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Blackcoat

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When Celine Moro took a job as a Blackcoat, an elite agency tasked with investigating crimes throughout Union space, she thought she had finally put her past to rest. Now, betrayed by her allies, her world is falling apart. Running from the corrupt politicians that she had sworn to bring to justice, Celine is dusting off the skills of her old trade in order to bring truth t When Celine Moro took a job as a Blackcoat, an elite agency tasked with investigating crimes throughout Union space, she thought she had finally put her past to rest. Now, betrayed by her allies, her world is falling apart. Running from the corrupt politicians that she had sworn to bring to justice, Celine is dusting off the skills of her old trade in order to bring truth to light. The only thing bringing her comfort is knowing how much worse her friends are eventually going to feel about their betrayal.


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When Celine Moro took a job as a Blackcoat, an elite agency tasked with investigating crimes throughout Union space, she thought she had finally put her past to rest. Now, betrayed by her allies, her world is falling apart. Running from the corrupt politicians that she had sworn to bring to justice, Celine is dusting off the skills of her old trade in order to bring truth t When Celine Moro took a job as a Blackcoat, an elite agency tasked with investigating crimes throughout Union space, she thought she had finally put her past to rest. Now, betrayed by her allies, her world is falling apart. Running from the corrupt politicians that she had sworn to bring to justice, Celine is dusting off the skills of her old trade in order to bring truth to light. The only thing bringing her comfort is knowing how much worse her friends are eventually going to feel about their betrayal.

30 review for Blackcoat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tissie

    Celine, the MC, has been betrayed and sentenced to death; luck seems to be on her side though, because she manages to escape from prison and starts planning her revenge. [Keep reading @ Bookshelves & Teacups] Celine, the MC, has been betrayed and sentenced to death; luck seems to be on her side though, because she manages to escape from prison and starts planning her revenge. [Keep reading @ Bookshelves & Teacups]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I love myself a good thriller, a good fight scene, and a good straight forward and adrenaline fuelled romp through the maze of scifi gadgets, evil inventions and intergalactical intrigue. Sometimes, it is the best kind of entertainment you can ask for. Blackcoat is part-time revenge story, part-time fighting for what’s right. Both goals equally promise and deliver on high octane action. Blasting guns, flying fists, beautifully choreographed fight scenes, bonus points for ingenuity when some creat I love myself a good thriller, a good fight scene, and a good straight forward and adrenaline fuelled romp through the maze of scifi gadgets, evil inventions and intergalactical intrigue. Sometimes, it is the best kind of entertainment you can ask for. Blackcoat is part-time revenge story, part-time fighting for what’s right. Both goals equally promise and deliver on high octane action. Blasting guns, flying fists, beautifully choreographed fight scenes, bonus points for ingenuity when some creative choices are made for weaponry. Blackcoat could easily be one of the blockbuster action movies, in fact. As it happens, a large serving of corrupt power needs to get its ass kicked and thus Steve McHugh has given us Celine Moro, ex army, current Blackcoat. From start to finish, it seems like Celine simply can’t catch a break. But Celine isn’t about to don a frilly dress and throw a damsel in distress in hopes for some macho to come and save the day. Oh no, she ain’t going to dump her problems on some alpha male’s workdesk and ask him to sort it out with a bat of eyelashes. She doesn’t do that, ever. She simply cracks on, and keeps moving forward and if in the process she can eliminate some bad, corrupt bastards – hey ho, mission accomplished! Celine knows how to handle a weapon, she knows how to keep a mindset in a situation where there is simply no getting away and she bloody well gets away! And I bet you have a burning question… A female character, written in first person POV, by a male author… I bet you just wonder how much cringe there’s going to be. After all, men have been the authors of some truly “epic” insight into the female characteristics, both in body and mind. Well, get this – McHugh actually writes a really kick ass female character with zero weird comments about boobs, clothing, or any of the sort. Celine is just a woman, and she is one hell of a woman to boot! I love it when 120 pages give me the high I was chasing. Blackcoat is undeniably entertaining and with enough scifi to satisfy the mind’s eye, but not overly complicated in terms of tech for the visual in your head to become a vague gobbledygook. And I love how much the author has gotten into this story with these limited amount of pages. I dare say, the length of this novella was probably what managed to make it so wonderfully memorable! Having said that- there is still heaps and tons of opportunity to expand into sequels, prequels and spin offs because the world McHugh has imagined is, truly, spanning the entire Universe and we can grab them laser guns and Energy Mist and go dance off on the limitless planets! It’s genius, really… Besides, Celine’s story seems to be far from over!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lee Willie

    Fantastic new novel I'm a big fan or Steve McHugh's Hellequin universe novels and couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. Downloaded this early this morning and couldn't put it down. Great new cast of characters and can't wait to read more of Celine's adventures, I hope this is the start of another fantastic series. Fantastic new novel I'm a big fan or Steve McHugh's Hellequin universe novels and couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. Downloaded this early this morning and couldn't put it down. Great new cast of characters and can't wait to read more of Celine's adventures, I hope this is the start of another fantastic series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike Nugent

    What a great read! I won't post any spoilers, I promise. I haven't read any space saga sci fi for years. Mostly sticking with fantasy. This was a great excursion back to my youth. But better. Loved it. Of course being a novella it's over too soon, but I'm looking forward to the next episode.... Thanks Steve What a great read! I won't post any spoilers, I promise. I haven't read any space saga sci fi for years. Mostly sticking with fantasy. This was a great excursion back to my youth. But better. Loved it. Of course being a novella it's over too soon, but I'm looking forward to the next episode.... Thanks Steve

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alec Jones

    Great new series (hopefully) More please... Entering this new genre was a fantastic idea... I loved the Nate series and I've read them all multiple times... I hope to be able to do the same with these! Great new series (hopefully) More please... Entering this new genre was a fantastic idea... I loved the Nate series and I've read them all multiple times... I hope to be able to do the same with these!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Rideout

    I was granted ARC access to Blackcoat by author Steve McHugh who kindly mailed me a print copy so that I could review this title for a tour with Storytellers on Tour. Thank you Steve and Storytellers for the opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest. "Tell me again why we were never closer friends?" "I'm a Blackcoat, you're a criminal." Don't let the short page count fool you, this novella is absolutely packed with gripping action and witty banter that will keep you reading, cove I was granted ARC access to Blackcoat by author Steve McHugh who kindly mailed me a print copy so that I could review this title for a tour with Storytellers on Tour. Thank you Steve and Storytellers for the opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest. "Tell me again why we were never closer friends?" "I'm a Blackcoat, you're a criminal." Don't let the short page count fool you, this novella is absolutely packed with gripping action and witty banter that will keep you reading, cover to cover, in one sitting. Imagine all the sadistic tech of The Hunger Games, give it to a corrupt city-state leader and an illegal drug den, and let it loose on a dystopian city with a thriving underground that everyone pretends not to know about and a policing force full of personnel with hidden records. Trias must be stopped and Celine is going to be the one to do it, even if she has to die on the job getting it done. She's exactly the sort of no-bullshit heroin you'd expect in an adult dystopian, just as deadly with her quick tongue as she is with her plasma blades, and completely out of fucks to give about how anyone else is going to explain away their involvement (or non-involvement) in her mission. This is definitely more of a "space opera" style Sci-Fi than a hard Sci-Fi in that it's an entirely character-driven plot bent on stopping an individual, rather than posing a "what if?" question about a bit of science's effect on humanity. The setting is dystopian second-Earth anywhere, we get just enough descriptions and explanations of the setting, tech, etc. to follow along smoothly, and otherwise, it's a classic good cop gone rogue to stop the dictator sort of story. I like it, it works, but I did wish for just a little more details and descriptors here and there. For example, the closer Celine gets to having a chance at that ultimate boss fight, the more she encounters "creatures" that SFF bookworms may equate to the mutts of The Hunger Games. But is that what they are? I want to know more! Overall this was a great read and has definitely inspired me to add Steve's backlist to my TBR. Thank you once again for the ARC!

  7. 5 out of 5

    S. D. Howarth

    4* A quick to read and entertaining book, which is a steal for the ebook price. Celine is a well rounded character, with her own demons and a back story that is gagging for more attention, than the glimmers offered in a couple of scenes. To me it comes across as Thin Air lite (RK Morgan) and the character stands up well in comparison. She begins in jail after a betrayal and removal of her associates, progresses through, jailbreak, escape, rearmament and a just a smidge of revenge. Worldbuilding is 4* A quick to read and entertaining book, which is a steal for the ebook price. Celine is a well rounded character, with her own demons and a back story that is gagging for more attention, than the glimmers offered in a couple of scenes. To me it comes across as Thin Air lite (RK Morgan) and the character stands up well in comparison. She begins in jail after a betrayal and removal of her associates, progresses through, jailbreak, escape, rearmament and a just a smidge of revenge. Worldbuilding is to the point, effective and the storyline is focused with little superfluous meat, and cool side characters, and is over all too soon. There's no bad thing to wanting more, and something has worked well in provoking the response. At 124 pages, it has scope and space for further opportunities, and that isn't taken up. With the job offer at the end, it crossed my mind whether this was a prologue or background that was fleshed up for it's own feature. If so, I'm massively looking forward to Celine reappearing in further adventures, with a few more scars. If not, the envelope could have been pushed further in the carnage and betrayals. The curve ball when it came was unexpected in terms of threat and worked well. The ending well rounded, if terse and sets up further work. Need a short, fun and nasty read - perfect. Want something to dig yer teeth into - almost, but the opportunity is there for the taking.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JD Burbidge

    I've always been a fan of Steve's Hellequin novels, and was keen to get stuck in to something new! As usual he did not disappoint! The new world being created in the story has the potential to become epic! The first in what I hope will be a long series, teases with fantastic characters, Celine's back story is something I'm keen to hear more about, a Mech fight and underground black market dealers! What more could you need, oh Monsters that actually made my skin crawl when reading about them! Thi I've always been a fan of Steve's Hellequin novels, and was keen to get stuck in to something new! As usual he did not disappoint! The new world being created in the story has the potential to become epic! The first in what I hope will be a long series, teases with fantastic characters, Celine's back story is something I'm keen to hear more about, a Mech fight and underground black market dealers! What more could you need, oh Monsters that actually made my skin crawl when reading about them! This was a great read, and I look forward to reading more!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Crouch

    Yay! A new world This book was fantastic. Describing this whole new world and the associations of people within was paced very well. There was plenty of time to feel out the characters before they moved to the next stage. I can see this becoming a world as thought out and interconnected as Nate and his whole crew. Definitely a great read that you won’t put down until you’re done.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Hayward

    Gripping from the start This book starts out strong and doesn't ever take its foot off the pedal. It's an adrenaline high from start to finish. Here's hoping it leads to many adventures with Celine. Beautifully written and really gripping. I'd say it's on par with Steve Mchugh's best work but it loses a few points for not having swearing fox men in it! Honestly, go read it! Gripping from the start This book starts out strong and doesn't ever take its foot off the pedal. It's an adrenaline high from start to finish. Here's hoping it leads to many adventures with Celine. Beautifully written and really gripping. I'd say it's on par with Steve Mchugh's best work but it loses a few points for not having swearing fox men in it! Honestly, go read it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    R R Evans

    Interesting but not sure I was very and still am happy I protected and I'll be back for book 2. But I didn't enjoy this as much as I have his other works. I just didn't enjoy the world building. It felt to me a little forces and I wasn't as drawn in to the central character. Here's hoping a second book puts a slant on things in a more interesting direction Interesting but not sure I was very and still am happy I protected and I'll be back for book 2. But I didn't enjoy this as much as I have his other works. I just didn't enjoy the world building. It felt to me a little forces and I wasn't as drawn in to the central character. Here's hoping a second book puts a slant on things in a more interesting direction

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Great book Good start to a new universe for the author. Loved his other series and am excited to see where this one goes. Am a sucker for a female lead who can kick some booty but be realistic as well. Can’t wait for book 2!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rowena Andrews

    McHugh is an author that I’d had on my radar and been meaning to pick up for a while, so when the chance to read this one came along I leapt at it. I have to say part of the reason is the cover, I think it’s the pose, it just promises action (and boy this book deliver on that) and just the colours, while the premise was intriguing – after all who doesn’t like a good dose of betrayal and vengeance? And I’m glad I did because Blackcoat more than packs a punch and I had a lot of fun with this one McHugh is an author that I’d had on my radar and been meaning to pick up for a while, so when the chance to read this one came along I leapt at it. I have to say part of the reason is the cover, I think it’s the pose, it just promises action (and boy this book deliver on that) and just the colours, while the premise was intriguing – after all who doesn’t like a good dose of betrayal and vengeance? And I’m glad I did because Blackcoat more than packs a punch and I had a lot of fun with this one – my only complaint is that I would have liked more! Blackcoat definitely manages to pack a lot into its pages, and it’s a book that gives you a couple of pages just to grasp the initial situation and some of the setting, and issues at hand and then it hits the throttle. From start to finish Blackcoat is full of gripping action, with a healthy dose (as long as you’re not on the wrong side…or sometimes even if you’re on the right side) of blood and violence, and the kind of humour/banter that you would expect in a setting where pretty much everything has gone to hell in a handbasket. Not in the apocalyptic sense, but in the dystopian, everything is touched by ‘rot and corruption’ sense, and it’s fantastic. The setting is not the most important aspect of this story, but this dystopian, second-Earth world ticked all the boxes for me. I’ve been in the mood for apocalyptic/dystopian stuff lately, and Blackcoat more than scratched that itch. You’ve the corrupt leader with no interest in redemption or changing their way, with their tendrils reaching down into pretty much everywhere, an insidious drug problem and den, and a not-so-secret and more than thriving underground. We get enough insight and details to build up the backdrop to the story, without it overwhelming the rest of the book – and the worldbuilding was wonderfully precise and created a terrific atmosphere, and it would be easy to see other stories being set in this world – and I know that I for one would love to see more of it. The sci-fi element is fantastic, and there is some great and very practical technology in this story, and some very nasty stuff as well – again building on that dystopian feel. And then there were the ‘creatures’, I really liked the scenes with them and they had some of the best action, but if there was one aspect of the worldbuilding that I would have liked to have seen expanded it was them because I need to know more. Blackcoat is very much character-driven, and Celine is a fantastic protagonist. First-person POV is one that I sometimes struggle with, but here it felt like the perfect choice because this is her story, and because we hit the ground running it also allows us to get glimpses of who she used to be and how that has shaped her, and again kept that narrow focus on the world because we were sharing her experience of it. “You always were too stubborn, too sure of what was right and wrong,” Gorat said, angry. “Everyone else just manages. You don’t have to like it, but it’s how things are done here. Especially during the war.” I always appreciate a well-written, badass female protagonist, and Celine doesn’t only tick that box, she fills it and slices it apart with those plasma blades just to make sure. What I liked – as well as the fact that she took no-nonsense, and was willing to risk it all – even those around her, to achieve her goal; was that she was willing to take the hard path. She might have some shadier history, but she had her own morals and was willing to stick with them despite the cost, and you had to admire that especially with the situation she was in at the start. As did the fact that she was as deadly with her tongue and wit, as she was with her weapons. Another character I have to mention is Rika, who I liked just as much as Celine even if we didn’t spend quite as much time with her. She’s just as well-written, and even though she was a criminal there was a sense of honour there, and I absolutely adored her interactions with Celine – which had an element of shared history and a wonderful level of snark that just endeared them both to me even more. “Tell me again why we were never closer friends?” “I’m a Blackcoat, you’re a criminal.” “Ah, yes, a tale as old as time.” Blackcoat is a book that you’ll find yourself devouring in one go because it keeps you on the edge of your seat from the get-go. This was a fantastically dark read, that packs a hefty punch for it’s length, and manages to be far more than a simple vengeance story. There’s heart in this book. A great read, and one that I would highly recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mathew Joben Thomas

    This sci-fi thriller is a short read, only about a hundred something pages. But the amount of action packed into these pages is simply out of the world , literally . •Celine Mono , our protagonist , is a very determined , skillful and courageous character. She also represents the LGBTQ commity. She knows she may not walk out of her situation alive but she has made her mind to do the right thing and bring down the evil that is destroying the planet. •She has a haunting past but she is not exactly This sci-fi thriller is a short read, only about a hundred something pages. But the amount of action packed into these pages is simply out of the world , literally . •Celine Mono , our protagonist , is a very determined , skillful and courageous character. She also represents the LGBTQ commity. She knows she may not walk out of her situation alive but she has made her mind to do the right thing and bring down the evil that is destroying the planet. •She has a haunting past but she is not exactly running away from it . Instead of letting it drag her down she uses it to her advantage , to survive. •The violence and gore is not much in amount, but it's intensity and details - whew. 💨 If bloodbath is your thing, this is definitely for you 😂.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Simon Haine

    Being a huge fan of Steve McHugh's Hellequin series, I jumped on this book as soon as it was released despite it being a completely different genre, and one I don't normally read. As expected, this book kicks ass. Steve has a knack for creating characters you'll immediately get behind, and this book is no exception. I can see there being more books following Celine's adventures, Rika's as she builds her criminal empire (before this book or following the events within), and certainly how the monst Being a huge fan of Steve McHugh's Hellequin series, I jumped on this book as soon as it was released despite it being a completely different genre, and one I don't normally read. As expected, this book kicks ass. Steve has a knack for creating characters you'll immediately get behind, and this book is no exception. I can see there being more books following Celine's adventures, Rika's as she builds her criminal empire (before this book or following the events within), and certainly how the monsters came to be. Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely buy more in the series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chompa

    I'm a big fan of Steve McHugh's urban fantasy series and have read everything he's put out. Blackcoat is a departure for him to a science fiction setting. Blackcoat was full of action and a very straightforward plot. We never really get too deep on the main character, a former Blackcoat (cop) who is betrayed and framed. We do discover that she was an Orbital Shock Trooper, which is the special forces of the special forces for this setting. Overall this is a quick and pleasant read. I'll check ou I'm a big fan of Steve McHugh's urban fantasy series and have read everything he's put out. Blackcoat is a departure for him to a science fiction setting. Blackcoat was full of action and a very straightforward plot. We never really get too deep on the main character, a former Blackcoat (cop) who is betrayed and framed. We do discover that she was an Orbital Shock Trooper, which is the special forces of the special forces for this setting. Overall this is a quick and pleasant read. I'll check out the next in the series, but hope for a little more character insight.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nimalee Ravi

    This is my first read by the author and I really enjoyed this action packed quick read. I'm a sucker for strong female leads and Celine Moro is just perfect for this story. She's courageous and a strong female lead. Really loved her character. The author manages to pack so much into this short book but manages to capture the readers heart. I really liked the sci-fi elements of the story and the world building is simply brilliant. Looking forward to the next book. This is my first read by the author and I really enjoyed this action packed quick read. I'm a sucker for strong female leads and Celine Moro is just perfect for this story. She's courageous and a strong female lead. Really loved her character. The author manages to pack so much into this short book but manages to capture the readers heart. I really liked the sci-fi elements of the story and the world building is simply brilliant. Looking forward to the next book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Spicer

    Interesting premise, but short Enjoyed the book, it is very short though and only took a couple of hours to whizz through. On the positive it did leave me interested to read more, on the negative it was light on world and character building. Hopefully we'll get the chance for further stories from this character to flesh the background out more. Interesting premise, but short Enjoyed the book, it is very short though and only took a couple of hours to whizz through. On the positive it did leave me interested to read more, on the negative it was light on world and character building. Hopefully we'll get the chance for further stories from this character to flesh the background out more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Hamer

    Short but very sweet As a huge fan of the Hellequin and associated novels, I wasn't sure that's a 'proper' sci-fi novel bytes Steve McHugh was going to be as good. I shouldn't have..m doubted, it's just as fast-paced and witty as his other stories only wish he had managed to fit Remy into this new universe! Short but very sweet As a huge fan of the Hellequin and associated novels, I wasn't sure that's a 'proper' sci-fi novel bytes Steve McHugh was going to be as good. I shouldn't have..m doubted, it's just as fast-paced and witty as his other stories only wish he had managed to fit Remy into this new universe!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Simpson

    OK read. I am a serious Steve McHugh fan. Love. Love the Helleqiun series. Was excited to read something different.....and it was OK. It's a pretty straight forward SciFi story. Not a bad read, but easy to put down and come back to. Missing the twists and humor I've come to expect from his other series. OK read. I am a serious Steve McHugh fan. Love. Love the Helleqiun series. Was excited to read something different.....and it was OK. It's a pretty straight forward SciFi story. Not a bad read, but easy to put down and come back to. Missing the twists and humor I've come to expect from his other series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Duane Carl

    Easy, non stop action read Story sounded good. Though a short read, I enjoyed it. Think Mack Bolan, or the death merchant series, but in space. Maybe a bit over the top, but that's part for the course. Easy, non stop action read Story sounded good. Though a short read, I enjoyed it. Think Mack Bolan, or the death merchant series, but in space. Maybe a bit over the top, but that's part for the course.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ms Helen K Flack

    Superb action adventure New main character and every bit as riveting as the Hellequin books. More please! Although this stands on its own I hope there will be much more to follow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alisia Soles

    Great read! Any admirer is sci-fi will love this book. The writing is descriptive and sharp. The world building is excellent. Lots of action, cool weapons, and an interesting world/government. Perfect first book in a series and I really want more!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shane Benson

    Really enjoyed this new universe I really enjoyed this new university new book from Steve McHugh. It was fun fast paced and entertaining. I certainly hope that he continues to right in this world.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda Garoutte

    Steve McHugh has done it again! Another phenominal reading experience by Steve McHugh. I so hope this is the beginning of another awesome series, cause I am so not done with this MC. If it is action, strong plots, and relatable characters-grab this book, it delivers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ivan L Hutton

    Another very good Steve McHugh book (I've read the Rebellion Chronicles). A quick and enjoyable read. And he writes well in 1st person female (approx. 38 yrs old, ex-galaxy-level-military, etc.) person. Another very good Steve McHugh book (I've read the Rebellion Chronicles). A quick and enjoyable read. And he writes well in 1st person female (approx. 38 yrs old, ex-galaxy-level-military, etc.) person.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ian Lee

    Highly recommended this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adam Carlson

    This is the best book Steve McHugh has published in 2021.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (ofproseandspells)

    A fast, action-packed read, Blackcoat is a story of betrayal, revenge, and justice. It followed Celine Moro, an elite agent whose job is to investigate crimes, was sentenced to death after her allies whom she considered friends betrayed her. When she managed to escape, she made her plan to make those who wronged her pay for it. I liked the plot. It featured a badass female character who was able to survive against odds. I was intrigued by the corruption happening in the protagonist's city as well A fast, action-packed read, Blackcoat is a story of betrayal, revenge, and justice. It followed Celine Moro, an elite agent whose job is to investigate crimes, was sentenced to death after her allies whom she considered friends betrayed her. When she managed to escape, she made her plan to make those who wronged her pay for it. I liked the plot. It featured a badass female character who was able to survive against odds. I was intrigued by the corruption happening in the protagonist's city as well as the organization that was supposed to bring peace and protect the people. Like I said, there were a lot of action scenes with violence and gore. On the other hand, the world building was intriguing. It was not that developed but it was enough to create the overall picture of the story. This was an enjoyable read. It would be interesting to see if there were a longer one because I would love to see the characters being fleshed out more and the setting was something I would like to explore, too. I recommend this if you're looking for a quick and entertaining scifi thriller. A big thanks to Storytellers on Tour for having me in this tour. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Deutsch

    Another fantastic book from Steve McHugh. First book that he wrote outside of his other series. Its a great short read. Story could easily, continue and be a very interesting series.

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