I just read the first 5 books of Ali Vali’s Cain Casey ‘Devil’ series straight through, book a day, no stopping for anything. Wow.. brilliant! I don’t actually know how I hadn’t read them all before. They are favourite books of a friend, and I have really enjoyed Ms Valis’ other books.
For those who haven’t enjoyed them yet – Cain Casey is head of an Irish clan in NOLA. The family business if hooch, importing illegal alcohol and tobacco, and make the Casey clan one of the main mob families. The series follows the trials and tribulations of Cain and her family, the FBI team trying to catch her out, and the other families she interacts with. Each book does stand alone, but the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
A significant number of the current generation family leaders are women, and lesbians at that, giving Ms Vali a huge range of opportunities for romance and attraction between the players.. some long term and successful, others fleeting but significant. There’s plenty of hot scenes as well as on-going commitments which develop as the series unfolds.
As well as the romance the books are packed with FBI style drama; intrigue and war between the families, plotting and scheming to get on top and take each other out, or maintain position and keep the peace. There are chases and battles, fairly gruesome murders and revenge killings and some intense page turners along the way.
But the glue that holds it all together is the complex inter-relationships between the players. Within the families, across the partnerships, between those who hate each other.. and among all of them and the FBI team who never stop watching. While the interactions and battles are serious the FBI in particular are often the cause of as much humour as angst, assuming the mob are stupid and that their downfall is always imminent.
Cain is a complex character that we continue to learn as the series progresses, and Ms Vali surrounds her with powerful women, mobster bosses of the old and new school, an intriguing family dynamic and a deep family history. The other families and FBI are also well drawn and provide a series of major characters which sustain the growth and depth of the storyline.
I recently compared Cain Casey to RE Bradshaw’s Rainey Bell.. the opposite side of the law to be sure, but their strength, intelligence, commitment, loyalty, sense of self and willingness to do almost anything for friends and family.. yet with an underlying ethic they wont budge from, makes them almost mirror images.
If you haven’t read Ali Vali’s Devil books yet, but love a great series, FBI/cop drama, strong women characters, constant intrigue and hot sex.. what are you waiting for? I cannot wait for book 6.. and hope there are many more to come.
(publisher review copies received)