Book Review: Where Death Meets the Devil by L. J. Hayward

where death meets the devil


Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.
Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.
A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.


This is definitely a very hard book to rate. It’s an eclectic mix of fascinating characters, lots of lies and double crossing and fast paced action sequences. The story is told in dual timelines – present and an year ago – and I think it really worked. The stories mirror each other quite closely in both the timelines and it was very interesting to read, while also making me frustrated because I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on and who was good and who was bad. The author keeps up the mystery for a long time and I found it very difficult to put the book down.

Jack is a great protagonist who has been through a lot in his career, still suffers from PTSD and has come to question what the point of all his life and work was. When there are traitors in his own office and his loyalty to his country is questioned, while he doesn’t understand his own liking for a murderer, he doesn’t know who he is anymore and if he should be working as agent.

Ethan starts off as the deadly assassin but along with Jack, we start to realize he is much more than that. While being a ruthless cold blooded killer, he also has a childlike enthusiasm for his fast cars, is quite funny and his interactions with his pet camel are too cute and adorable. But you know what endeared me the most to him – he loves reading Matthew Reilly’s books and that immediately makes him my favorite 😊😊😊

I can’t even describe the way their relationship grows. It’s enemies to allies to lovers to enemies to whatever. The strong UST is very palpable but they also can’t get over their moral and professional differences, but there is also an element of trust and this makes for a very interesting dynamic. I loved their interactions and how well they worked together when trying to save each other’s lives. The ending left me wanting more and I really want to read more of their story.

If you love action / adventure / mystery novels with a dash of forbidden romance, you should definitely give this one a try.

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