When I saw the list of books to be reviewed, Crossed caught my eye because it had as its heroine a policewoman who was being sent to jail for murder. I thought it would be a romantic suspense, but it was an urban fantasy and even though urban fantasy is not my first choice in romance, I found myself enjoying this very much.
Jax Cassidy used to be Angela Giacomelli, Baltimore cop and proud to wear the blue. When she went up against Carlos Montes a human trafficker, her back-up squad sold her out and never showed. The man raped Angela and cut her up. Filled with white hot anger, she killed Montes, was captured and sentenced for murder one. As a former cop, Angela’s life in prison looks to be a short and brutal one.
However, the Last Option Special Team has their eye on her. They’ve realized that they need a woman for some of their operations and they want Angela. So they arrange an accident and spirit her off the bus that’s taking her to prison. At first Angela wants nothing to do with them, but eventually she joins the team and they hone her into a killer machine. Goodbye, Angela Giacomelli – hello, Jax Cassidy, operative for L.O.S.T.
Jax’s assignment is to gain the trust of Marcus Cross who is an agent for Joseph Lazarus. Lazarus is a mysterious, rich man who heads up an organization called The Solution. Lazarus and The Solution have sponsored Senator Rowland, who is a decent enough man, who thinks that The Solution is just a patriotic anti-terrorist group. L.O.S.T. knows otherwise, and unless they can stop them, Lazarus will become a powerful dictator.
Marcus Cross was once a Special Ops soldier. When he was left for dead in the desert, Joseph Lazarus, his commander, turned him into a vampire. Since, then, Marcus as been loyal to Lazarus, but Marcus is fundamentally decent and Lazarus’s actions are causing him to question his loyalty. When Jax comes into the picture, things really change for Marcus.
Jax is tough as can be, and seems at first glance to be a hard and bitter woman. As the story progresses, we see that she is someone to whom loyalty is all important. It was her betrayal by her fellow cops that hurt her almost as bad as her attack by Montes. Lazarus betrays Marcus as well, and their shared sense of having been used by their so-called friends bonds them in a way that anyone can relate to.
Jax is just about the most kick-butt heroine I’ve encountered (and that includes Eve Dallas). Her relationship with Marcus is left somewhat open ended and I have a feeling we might see them again in future books, since Crossed leaves the door open for more stories about the members of L.O.S.T.
Karin Tabke has created a very interesting world and peopled it with characters who I want to know better. I’ll definitely follow this series.