Title: The Mercy of the Mako Shark (The Mako Shark: Book Three)
Author: Nicole Castle
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 258 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Murder Mystery, Humor
At a Glance: I’m such a smitten kitten over these characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. They wend their way around and through myriad complications, but there is never a doubt that when one is in danger, another will have their six. They are, in every way, a family.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Miko is a dutiful brother. A loyal friend. An honest lover. Miko was raised to be lethal. And loyal. He is a hero. And a villain. Miko is getting his revenge.
Review: Miko, the hapless assassin who emerged from the Chance Assassin series to take on a life of his own, is unlike any character I’ve ever fallen madly in adoring, worshipful love with before. His childlike nature runs so very contrary to his desire to be a killer-for-hire, and his sanity—or lack thereof—makes his choice of professions both fitting and questionable. Miko fanboys over Frank and Bella, refers to Vincent as the Blond Maniac (it’s true, and hilarious because: see sanity), and is deeply and desperately in love with a man, Toby, who is sickened by violence (see: comic irony). Much like Miko is sickened by the sight of blood ( … ). Basically, I want to bubble wrap him and be his caretaker (see: savior complex).
The arc of Miko’s own series dovetails with the Chance Assassin series in the murder of Miko’s best friend, Ophelia, an actress who was desperate to escape the limelight. Maybe not badly enough to wish for death, but her friendship with Miko wasn’t at all good for her continued, long-term existence. Where this book and the final book in Frank and V’s series converge is with Miko’s handler, Simon, and a hit that has more layers to it than one of Toby’s wedding cakes.
I have no small amount of regard for an author who begins writing a novel, only to have what may have begun as a minor character suddenly emerge as a voice that refuses to be relegated to the supporting cast. I can see how that character would be Miko the Mako Shark. When reading this spinoff series, I found myself, on multiple occasions, far more fascinated by the characters and their psyches (see: armchair psychologist) than I was by the machinations and manipulations and murders that were being committed, and sometimes thwarted. Things are strained between Miko and Toby, as one would expect when trying to balance the violence and murder and mental health with the maintaining of a well-balanced relationship that both Miko and Toby want to last until death does them part.
What Castle does so well is introduce all these fabulous little quirks and details that snuck up on me and left me either laughing or a little heartbroken, or maybe a little of both at times. Miko’s backstory explains why he is the way he is—psychologically fragile and prone to sequestering himself in kitchen cabinetry—and how Hector, his adoptive father, went a long way towards steering Miko on his present course. And, while Toby could be labeled slightly saner than his beloved, there is still something left of center enough for him to accept Miko just the way he is. Or, at least he tries.
Perhaps that’s just the definition of true love.
I’m such a smitten kitten over these characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. They wend their way around and through myriad complications, but there is never a doubt that when one is in danger, another will have their six. They are, in every way, a family. I don’t know how Nicole Castle came up with this wacky and wonderous cast, nor how she came up with some of the scenarios (I’ll never see flowers or cinnamon candies again without thinking of these characters), but I’m so darn grateful for her imagination.
If you’re looking for something just a bit different, romantic in an untraditional way and filled with funny murder stuff, I can state, unequivocally, this is the series you’re looking for.
You can buy The Mercy of the Mako Shark here: