A muscle dark car is trying to chase her down. She manages to hide her car, and gets to a pay phone at the abandoned Circle K, leaving Cyril Landry a frantic voice mail, while she runs into the deserted area, afraid for her life. When Cyril arrives (he is one slick guy) no, Jolie. Cyril has many identities; however, in this small town, he could fit in like a tourist. He has to find Jolie without drawing attention to himself, since his is still living off the grid. He had heard the desperation in her voice, and her fear. He checks into the local dive motel and puts his next plan in to action. Laundry knew the FBI would send an agent to investigate the missing cop, no matter the jurisdiction. He has to take one for the team with FBI agent, Carla Angela Vitelli. Evidently the FBI agent was related to some rich kid who drives a black a Camaro. Of course, Laundry thinks the entire police force is Mickey Mouse stupid. He finds himself arrested. He knows this is a set up. Someone wants him dead, or out of commission, and the easiest way was to get him inside a jail. Whoever had taken Jolie Burke, was setting him up. He now has slept with an FBI agent, been arrested and detained for no plausible reason, and put into an empty cell pod with a psychopath. For a guy who flies under the radar, Landry is already making plenty of enemies. Now they are framing him for deaths of the militia members. To get rid of Landry and kill the witnesses. What is the connection? The sheriff’s department, Sheriff Waldrup, Carla Vitelli, a Camaro, Jace, a dead cop, and seizing assets of innocent people. The wrong car from the wrong guy. A farm. Horror stories in New Mexico; police departments using any excuse to claim a civil asset forfeiture. From cars, boats, houses, real estate. With counties strapped financial, more and more jurisdictions divvied up spoils of war—mostly cars. It did not seem to matter if you were a drug dealer, or a shop lifter, if they could take your high-ticket item legally, they did. Targeting wealthy, influential people—intimidation, threats, blackmail, bureaucracy. The sheriff’s department seems to be choosing their victims carefully. When Jolie was assigned to investigate Danny’s (clueless, Barney Fife) cop’s death. He had taken rich kid Jace Denboer’s Camaro. Then he was gone. Dan knew something. He quit and was in Alaska? Then his body was found by a farm worker. A bean field. How could this have played out? Months had gone by between the time he left and was found. A connection with the car and Dan Atwood? Now three people are dead. Something possibly on a more national level? What does this have to do with the militia checkpoints murders? Jolie and Landry finally connect on the boat, while she is on the run. Besides her crazy boss, and this case, she is distracted with the normal crimes, homicides, especially on the border with Mexico, drugs, shootings and domestics. She is tireless, obsessed, and still no leads. In the meantime, Landry has security connections all over the world and has more identities than you can imagine. From Iraq and Afghanistan to the states, living from town and hotel to another. A plan is put into motion. A tip, 3 semis. Landry, Eric, and Jolie are ready to go. I love it when these two team up together, reminding me ofEvanovich’s Stephanie Plum and Ranger. From SIM cards, disguises, aliases, motels, cars, weapons, border crossing, danger, under covers, FBI, and early morning diner breakfast. Heart-pounding action! Love the SPECTRE: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, reference (fictional global criminal syndicate and terrorist organization featured in the James Bond novels and videos) Very fitting! J. Carson Black continues to be one of my favorite crime mystery authors, sharing a mutual love of the Tucson and Bisbee, Arizona areas. She never disappoints with fast-paced, non-stop action thrillers, combined with wit and sarcasm, and a little sex thrown in for sizzle. She always impresses me with the level of sophistication of her crimes, and the multi-layered complex plots. Having spent time in Sante Fe and Albuquerque, NM, I enjoyed reading of her inspiration behind the novel; was laughing out loud. Her crimes always start with a spark of creativity and wow, can she make them hum! Highly recommend the series to serious crime thriller and David Baldacci fans. Cannot wait to see where Cyril Landry and Jolie find themselves next. I vote for another Bisbee crime mystery thriller, combined with the dynamic duo! Review Links:

About the Author

Welcome to my J. Carson Black Author Web Page. Let me tell you a little about myself. Ahem:

I love horseracing, cats & dogs, unspoiled natural places–and road trips. I’ve been married to my soul mate, Glenn McCreedy, for 34 years. My reading taste runs strongly to thrillers and crime fiction, which is what I write. I have been known to sing in the shower. Lately I’ve been singing “Salce Salce” and “Musetta’s Waltz.” (I used to be an opera singer.)

…Did I mention I love horseracing?

I am a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. I thought my life would change and a Heavenly choir would follow me from room to room, but I still hang laundry out on the line, one T-shirt at a time. (In California, it’s called “eco-friendly.” In Arizona, it’s called “might as well use this dang heat for something.”) I write two female homicide cops and one very special special ops guy named Cyril Landry. I follow along with him on his adventures—he’s quite polite about it, even though sometimes I wonder if I’ll blow his cover.

Laura Cardinal, on the other hand, is a homicide cop with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. She troubleshoots crime scenes in small towns. And then there’s Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy Tess McCrae—who has an eidetic memory, not to mention a big heart.

Please come in, take a look around, ignore the sheets on the line, and pull up a seat. I’d love to tell you a story. —J. Carson Black Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads






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