Shadow of the Knife
Ellen is a rookie in the Roadsend Militia. She's almost eighteen and about to earn her patrolwoman's bars. When her sergeant is knifed by a fearless thug during an interrupted robbery, Ellen is sure that a criminal gang out of Eastford has moved into Roadsend. Ellen's investigation leads her to a farm on the outskirts of town that might be a hideout for the bandits. But the farmer's teasing eyes and quick smile make Ellen want to believe she's innocent. As Ellen discovers the depth of corruption spread by the gang, she doesn't know who to trust. But she knows one thing for certain—putting her faith in the wrong person is deadly.
This is the most recent book in Fletcher's Celaeno series. I haven't read any of the others, but this book stands very well on its own and didn't require much backstory.
I'm going to confess this book was a little like junk food for my brain. It's far from the best novel I've ever read. The villains were obvious, and there's an annoying tendency to explain every thought that pops into Ellen's head. As a reader, I don't need the plot spoon-fed to me. I can figure out what's going on and why from the details. Descriptive analysis of everything the protagonist feels is unnecessary.
But I still read this book in one sitting. Despite the narrative flaws, I was caught up in the story and couldn't put it down. I even enjoyed it enough to look up the four other series novels. Call it a guilty pleasure.
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