5 Stars, Literary Fiction, Nicole Castle, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: The Result of a Straight Razor by Nicole Castle

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Title: The Result of a Straight Razor (The Mako Shark: Book Two)

Author: Nicole Castle

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 168 Pages

At a Glance: Three cheers for the morally complicated!

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Miko is in mourning. He is plotting. Miko is thinking about death and vengeance. About forgiveness. And love. Miko is getting some new tattoos.

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Review: There’s one thing author Nicole Castle will never be accused of: writing sane characters. Or, at least what might be considered sane by most people. Not up to this point, anyhow. Ms. Castle writes about a group of assassins, after all, and their lives revolve around murder and mayhem, something they pursue quite passionately, I might add. Sometimes with a glee that can only be called disarming and charming in a disturbing sort of way.

These people make me happy.

The Result of a Straight Razor picks up where The Consequence of High Caliber left off, so it’s an absolute must to read these books in order. Miko, our sweet and broken man-child, returns to his would-be lover Toby—would-be if Toby didn’t give Miko a sense of normalcy that only serves to make Miko realize how not-normal he really is, and how dangerous it is for him to be in Toby’s life.

Relationship Status: It’s complicated.

We get a bit more of Miko’s backstory in this installment of the series, through flashbacks that show us how he came to be where he is; not exactly the best assassin in the bunch but having been nursed on a steady diet of violent and murderous bedtime stories about people who became his heroes, it’s given him a lot to strive for. But poor Miko. ::sighs:: He just seems to have a big Murphy’s Law target tattooed on the business end of his best intentions.

Plus, he needs to stop pointing his gun at the wrong people.

The linchpin of The Result of a Straight Razor’s plot is a carry-over from book one, and the death of Miko’s best friend Ophelia—a death everyone but Miko believes was suicide. Miko is determined to prove there’s murder afoot!, even as every one of his efforts to do so seem bent upon proving him wrong.

The murder business is so fickle.

And it also distances him from Toby, not only geographically but mentally and emotionally too.

It’s also hard on relationships.

Razor-sharp wit and a skillfully honed sense of pace and timing have been the hallmark of not only these books but those in the Chance Assassins series too (several characters from that series make brief cameos in “Straight Razor”). Bella, as usual, steals every scene she’s in, and every single nuance, from the overt to the subtlest, adds to its charm. These are not your typical heroes and heroines, nor are they strictly antiheroes—they’re far too loveable for that. Maybe they’re just demiheroes. Because, really, are any of our favorite characters all good or all bad?

Three cheers for the morally complicated!

I love this book. I love this author for being just a little demented. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this, or any of Nicole Castle’s books, for that matter. They’re disturbingly comical and comically disturbed novels.

They’re disturmical in the very best way.

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Pages/Word Count: 300 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

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“I looked at Frank, wondering whether that was the connection I’d felt between us. Two murderers seeing one another for what they were. Death united us. Not love.” – Nicole Castle


Title: Chance Assassins: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder

Author: Nicole Castle

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 354 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

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