Note: King Slayer follows immediately upon the end of Prince of Killers where there was a major series plot reveal. As a result, this review will spoil the ending of book one and should only be read after Prince of Killers — which is excellent and you all should be reading it! Check out that review here.
For the last three years, ATF agent Christoper Perri (aka Dante Perry) has dedicated his life to tracking down whoever killed his partner, Izzy. That meant infiltrating the Madigan family to try and piece together what happened the night Izzy was shot. Chris never expected to fall for Hawes Madigan, leader of the family and head of both their legal and illegal businesses. Chris knows it was a huge mistake, but that doesn’t change how he feels about Hawes and how much the man has come to mean to him in such a short time. That is all pretty much destroyed now, however, as Chris has revealed his deception to Hawes and his family.
Despite knowing he has ruined his chances with Hawes, Chris still hopes the men can work together toward their common goals. With a stockpile of explosives now on the open market, it is important to both the Madigans and the ATF to find it before it ends up in the wrong hands. While that is his official goal, Chris makes it clear to Hawes that his primary purpose is to find out who killed Izzy. Little does he know that the person he is hunting is none other than the man he is falling for…
As Chris and Hawes work together to track down the explosives, they slowly start to realize that despite all the deception, their feelings for one another are still strong. Chris begins to imagine what a life settled in San Francisco with Hawes could be like. But with the explosives still missing and the ATF determined to find them and bring down the Madigans, not to mention a traitor in the Madigan organization, the men are facing life-threatening challenges. And even if they can make it out safely, the trust they once had between them may end up being shattered beyond repair.
Oh, I was so eagerly awaiting this story and Layla Reyne did not disappoint. Prince of Killers ended on such an exciting and delicious cliffhanger that it was all I could do to wait and see how things would unfold here. King Slayer is a wonderful follow up that builds an exciting and romantic story, while also propelling the trilogy forward in so many interesting ways.
From a suspense end, this story is quite the thrill ride. It is twisty and clever and nicely advances the plot from the first book. We know that someone is out to take down the Madigans, as well as that the explosives they were trying to get rid of are now in danger of falling into the wrong hands. Although Amelia has been caught, it is clear early on that there are others pulling the strings and we begin to untangle that web here. Expect the usual twists and turns as each time we think we know what is happening, there is a new angle, and the story is exciting and fast paced. I continue to love watching the Madigan siblings work together and the way they always seem to think one step ahead. There are some great breathless moments here and some exciting discoveries that kept me totally engrossed throughout the story. As with the first book, this one gives us an open ending. It isn’t nearly the gasping reveal of book one, but don’t expect all the loose ends tied up here.
As good as the suspense side of the story is, for me, the real shining point of this book is Chris and Hawes. The chemistry between them is amazing and you can just feel the connection they have, even when they are at odds with one another. Reyne has given these men quite the challenge as they have two major secrets between them, both of which should be enough to destroy any hopes they may have of a relationship — Chris infiltrating the Madigan enterprise as PI Dante Perry, and Hawes hiding that he is the one who killed Izzy. While we don’t learn about Chris’ real identity until Hawes does at the end of the first book, we have known all along about Hawes and Izzy, which makes this story all the more intense. Even as there seems to be small hopes of reconciliation between the men, we know as readers there is this ticking bomb just waiting to explode. While this reveal ultimately makes a big impact, I appreciated that it still happens early enough on that we get to see the men handle the aftermath of the revelation and figure out how and if they can move forward. It allows the focus to shift and bring the men together as a team as we set up for book three.
I also liked that this book shifts POVs. While in Prince of Killers we were in Hawes’ head, here we get Chris’ POV. It really gives us a chance to get to know both of these main characters and this story delves really nicely into Chris and his background. It brings some nice balance to the series to get to know both men in detail, and really helps us understand here why Chris betrayed Hawes and why Izzy was so important in his life.
So I’ll tell you that this book is going to leave you dying for the third story, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing this one now. It is a wonderful follow up to Prince of Killers and further builds the web of mystery and suspense started in book one. Layla Reyne has set things up so nicely here and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. So I am loving this series and can highly recommend it.