Mob Rules (Underworld Cycle #1) by Cameron Haley
I’m Domino Riley, an enforcer for Shanar Rashan.
Like most mob bosses in L.A., he’s a powerful sorcerer, battling for control of the city, gathering up the magic of violent and powerful emotions and storing it for his own use. Back in the day, Rashan saved me from the streets and made me his lieutenant. You could say I’m his go-to girl.
When a fellow gangster is ritually executed, I have to find out which of Rashan’s enemies was behind it—and why. The cryptic messages I’m getting from the Beyond tell me it wasn’t a simple hit.
With the bodies piling up, I need to win an occult gang war, take out the supernatural traitor within our outfit and, oh yeah, deal with the mixed messages I’m getting from the boss’s son…
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Mob Rules is Cameron Haley‘s first book, in a series in which sorcerers in Los Angeles are part of outfits that rule different territories within the city and the general area. The star of the story, Domino Riley, is lieutenant in one of the outfits, a street-wise thirtysomething with lots of magical juice to back up her position.
As Rashan’s lieutenant, Domino takes care of problems, some small, some large. In Mob Rules, it’s a big problem; one of the men in the outfit has been killed, skinned, and squeezed for his magical essence. Soon after, another man turns up dead, and Domino has to figure out who’s starting the war, and what their motivations are.
I’ve noticed this book on the shelves for a while but didn’t pick it up until just recently. In some ways, I’m glad that I did, since I got to satisfy my curiosity but, unfortunately, that was about all that the book satisfied, as I was generally underwhelmed by Mob Rules. While the novel has a neat set-up, with the idea of supernatural gangs, the characters aren’t the most engaging and the plot is somewhat predictable, particularly in the first half of the novel. I liked Domino and I thought Holly was quite charming but I wasn’t really sold on any of the other characters. A lot of the minor characters came off quite one-dimensional, with overly obvious motivations. The fight scenes were quite fun though, and some of the twists and turn that the plot takes are a lot of fun. Generally speaking, though, I wasn’t all that impressed. It’s a fine novel but there wasn’t anything that made it outstanding, and so I don’t think I’ll be purchasing the sequel, Skeleton Crew, when it comes out in May. Perhaps I’ll get it from the library…if they have it in stock.