KILLING SARAI (In the Company of Killers, #1)
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Published on: June 19, 2013
Genre: Suspense, romance, thriller
Published by: Self-published
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible
Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.
While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.
As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.
This is their story…
J. A. Redmerski once again pens a great novel with Killing Sarai. If you’ve read The Edge of Never (which is my favorite Redmerski and overall novel so far), be warned that this book is completely different. Whereas Edge was a New Adult romance, Killing Sarai is a pretty dark, thrilling romantic suspense. This is not a chocolates-and-roses love story.
Sarai Cohen is a young woman who has been held against her will for her entire teen years by a drug cartel boss named Javier. He has other young women captives, but Sarai is the one who receives special treatment–the ruffian thinks he’s in love with her. This man is the shame of the human race. Drug dealing is bad enough, but sex trafficking is unforgivable in my opinion.
One day, fortune smiles for Sarai when an American (allegedly the first one she’s seen in years–she is from the U.S. as well) comes to talk to Javier. She manages to slip in the American’s car. Unfortunately, Sarai has no idea she’s jumped from the frying pan into the fire. The American, Victor, is none other than an assassin for hire. He has half a heart to just bring Sarai back to Javier’s compound. However, he makes a decision that’ll change his and Sarai’s lives.
The author did a great job with this novel. It grabs you from the start and compels you to keep finding out what happens next. Sarai’s personality is also really fleshed out. She feels like a real person. It’s quite shocking when you realize how much darkness she has inside. Victor himself believes Sarai to be unstable and very dangerous. It takes one to know one, I guess. Time taught Sarai to be tough and become desensitized to darkness. Unfortunately, it seems to have all but consumed her. The darkness is inadvertently fueled when Victor creates an alter ego for Sarai, who for her safety now has to go by the name Izabel Seyfried.
Sarai gets under the reader’s skin with every new chapter, making you root out for her. Sarai is uncertain about her ability to lead a normal life, compelling her to ask Victor to train her to be like him. Victor scoffs at the absurd idea, and comes up with a plan to show her that his life is not for her. He doesn’t expect that his plan will have the opposite effect. She’s become accustomed to darkness and killing, and for a novice she’s surprisingly good at doing what Victor does.
Killing Sarai also seems to ask The Question: do people turn out the way they do because of nature or because of nurture? For Sarai, she seems to have gained the darkness within her due to nurture. All those years living in pain and torture made Sarai turn out differently than if she’d led a normal life. She is not a girl like everyone else. Victor may not want to accept it, but Sarai may be more suited for his way of life than he thinks.
Eventually, Sarai ends up becoming such an important part of Victor’s life. He grows to care for her enough to be willing to clash against his own brother, Niklas. The latter sees Sarai as a dangerous liability, someone who could bring down everything Victor has worked for. This compels Niklas to try to protect his brother. Victor is not a man who forgives betrayal, though–not even from his own blood. And when Niklas puts Sarai in his crosshairs, the consequences could be awful.
This is an awesome start to a new series by J.A. Redmerski. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what’s in store for Sarai. Will it be inevitable for her to completely cross over to the dark side?
A stunning page turner!
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