LochlannRating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Lochlann O’Connor has spent a hundred lives killing and being killed. As a Black Knight, he is cursed to serve as an assassin until he finds the one enemy he can truly forgive. Currently he is working for a shadow company called Alpha and things are falling apart. Too many missions are going awry and agents are getting killed with increasing frequency. Lochlann, who has come to distrust Alpha, finds he is still trapped by them.

Castillo Vega is deep undercover with the cartel, hoping against hope that he gets picked up by Alpha who tends to recruit from such places. The FBI been looking into Alpha for some time, but have been unable to get close. Cas is their opportunity for information and maybe even to take Alpha down. He never expects to find an ally in Lochlann, but they make a great team in and out of the bedroom. They aren’t sure who they can trust and there are enemies at every turn. It will take all of their expertise to escape and to help Lochlann escape a curse hundreds of years in the making.

Lochlann is my second review of a book in the Order of the Black Knight series and it was considerably better than the first. Though I found the plot somewhat contrived at times, the pacing is strong and the book rolls along fast enough to keep the reader’s attention. There is plenty of action and the author does a good job keeping it interesting, and it has the rollicking absurdity of a fun shoot em’ up movie. Lochlann and Cas aren’t terribly well developed characters, but as action heroes they do just fine and their relationship takes a significant back seat to the politics and intrigue in play. There is a strong secondary female character, Inga, who was just as fun if equally lacking in development.

There is still no real reason for the supposed curse to be a part of the plot. Save for a brief mention at the beginning of the story and at the end, the concept of the Black Knights is really never integrated or made a real part of the story. The book would have been just as good or better without this utterly useless paranormal appendage attached to it. Additionally, there is a fair amount of borderline graphic violence. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but if you have triggers or just dislike blood and gore, then Lochlann won’t be for you.

On the whole, Lochlann was an enjoyable if not particularly deep book. The action is exceptionally strong and it reads like a wild ride of violent rescues, daring escapes, and lots of good old-fashioned thuggery. The characters are limited in their dimension, but work fine within the context of this plot. The whole Black Knight subplot is a waste and doesn’t have much effect on either continent or purpose. If you’re looking for something easy and fast paced, Lochlann might just fit the bill.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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