From the back of the book:
Gayla's only hope is about to turn into her worst nightmare.
Tricked into coming to Ireland with the offer of a good job, all Gayla wants to do now is run. As far and as fast as she can. Because her captors are close behind her, and they want her dead - no matter what.
Two people are hunting her...
Crime lord Arturus Strazdas has never had a woman he hasn't paid for and never had a friend who wasn't afraid of him. Now his brother is dead, and he's determined to find - and destroy - the woman responsible.
...And neither one will rest till she is dead
On the other side of the city, Detective Inspector Lennon wants a quiet Christmas with his six year old daughter. But as the bodies start to mount up, he finds himself in a desperate race to save a woman's life, and track down two very dangerous killers.
I love books that immediately immerse me within their pages. Opening chapters, lines, or paragraphs are paramount to making that first up reader impression and in STOLEN SOULS the opening was vice-grip like:
"Blood hot on her hands. Red. The brightest red Gayla had ever seen. Her mind tilted, her vision disappearing down a black tunnel."
And the momentum carried through until the very end.
The third Jack Lennon book continues to distance the series from the opening installment, THE TWELVE, all but abandoning the paranormal elements to be a fully fledged crime thriller - which is a good thing (though THE TWELVE is an exceptionally good read). This time round Lennon faces fearsome competition from within the force and outside via a dangerous serial killer and a sex trafficking ring. It's a thrill ride that reads more noir than mainstream crime fiction.
Stuart Neville has a way of making his characters connect with the reader and those that appear in STOLEN SOULS are no different. Gayla Petrova is a victim of people smuggling and sex trafficking. However, this is one 19yr old who isn't ready to succumb to a shortened life of pain and prostitution. With a shard of glass she becomes and instant murderer and survivor only to fall into the hands of a more sinister predator; one who is as sadistic as his misguided religious beliefs (linking murder with acts of faith). Lennon, the series protagonist and police officer with a solid moral compass forgoes his personal life to save Gayla and bring the sex peddlers to justice.
STOLEN SOULS is very readable - the chapters are short jabs to the stomach, the action is fast, the characterization is deep but efficiently concise and the twists and turns (especially towards the ending) are awe inspiring. This is a must read book but beware, STOLEN SOULS is not new-reader friendly (something I talk a lot about with series books) and does contain spoilers of the events that occurred in its predecessors.