Starred Review. Haley’s zippy debut introduces Domino Riley, the tough, streetwise lieutenant to 6,000-year-old gang boss Shanar Rashan. (“The LAPD thought he was Turkish. He was actually Sumerian.”) When Domino investigates the grisly murder of a low-ranking graffiti mage, a conversation with the victim’s ghost reveals that this is no standard gangland rivalry and the sorcerous gang world shadowing the real world is not the only magical game in town. In order to protect her relationship with Rashan’s handsome son, Domino is forced to break the careful balance of mob rules, putting herself in increasing danger. A wise-ass jinn in a TV set, a hippie Vietnam vet werewolf, and a warrior-princess piskie round out the highly entertaining cast. Much of the story is series setup, but fast pacing, pungent wit, surprise twists, thoughtful discussions of morality, and escalating, cinematic battles keep the pages turning.
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RT BOOK REVIEWS MAGAZINE
****1/2. Readers who love Laurell K. Hamilton’s early, edgier Anita Blake novels will definitely want to give this story a try. Haley has penned a winner of a read with unique and engaging characters who are a lot of fun! If gritty, contemporary urban fantasy with a wisecracking heroine just plain does it for you, Mob Rules will find a permanent place on your keeper shelf.
Domino Riley is having a hard week at work. Someone or something is killing other members of her gang and stealing their magic in the process. She’s acquired an eight-inch-tall fairy sidekick, and, to make matters even more interesting, her boss’s son has finally decided he wants to date her — or does he? Now, if only the bad guys would stop trying to kill her, too…
FRESH FICTION, Reviewed by Sue Burke
With so much urban fantasy currently on the market, it’s hard for a reader to find anything that feels “fresh.” MOB RULES feels fresh. I read it with the same sense of enjoyment and discovery that I felt when the first Tanya Huff and Laurell K. Hamilton fantasies came out years ago.
Tough girl Domino Riley is an enforcer for mob boss Shanar Rashan, an ancient and powerful Sumerian sorcerer. When Domino is called on to investigate a stomach-turning ritualistic murder, she discovers that this is no simple hit among friends. It never is. Domino needs to find out fast who is targeting her outfit and why.
A strong cast of secondary characters, including a feisty pixie, step up to help her out. And there is a love interest…kind of, in the form of her boss’ son. But the real action is with Domino as she slowly but surely cuts her way through the magic and mayhem and to arrive at the vortex of the mystery, where nothing is as it seemed. It never is.
Okay, so maybe these are some elements you’ve read before, but Cameron Haley tells her story with a lot of panache. It’s a good story, well-told; funny, but she gives you plenty to think about too. Welcome to book one of The Underworld Cycle series.