Author: James R. Tuck
Publication: Kensington (August 7, 2012)
Description: Deacon Chalk normally has no trouble telling innocent victims from real monsters. So protecting an abused pregnant were-dog is a no-brainer...until a vicious lycanthrope leader and his brotherhood target Deacon, other shape-shifters, and any humans in their way. Suddenly, Deacon is outnumbered, outgunned, and unsure who - or what - to trust. The only edge he has left is a weapon hungry for his soul and his most savage impulses. And using it will exact a price even this hell-raising hunter fears to pay...
My Thoughts: If you are looking for graphic - very graphic - and gritty urban fantasy, you need to get to know Deacon Chalk. Deacon makes the average badass run away and think of a new career path. But, at the same time, Deacon will do anything to protect the family he has chosen.
Deacon's own family was killed by the monsters and in the process of killing them he was killed himself. A transfusion by an Angel of the Lord revived him and made him much more than human. He heals faster, can take much more punishment, and has some magical abilities. This story is about Deacon and Tiff finding a pregnant weredog and saving it from being beaten to death by some lion shifters. Turns out she is the advance part for Marcus, another lion shifter, who happens to be a pacifist and is encouraging both were predators and prey to live peacefully,
Unfortunately, Marcus has a brother named Leonidas who, along with his band of prey weres, comes along behind Marcus wreaking havoc. Deacon and the rest of the good guys have to find away to defeat Leonidas and the rest of the bad guys. But it won't be easy, among the bad guys are a were-Great White Shark and a were-Tyrannosaurus Rex.
My major complaint with this one is that it is repititious. Tuck keeps telling us things he has already told us: Kat had a bad time at the hand of a sexually sadistic vampire; Deacon doesn't want to talk about how his family died; Deacon is just waiting to die himself but suicide is a sin; Deacon died and was given blood by an Angel of the Lord which makes him superhuman and a quick healer. It's almost like each chapter was written separately and Tuck expected the reader to pause between them and need a refresher. I also have a minor complaint about Deacon's constant references to Tiff as "little girl." He is sleeping with her! Calling her "little girl" sounds kind of like he is some kind of pedophile.
The story is very descriptive with lots of descriptions of the various guns he wears and uses and has a lot of graphic violence but it is also a good story of a man who will do anything to protect those who need protecting from the monsters. This is the second full-length Deacon Chalk novel. Start with Blood and Bullets and catch the short story Spider's Lullaby to be completely up-to-date and to meet Deacon and his colleagues.
The comet growled at me, motor low and angry, crackling through the exhaust pipes. I wasn't driving her like I usually did. Normally, I'm from the "drive it like you stole it" school of driving. Pedal to the metal, balls out, ninety to nothing kind of driving. The comet is a hot rod. She eats asphalt like a fat kid at a cake buffet. It's what she was meant to do.I was sent this eARC by the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy a copy here.