Blood and Silver, the explosive second installment in the high-octane Deacon Chalk, Bounty Hunter series finds our hero having enjoyed a calm, relaxing day with Tiff, his colleague and still-sort-of-working-up-to-it girlfriend, at a carnival. Deacon’s day and good mood get ruined on the way back to the car when the couple comes upon a man beating a dog. The situation becomes trickier when Deacon realizes the man is a were-lion and has five friends with him. Thanks to Tiff arriving in the nick of time with the car, Deacon manages to rescue the dog, a pregnant shapeshifter, he discovers, and they get her back to the nightclub.
When Deacon’s assistant, Kat, determines that the dog’s injuries are too severe for her to handle on her own, the two decide to take her to Larson, another colleague whose injuries received at the end of book one landed him in a wheelchair. As they are leaving, two men and a woman, all shifters, arrive, demanding the were-dog, Sophia, and, as often is the case with Deacon, a fight ensues. One of the shifters ends up dead, and Deacon and Kat take the injured Sophia to Larson. After Deacon uses some of his healing ability, a residual effect of being brought back to life by an angel five years earlier, Sophia recovers. When returning to the club, Deacon learns he has visitors – Charlotte the were-spider, his friend, and several other shifters who have coming seeking his help. Before he knows it, Deacon finds himself embroiled in a battle between two groups of lycanthropes that that threatens many of his own people.
Once again, Tuck delivers full-throttle action in which Deacon, seemingly a glutton for punishment, goes all-in. Over the past five years, Deacon’s approach to taking on monsters wherever and whenever he can has stemmed from a desire to die and rejoin his murdered family. However, in Blood and Silver the reader sees a shift occurring in Deacon’s attitude – his developing relationship with Tiff and the ties he has formed with other colleagues and friends have provided him with a new family, one that he begins to feel may well be worth sticking around for.
The author’s skillful use of descriptive simile adds something extra to the thrilling tale, but those readers who enjoy the series for the blood, guts and action will not be disappointed. The katana (sword) acquired by Deacon in the preceding novella, Spider’s Lullaby, plays a role in Blood and Silver, setting up future stories to come. This reviewer looks forward to Deacon’s return.
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 7, 2012)