Review: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski


Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers #1) by J.A. Redmerski
J.A. Redmerski (June 18, 2013)

Rating: A+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Sarai – Escaped her prison, Broken 
Hero: Victor – Assassin, Mystery





Killing Sarai blew my freaking mind and left me speechless. Don’t expect a fairytale romance with a pretty ending. No, this book is edgy, gritty, dark, violent, thrilling, and deeply emotional. The hero did not come in and save the heroine. No, she saved herself and pulled a gun on him and threatened to blow him away all while he was contemplating his next plan to kill her or send her back to her own personal hell. Intrigued yet? You should be.

For nine years, Sarai has lived her life in seclusion as a prisoner on a compound in Mexico. She was fourteen when she first arrived. She wasn’t bought or sold. Her mother gave her to a Mexican drug lord named Javier, who favored her, and thought he loved her. It was more like obsession. Sarai has seen death, rape, kidnapping, abuse, and drugs. And, during these years, she’s forgotten what it’s like to be a normal teenager. She’s grown numb to fear and pain and death. But that doesn’t mean she’s given up the hope she will have her freedom one day.

When an American named Victor shows up at the compound to make a deal with Javier, Sarai knew this was her chance to escape. She’s been planning this escape for nine years. Sarai knows exactly how to get in and out of the house undetected and stows herself away into the Victor’s car. But she is soon discovered by him. With a loaded gun, she holds it to his head and demands he take her to the Mexican border. This cold-blooded, ruthless assassin is not someone to mess with. He’s been in this business far too long and has too much at stake to let some stray girl get in his way. But somehow Sarai gets into his head and, come to find out, this unfeeling assassin might have a conscience after all.

Where this story takes you from there, is completely unexpected and thrilling. This story is told in alternating POV’s between Sarai and Victor, so we get to experience both of their thoughts and feelings. There are layers upon layers to Sarai and Victor’s story. Both of whom have lived a life in chains and never had the luxury to grow up like normal kids. Sarai and Victor are an interesting dynamic and, as their exhilarating journey continues, what develops between them may not be your typical sweet and tender romance, but it’s what they are both capable of giving considering they are both so incredibly complicated and broken.

Sarai is definitely not your typical heroine. She’s brave and strong. She has endured and suffered so much. Her life has been about survival. Every day while in the clutches of an insane drug dealer, she has pretended to be someone she wasn’t. She trained herself to not feel emotion or to show fear. Now all she wants is to find a way to live a normal life again. Yet she has no idea how. Sarai’s character is both admirable and inspiring. You can see the hurt woman underneath the fa├žade but, at the same time, she can endure just about anything in order to survive. I loved seeing her layers slowly strip away as the story progresses. She’s an interesting woman for sure. What struck me the most is how she saw the true Victor underneath his layers. Even before she truly saw him, she never feared the assassin.

Victor… Good God this man is so intriguing. He’s older, rich, and highly attractive. He trusts no one. He keeps everyone at arm’s length. The man is a complete mystery. Any little bits and pieces we learn about Victor, I grabbed onto and tried to decipher: the descriptions of his smirks, eyes, body language. I wanted to know the stoic, non-emotional man, who showed no remorse, and has made his assignments his sole purpose. The man is all kinds of complicated. But, like I said above, we do learn that this assassin has a conscience. He may believe that no one is truly innocent, but there are lines he just doesn’t cross. And it shows as he develops some tenderness towards Sarai. He sacrificed so much for her - which could one day get him killed.

The relationship between Sarai and Victor is extremely complex. Their story is so real and raw and beautiful. What develops between them is slow building. Victor doesn’t have room in his life for women or love. So, as the bond between them develops, I loved watching her peel back his layers to see the man underneath the assassin. With determination and persistence, Sarai finds a way to unravel this man.

“If you’re going to let me go,” I whisper, unable to see his eyes, “then let me have this one last thing from you.”
He pulls my head back even farther. The gun is pressing into my stomach now.
“I’ve never been with a man that I wanted to be with,” I say. “I want to be with you. Just once. I want to know what it feels like to be the one in control.”

For those of you who are worried about the ending--it’s not a cliffhanger, in my opinion. There is so much more to this story that needs to be told but it ended the way it should. It would have been superficial if these two very complicated and broken souls rode off into the sunset. It’s not a happily ever after type of story.

Phenomenal and powerful are not two words I usually use in a review but this book deserves that distinction. This is by far one of the best books I’ve read this year. The writing is rich in description, clever, and exhilarating. The plot is beyond original with all of the twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. And, by the end, I was wishing I had savored this book not devoured it. I really did NOT want it to end. I’m dying, ABSOLUTELY DYING to have the second book. I NEED more Victor and Sarai.


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