City of Ghosts

, by Kt Clapsadl

City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Downside Ghosts #3


Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

After the incidents from the last book Chess cannot stand to be alone in her head, so when Elder Griffin offers a special assignment she chomps at the bit. There's one small problem, as Chess must agree to be bound, and the penalty for speaking of her investigations is death. She also has to accept a condescending partner named Lauren, who is the Grand Elder's daughter. Sparks fly between them instantly and Chess is reminded why she always works alone. Lauren undermines Chess's intelligence and capabilities every chance she gets. Yet amazingly when trouble strikes, Chess still feels loyalty towards Lauren and saves her from death. Proving at the root Chess truly is a good person, she just has an addiction problem.

When Chess is caught in Bump's territory doing magic he tries to force her to spill her beans. When she attempts to, her binding marks start to kill her. Luckily Bump gets the point and decides to send Terrible to shadow her since she may not be able to speak about the case, but he can. Despite her fear of getting caught by the church, she agrees, with the hope at a chance to tell Terrible the truth about what happened between her and Lex. Of course, Terrible being "terrible" could not make that easy and the tension between them is thicker than water.

The saying always goes, "You don't know what you got 'till its gone." This could not be more true for Chess. Terrible now treats her like she has the bubonic plague, trying to avoid her at all costs. Regardless of his outer angry attitude, underneath it is clear he is hurting. It is clear just how much he cares for her which makes her betrayal all the worse. Chess finds herself trying to do anything she can to win him back. She knows she messed up and has no problem fessing up to it, but that just doesn't seem to be enough. The emotional angst between them is heart wrenching. The two find nothing is irreparable, but the road will be long and very bumpy. Their rocky relationship kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book.

The first two books may have been very good, but this book stepped it up to a whole new level and completely blew me away. Chess made a lot of character growth in this book, and while she still is very much a drug addict, she starts to have more depth as she allows herself to have feelings for others. The ending gave Chess some resolution and happiness, something I didn't expect for her. While I still cannot wait for the next book to released, hopefully next year, the way this one ended left me with a sense of contentment. If you loved the first two books, you'll love this one even more.


Buy now at Amazon:
City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3)

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