Vendetta by Sarah Barrie is the third book in the enjoyable series featuring former sex worker, turned vigilante and hacker, turned cop, Lexi Winter. And here her past most certainly catches up with her. Well, several of those pasts… and it’s an unfortunate reminder that no matter how hard we might work to rebuild our lives, some people just can’t look past old labels. Although, it must be said, Lexie has her fair share of support thanks to her mentor and boss, DI Rachael Langley.
by Sarah Barrie
Series: Lexi Winter #3
Published by HQ Fiction AU
Genres: Crime Fiction
Ace hacker, former sex worker and vigilante Lexi Winter is now a cop and not keen to revisit her criminal past. But when old friends invoke the wrath of a local motorcycle club - the same club Lexi herself used to work for - she races to help them the only way she undercover.
If Lexi is to save a child's life, she is going to have to go back - back to a life she thought she had outrun. Back to the person she used to be. But her timing isn't great. Former club president Arthur Cronin has finished his long prison sentence and is out for revenge for the death of his wife and child.
As he launches a series of bomb attacks on the club members who set him up and the cops who took him down, Lexi is caught in the middle. Torn between old loyalties and new responsibilities, she must decide once and for all which side she's on, but even if she does decide to break free, are her old criminal friends ready to let her go?
There’s a lot of nasty fodder in Lexi’s past to farm for this series and here we’re taken back to her teenage years and involvement with a motorcycle gang (OMCG). It seems she was something akin to arm candy, but we learn it’s also where she got her start in tech and computer hacking.
The book opens with Lexi helping out an old friend, but before she knows it she’s involved in a murder investigation.
Her private and work lives collide (as they so often do) and she and Finn (her colleague and Rachael’s nephew) attempt to go undercover but the gang members discover she’s a cop and their cover is blown pretty early. Lexi however, has her past OMCG cred so is able to work multiple angles.
Here Barrie gives us some insight into the lives of the men and women involved in the motorcycle gang – the roles they play, the limits put on them, but also the camaraderie and kinship the groups offer. It also allows us to learn a little more about Lexi’s rather complicated past.
I like that Barrie gives us the same consistent characters (namely Lexi, Rachael and Finn) but each outing introduces some new faces… many of whom return. Here Rachael’s team is again joined by reps from an Organised Crime squad, including one I was slightly suspicious of in book two of this series, Retribution.
And my spidey senses were most certainly right cos here, Lexi’s trustworthiness and reliability is questioned and she’s sidelined and removed from the investigation – and potentially her job.
Lexi is understandably hurt and angered by the betrayal and it’s easy to see how effortlessly she could fall back into past habits or – at a minimum – return to the vigilante life she lived before joining the police. Still taking care of the bad guys, but with no rules to rein her in.
I really enjoyed this read and Barrie offers up a huge curveball which I most definitely did not see it coming.
I love that Barrie’s able to mix things up and very much like where Barrie is taking these characters and this series so cannot wait for the next instalment.
Vendetta by Sarah Barrie was published in Australia by HQ Fiction and now available.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.