Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

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The basics

Title: Spider’s Bite

Author:

Series: Elemental Assassin #1

- Spider’s Bite (2010)
- Web of Lies (2010)
- Venom (2010)
- Tangled Threads (2011)
- Spider’s Revenge (2011)
- By a Thread (2012)
- Widow’s Web (2013)
- Deadly Sting (2013)
- Heart of Venom (2013)
- The Spider (2013)
- Poison Promise (2014)
- Black Widow (2014)


Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

in short

Gin is a Stone and Ice elemental, and also an assassin. Her handler and adoptive father, Fletcher, is tortured and brutally murdered when she is double-crossed by a client. She sets out to get revenge with the help of her brother, Finn, and a goody-two-shoes detective, Caine. They discover that a crazy Air elemental, Alexis James, is behind it. She and her sister work for crime boss Mab Monroe, who is a badass Fire elemental. Gin hunts Alexis down and kills her, before taking a vacation in Key West. She comes back to Ashland and decides to hang up her assassin blades.

what went down

  • Gin is in an asylum to kill a woman who had been having an affair with a patient. She gets the job done and escapes. She goes to meet Fletch at the Pork Pit.
  • Fletcher gives Gin another job. She has to kill a man called Giles, and she’s been given specific instructions to kill him while he’s at the opera.
  • Giles is in trouble. Giles wants to go to the cops about an embezzling scheme that has happened within Mab Monroe’s company. He wants to go to the cops for protection.
  • Gin explains that her mother and sisters were killed by a Fire elemental when she was 13. She was living on the streets before being taken in and trained by Fletcher.
  • Gin sneaks into the opera the next night as required. She is disguised as one of the musicians. She climbs onto the rafters, and aims at Giles. Before she shoots, Caine arrives, distracting her. She killed Caine’s partner a couple of months ago for raping a girl.
  • While she’s distracted, another assassin called Brutus aims a gun at her. He tells her he was hired to take her out after she had killed Giles. He and Gin fight, and he tells Gin that there’s another assassin nearby, ready to take Giles out and frame her for it. She kills Brutus, and goes after the other assassin. She kills him in front of Caine just before he’s about to kill both Caine and Giles. Caine chases Gin and she jumps into the river.
  • Gin goes back to the Pork Pit to discover Fletcher’s body. He had clearly been tortured by an Air elemental before he was killed. She goes to Finnegan’s apartment and saves him from the three men who are beating him up. They go to Jo-Jo’s for healing before going home to Gin’s apartment.
  • They see on the news that there’s an APB out on Gin. Luckily, Caine gave a terrible description and the sketch isn’t very accurate. They also find out that Giles was killed when an SUV hit his limo. Gin is wanted for his murder too.
  • The next day, Gin meets with Caine at his favourite lunch spot. She wants to offer him a deal: his help finding the Air elemental for her help finding a dirty cop in his department. He goes home to think about it. He has two men trailing him.
  • Gin finds a vampire’s card with the mysterious Air elemental’s rune on it.
  • Gin and Finnegan go to Caine’s house that night. He’s turned his porch light on, meaning he’s agreed to the deal, but then a bunch of men go into his house. Gin goes in and kills them. Caine is very ungrateful, but he sticks with the deal. They leave the house just before the Air elemental shows up, with a cloak over her head so they can’t identify her.
  • With Finn’s help, they dig up information on the vampire whose business card they found. His name is Charles Carlyle, and he likes hanging out at the local hooker joint. They persuade the owner to let them spy on him from a peephole. They discover that Carlyle is working with Stephenson, Caine’s boss, as well as the Air elemental.
  • They abduct Carlyle and take him back to his house. Gin gets ready to torture him for information, but she finds the flash drive and photos of Giles in compromising positions. Carlyle escapes, but Gin tracks him down and kills him.
  • Finn goes through the flash drive and finds out that Haley James, who works for Mab Monroe, is behind the embezzling.
  • The three of them turn up at a party where James is going to be. Gin finds her and talks with her, and Haley reveals that her sister, Alexis is the Air elemental. Alexis is nuts. Unfortunately, Gin and Haley make enough noise to get Mab Monroe’s attention, so Gin and Caine have to go and hide. They have sex in a closet, before going back down to the party when they think the coast is clear. Bad luck obviously follows them around, because Roslyn shouts out Finn’s name and Alexis spots him.
  • Alexis grabs Finn and Roslyn and takes them to a quarry. She tells Gin to meet her there with the flashdrive, or she’ll kill them both.

how did it end?

Gin and Caine drive to the quarry. Gin confronts Alexis while Caine goes around back to free the hostages. Alexis and Gin fight, both using their elemental magic. But Gin has the edge on Alexis because she’s also an assassin. She kills Alexis. Stephenson almost kills Gin, but Caine shoots him. Caine tells Gin and Finn to leave, so he can use Roslyn as a witness. He’s going to tell the cops that he and Stephenson were undercover and underground the whole time to try to gain some knowledge.
The crew hold a funeral for Fletcher. It’s revealed that Roslyn was the one to tell Alexis about Fletcher and his assassin. Gin goes to visit the graves of her family. Caine shows up, kisses Gin, and then goes to pay his respects to Finn. Gin goes on vacation, and when she returns she intends to retire. Jo-Jo gives her a folder from Fletcher, which contains information on the night that Gin’s family died. Gin discovers that her sister, Bria, is still alive. And it looks like Mab Monroe was behind the murders.

anything else

Elements: Air, Stone, Ice, and Fire.
Creatures: Giants, dwarves, vampires, elementals.

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