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and not the series...
Back in July of 2018 this series came across my radar when the blog that I review for was asked if anyone would be interested in reviewing the first episode of a new series entitled 'Criminal Intentions' being someone who enjoys a good crime drama I decided to check it out and I was blown away, hooked, wanted more and thus began my addiction to 'Criminal Intentions'.
And here we are 13 episodes later and I am every bit as invested in this series maybe even more than I was after reading the story that started it all...'The Cardigans'. But that was only the beginning of what for me has become a reading addiction. For the past few months no matter what's going on in my life one of the things that I've consistently looked forward to has been the next episode in this ongoing series.
For me 'Criminal Intentions' stands out in a sea of books for a number of reasons not the least of which is the MCs Malcolm Kalahji and Soeng-Jae Yoon, the cast of secondary characters from Sade & Min Zhe, to their boss Captain Zarate y Salazar, to Mal's ex-wife Gabrielle and on and on right down to Sila, yes, I hate him with a passion but as bad guys go this is one hella' scary dude...so many characters who develop more and more with each episode and who are integral to this story. Storylines that are truly tangled together in a complex spider's web. The fact that each episode has steadily and consistently not only held my interest but increased it and last but not least I've truly appreciated the author's efforts to keep the story release on track. While this hasn't been a part of my wanting to read this series it has actually been a part of what's kept me reading. I've got more than a few series sitting on my shelves because an author has wandered off to do other things and it's left a big time lapse in my the release of books which has allowed my interest to wander off to other things and hopefully I'll get back to them but in the mean time I've squirreled and many a book has fallen by the wayside.
Now let's get back to this series and specifically this final episode of season one...
Mal and Soeng-Jae have come a long way since then but they still have much further to go. As individual characters, as partners at work, as a couple these men had fascinated and enchanted me. I am nowhere near ready to say good-bye to them and thankfully don't have to...yet. In episode 12 we were left in a very precarious place but here in the season finale a number of things are cleared up. If I was holding my breath for episode 12 here in episode 13 I'm pretty sure that not only was I holding my breath but I was doing it with my eyes closed and if you think that didn't make reading hard...well all I can say is give it a try sometime.
The 'Hatter's Game' Part II was every bit as much...if not more, of an emotional roller coaster ride than previous books. I lost more than a little sleep reading these last three episodes because stopping at any point in time just didn't seem like a viable idea. I have to admit as much as I wanted to get to the end of this series I was also hoping it would never end. For as much of an emotional roller coaster ride as this one took us on it was worth it to get to the ending which for me was perfect...I was left in a good place knowing that Mal and Seong-Jae are well and safe but also knowing that there is more to come and while things are at a lull for the moment it's a temporary condition and come season 2 there will be more heart stopping, pulse pounding, action, angst and emotion and I am so on board for all of it.
A copy of 'The Hatter's Game' Part II was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
"The Hatter's Game" Part I
There are so many factors coming into play with these last two stories that for anyone who hasn't read the rest of the series...and preferably in order...chances are really good that you're going to be confused. So with this one I not only suggest but endorse reading this one from the beginning so that you can follow and enjoy the show...
Just like a television show the season finale of this one is going to take two episodes and here in part one of 'The Hatter's Game' we are pulled through the wringer backwards. It's painful and you don't always get to see what's coming.
In 'Crescendo' we saw a bit of the writing on the wall for what was coming and here in the first part of 'The Hatter's Game' things really start to happen now only with Mal and Soeng-Jae but with the city of Baltimore...all hell's about to break loose and more than Mal and Seong-Jae's relationship is at risk...everything is balanced on the edge of a knife.and what happens next is in the hands of a madman and the people trying to stop him.
I pretty well held my breath from start to finish....no wait I was still holding my breath at the end of this one. I don't think I actually drew a breath of air again until I finished part II of 'The Hatter's Game'.
So far we've seen Mal and Seong-Jae go from being partners at work to partners in all things and it's been emotionally charged to say the least these are two strong individuals trying to be a couple but also trying to retain their individuality. Mal has battled with his need know more about and care for Seong-Jae while trying not to overwhelm him and scare him away and Seong-Jae has battled with his need to keep much of his past away from Mal without seeming like he's pushing Mal away and until now it's looked like they might be successful but now the stakes have been pushed higher as Sila ups his efforts to bring Seong-Jae back to him.
In the beginning of 'The Hatter's Game' Sila finally steps out of the shadows and begins to show not just his true self...because we've been seeing bits and pieces of his unbalanced persona all along but we begin to see just how much influence he's had over the events that have occurred in previous stories. This time around Sila's not content to orchestrate events happening around them...this time he's taking a more direct approach.
I'm not going to get into the specifics of what happens in this story but I will say that just like in the previous episodes I was engaged from the very beginning and just like the previous stories we have a crime going on but unlike the previous stories from nearly the beginning we know that much of what's happening is in it's own way smoke and mirrors as Sila makes his last play for Seong-Jae.
While we're left sitting very precariously on the edge of a cliff...possibly hanging on by our fingertips to be honest we are fortunately not going to be there for long as the author has already released the final part of this suspense filled story and like this one I've read it and just need to add another 5 star review to this collection of suspense filled stars.
A copy of "The Hatter's Game" Part I was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Chris is an FBI agent who's job it is to infiltrate a criminal organization known as the Hive. He is just the guy for the job, as he has a very dark mind. Only problem once he is accepted in is that he falls for his boss.
Piker is supposed to be a well known and heavily guarded secret. Right away with meeting Chris he has several problems. First, his cover is blown. Second, the attraction is almost too intense. What does he do now?
This was such a fast paced and incredible story. I could not put it down. The main characters are so sexy and their sparks are seriously flying all over! The story itself is intense and even though its dark, extremely compelling. I really enjoyed the heck out of these characters and hope we see them again in further installments of this new Criminal Delights series.
The narrator, Michael Ferraiuolo, was a joy to listen to. He had good voice changes for a womans voice, was easy to tell when others were talking, and was a pleasant listen. I enjoyed the book and he made me glad I listened to the audio version. I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.