Black Heart

Main Characters:

We still have Cassel (out transformation worker, still at Wallingford but trying to balance some freelancing with the MLD/FBI and school and his love for Lila), Lila (now working for her father in his crime family), Daneca (breaks up with Sam early on and starts dating Barron), Sam (totally head over heels still for Daneca, but they are fighting because of what she hid from Sam in the last books), Cassel’s mom (being held captive by Zacharov because she was on the run from Patton and stole Zacharov’s resurrection diamond and he wants it back), Barron (still conning people, mostly the FBI, dating Daneca and still doing memory work), Grandpa (the death worker, tries to keep Cassel from trying to rescue his mom) and Zacharov (head of the NJ mob).  Agent Jones makes a reappearance too.


Mina – a classmate of Sam and Cassel’s.  She comes to Cassel for help, claiming to be in the middle of a blackmail plot where she’s trying to prevent naughty pictures of herself from getting out.  Turns out, the Dean is actually blackmailing her – into treating his unknown Alzheimer’s and she is really trying to get some money so she can escape.

Yulikova – the agent in charge of the MLD division of the FBI that Barron is part of and Cassel is considering joining.

Patton – the Govenor of NJ – who is mentally unstable because he’s been worked by an emotions worker and he has an agenda against all workers.

Dean Wharton – we’ve briefly seen him before, he’s the Dean at Walligford.  But here, he’s more important because of the sub-plot with Mina.

Main Premise:  Cassel is stuck in a number of ways.  He can’t stop thinking of Lila but she doesn’t want much to do with him.  The FBI wants him to commit to joining the MLD, his mother wants help getting the resurrection diamond back so she can leave Zacharov’s… hospitality, Sam wants help getting Daneca back, and Mina wants help with her situation. Cassel does a little investigating and it turns out that his dad had 2 fake diamonds made.  Cassel’s mom didn’t know this.  And seeing that Cassel’s dad is dead, there are no leads about where the real one is.  Meanwhile, Lila orders a hit.  Cassel sees the exchange of cash and follows the hit man.  He tries to stop the hit, but is too late.  He chases the suspect down, but the suspect escapes.  Cassel walks away with the suspect’s gun though.  Little things start to happen, leading Cassel to question Yulikova and her motives.  She convinces him that he needs to help on a job to take out Patton – they want to transform him into an animal that can be kept caged by the FBI.  But Cassel figures out that he is being set up.  Cassel tells Lila that he is working with the Feds.  And in that crazy meeting, the two admit their love for each other and they spend the night together.  Then, since Cassel knows he is being set up, he puts his own plan into action.  first, using a disappearing ink pen Sam had earlier in the book, he signs the FBI agreement to join the MLD.  Then, he transforms himself into Patton and gives a crazy speech admitting to killing someone and putting an end to his career and the bill that would have rounded up workers.  But, Agent Jones captures Cassel (never having liked him in the first place) and turns him over to Zacharov, to be killed.  But Lila figures out that Patton isn’t Patton but Cassel and she shots Jones.    Zacharov forgives Cassel and Cassel’s mom’s debt over the diamond for taking out Patton – who he hates.  Yulikova tries to let Cassel know how not smart he was, and that the FBI owns him, but he tells her to check the agreement and she will find he didn’t sign anything (thank you Sam he thinks for the disappearing ink!) Lila needs to go into hiding for a little while because of having killed Jones, and Cassel goes with her.  On other fronts, the thing with Mina works out, although Sam gets shot in the process.  Cassel gives Mina two options to get out of treating the Dean, Yulikova’s card and info about Gage (the death worker who carried out Lila’s hit earlier) so that Mina can decide what she wants to do to escape.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:  We don’t know where the diamond is.  Daneca and Sam are basically back together, but Barron asked Cassel to let Daneca know that Barron helped and did something right.  Cassel’s real last name isn’t Sharpe but Raeburn.  And when he figures that out, it was because he found a newspaper clipping for the death of a Philip Raeburn in a boating accident (and a picture of Charles, Philip and Anne).  Yulikova doesn’t know where Jones is.

Review:  I am curious if this is the last in the series.  Seems there are some loose ends that could lead to another book – but the happily-ever-after with Lila seems to have happened, so who knows if that will be spoiled by another book.  While the first and second book, being written in the first person, was a little difficult to read, this was much easier.  I can’t say that this will be a terribly long review as the book and the plot was ok.  Nothing stellar but not bad either.  The writing was very consistent with the author’s previous works.  There was action but nothing Mission: Impossible scale.  And, Lila and Cassel, I am happy to say, seem to have found some peace.  It was entertaining and quick to read – so if you liked the first two, definitely pick this one up!


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