After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
It’s been a long time since a book has left me feeling like this one did. It’s also going to be a hard one to review. I got to a point where I wasn’t sure I even wanted to finish it because I just knew that there was no way that it was going to end well…. for anyone. So, forgive me for being vague. I just can’t risk giving anything away. Just know going in that nothing is as it seems… at all and even if you think you have it all figured out… just wait.
I’ve read books by Aleksandr Voinov and I’ve read books by L.A. Witt, but this is the first book that I’ve read where they collaborated. Needless to say, it won’t be my last. There were no punches pulled (literally) and no mercy given to either one of these characters. The emotions are raw and so are the circumstances that bring those emotions to the surface. It was intense and heart wrenching. As hard as it was to read at times I’m so glad that I didn’t stop.
Mahir was one of those characters that you couldn’t help but admire. Nothing about his life was easy and he could have easily been as jaded and unfeeling as his cover personality. No one could have blamed him for it either. He wasn’t that uncaring detached person though. He was loyal and caring and those traits were what kept him so driven.
Ridley was another story. He kind of grew on me even though I knew it was crazy for me to care about him. He seemed to have me under the same ‘spell’ that he had Mahir under, even though I knew it was crazy to care about him at all given who he was. The situation was tragic in a dark world that shaped people in a way that was hard to understand.
A lot happened in Hostile Ground. It was nothing like I expected and definitely not a book for the faint of heart. There are more parts that are hard to read than not and hope was torn away from these characters more than once. I still walked away from it exceedingly glad that I stuck with it till the end. Painful or not, there was still enough hope left to make it well worth the read.