Series: Alice Worth, #1
Published by City Owl Press on June 13, 2017
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: graphic sex scene
Reviewed by: Kristina
The first time Moses Murphy’s granddaughter killed on his orders, she was six years old.
For twenty years, she was a prisoner of an organized crime syndicate, forced to use her magic to make Moses the most powerful and feared man on the East Coast. To escape his cruelty, she faked her own death and started a new life as Alice Worth. As a private investigator specializing in cases involving the supernatural, Alice walks a precarious line between atoning for the sins of her grandfather’s cabal and keeping her true identity hidden.
Hired to investigate the disappearance of a mysterious object of power, Alice enlists the help of Malcolm, a ghost running from a past as nightmarish as her own. It soon becomes clear the missing object was taken by someone with a dangerous secret and an unknown agenda. When her client is kidnapped, Alice must find her and the object of power before a vengeful killer destroys the city and slaughters thousands—starting with Alice.
HEART OF MALICE was a great introduction to what could be a pretty amazing new urban fantasy series. It ticks every box for a classic urban fantasy story: tough as nails heroine escaping from a murky past, fun magical abilities, and interesting enough plot complexities to last multiple books. The plot is fast-paced and revolves around an excellent magical mystery with earth shattering consequences should something go askew. I loved the attention to details in the world building and more specifically the main story in HEART OF MALICE. I really got a feel for the tone and history of the world as well as who the characters were. Please note: there are some pretty gory moments in HEART OF MALICE that might be hard to get through for the squeamish.
Alice is a pretty badass heroine who has potential to be one of my favorite in the genre. She takes a beating, heals herself, and goes back into the fray. I loved how determined she was to help someone else and do so with skill and intelligence. It becomes a bit disconcerting just how much she allows her body to be worn down so much. She blacks out a lot! Perhaps her recklessness will be a plot point in future books? I think Alice's recklessness might be linked to her fascinating past. I kept hoping we'd get more flashbacks to her escape from the cabal. I hope we get more as what we do get gives some interesting insights to Alice's rather determined and stubborn personality.
HEART OF MALICE was a decent start to what looks like a pretty classic urban fantasy series. I loved Alice's backstory and learning how this world works. I look forward to seeing what is in store for Alice in the next book.Series Titles:
Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series