Title: Bonds of Justice
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #8, Psy-Changeling Season One #8
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
5th sentence, 74th page: Turning, she leaned her back against his chest.
Return to the powerful, turbulent Psy-Changeling world created by the amazingly talented Nalini Singh, as a human detective finds himself working the most unlikely of cases – one played out in the dark heart of a councilor’s domain…
Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture…
Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hand, to become judge, jury… and executioner….
I love the idea of cops bent on justice – those who feel that the victims deserve justice, and ignore the politics that can sometimes stop this from happening. Max’s integrity and desire to chase down the truth in spite of his lack of political acumen shone from the pages of Mine to Possess. The expansion on this character and his drive to find the truth was a great theme throughout this novel, as was the backstory to his past and motivations.
The J Psy are briefly mentioned in some of the past Psy-Changeling novels. It is tantalising enough that it made me curious, but no true information was given. Meeting Sophia in Bonds of Justice completely changed that. The inner workings of the PsyNet and the wrongs of Silence were highlighted. Her scarred past help to make these wrongs even more horrifying, and the looming horror of her future really drives home the total tyranny of such a system.
Although there was still the continuous ‘us vs. them’ feel to Bonds of Justice, the unity between two members of opposing sides (the Psy and the non-Psy) was what really struck me in this story. Sophia and Max’s romance aside, their ability to form a working partnership and find common ground from naturally opposing sides was enthralling. Fighting crime has always seemed such a noble, if not fundamentally terrifying pursuit, and it fitted these two distinctly different personalities beautifully.