Thanks to Luke Taylor for sending me his book in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Homicide detective Michael Erland passes through the gates of the opulent Fircrest Mansion to solve the murder of a woman with no fingerprints, and finds himself in the middle of a brutal struggle between Homeland Security and a domestic terrorist known as Jupiter, a hacker and criminal mastermind who steals information to sell it to the highest bidder and will stop at nothing to make the biggest transaction of his career and end the lives of those who would try to stop him. The agent who’s pursuing Jupiter, the enigmatic and stunningly beautiful Sierra Marland, conscripts Erland’s help as the only one she can trust, and as Marland and Jupiter lock wits and wills in a fiery chess game of death and consequence, Erland is forced to walk the tightrope between justice, vengeance, and love.
The man in the brown dining chair awoke from the murky depths of unconsciousness to find himself bound and gagged. Blinking sway the fog, painful shafts of light pierced his eyes. His skull echoed with the thick, dull pain of medical narcosis and felt like a blacksmith’s anvil at day’s end.
Where was he? What happened? Why was there nothing to recall but a few seconds of memory?
And with that opening, the action NEVER lets up in this first book in Luke Taylor’s Wolves and Leopards series. This has a huge cast of characters but the three major characters are Erland, Sierra, and the sinister Jupiter. I absolutely loved Sierra who’s a kickass yet vulnerable agent desperately trying to to bring down her twin sister’s murderer as well as saving the country. stymied and betrayed at every turn by traitors and bureaucrats, there’s only a handful of people she can trust, yet she never gives up. Erland is an honest and hardworking cop who gets pulled into a fight between government agencies and the terrorist organization run by Jupiter. He’s completely over his head yet he manages to not only keep up, but also to become an essential asset in stopping the terrorists. While there’s definitely some instant chemistry between them, the romance develops slowly mainly due to all the chaos around them. As they start to have feelings for one another, there are some lovely and touching scenes, which is pretty hard to do in a book such as this. Jupiter is a villain that rivals any depicted in Bond books/movies. He’s a man devoid of a conscience, only caring about power and money. Because he’s such an interesting character I wish there had been a little more of a backstory, but with all the other characters it’s obvious why there wasn’t room. There are too many supporting characters to list, but they’re all extremely well written and fully developed. One word of warning: the author is not afraid to kill off his characters. Two of my favorites perished and it’s a credit to Luke Taylor’s talent that I got quite emotional over their deaths. But in a way, never knowing who was going to make it out alive made the reading experience even more exciting. The ending was absolutely perfect and it has me looking forward to the second book in the series Shatterpoint Alpha.
Evening Wolves is a mammoth book clocking in at over 700 pages, and while there’s a lot of descriptive phrasing, the plot never dragged, and I found myself reluctant to put it down when real life intruded. After finishing it I wasn’t surprised that the novel was a Finalist in both the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Awards. The entire time I was reading I was thinking of my dreamcast if this was ever made into a movie. If you’re a fan of authors like David Baldacci, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, and the late great Tom Clancy, and you’re looking for a new author to add to their venerated ranks, I highly recommend this.