Red Glove by Holly Black

The basics

Title: Red Glove


Series: Curse Workers #2

- White Cat (2010)
- Red Glove (2011)
- Black Heart (2012)

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Goodreads Summary:

In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always though he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth - he's the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything - or anyone - into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue - crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too - they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone - least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Read a full summary of Red Glove by Holly Black below. If you can’t remember what happened in Red Glove and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Red Glove?

  • Cassel’s mother, a con woman who steals money from rich people, would like a millionaire called Clyde Austin to be her next target. She plans to use her emotion worker powers to manipulate him.
  • Cassel’s mother makes Cassel pretend to be a homeless person and pretend to rob her so that Clyde will rescue her purse and they can meet. Cassel ruins this plan a bit by walking in on his mother and Clyde in a hotel room and Clyde realises they’re working together.
  • The school term starts and Cassel heads back to Finke. He reunites with Lila, his ex-girlfriend who is a dream worker.
  • Cassel is still not sure whether Lila truly likes him or if his mother’s powers were the only reason Lila paid attention to him.
  • Federal agents remove Cassel from campus and interrogate him. They want to recruit him as he’s a powerful transformation worker. Agents Jones and Hunt tell Cassel that his brother Philip is dead and that Zacharov is behind it. They tell Cassel that Philip was working undercover for them and they want Cassel to take his place as they know Cassel is close to Lila.
  • Cassel theorises that Zacharov is working with some sort of death worker in order to make sure people disappear.
  • Jones and Hunt tell Cassel that a woman wearing red gloves was the last person to see Philip alive. Cassel agrees to work for them.
  • Zacharov confronts Cassel at Philip’s funeral. Zacharov insists he wasn’t responsible for Philip’s death, and asks Cassel to join his crew. 
  • Cassel and Lila discuss how they were used by Zacharov previously. Cassel wonders what happened to the people he was forced to transform.
  • Barron tells Cassel that one person was transformed into a chair. Cassel finds the chair in question and transforms it back into a person, but the person is definitely dead.
  • Jones and Hunt feel like they’re not getting information on the red glove lady fast enough and threaten to reveal Cassel’s powers and have him arrested. 
  • Cassel searches Philip’s apartment for clues. He finds a cigarette box which is the same brand that Lila smokes.
  • Zacharov finds out that Cassel has been speaking to the agents and looking for Philip’s killer. Zacharov tells Cassel that the agents are also curse workers.
  • Cassel finds a gun in his mother’s closet, and upon inspection finds that it is the same make and model of the gun which killed Philip. Cassel asks his mother whether she killed Philip and she denies doing so.
  • Cassel meets with Barron, who tells him he can’t trust the agents. Barron wants Cassel to work with a competing mob group, and Cassel starts to feel trapped because Zacharov would kill him if he did.
  • Cassel seeks out witness protection and tells the agents he is the person who has been transforming corpses to hide them. He hopes the agents will help him escape this mob life. He makes a deal with the agents so they will protect Barron too.
  • Cassel visits Philip’s wife and accuses her of being the red glove lady. He promises not to give her up to the agents because he realises she knew her life was in danger the whole time Philip was working with the agents.
  • Cassel, now protected, tries to go back to his normal life.

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