Payback by Edie Baylis

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Payback by Edie Baylis. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour invite.

Title: Payback (Allegiance #4)

Author: Edie Baylis

Published on: 3 January 2023

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Gangland Thriller

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

With his once thriving casino business now in ruins, Seb Stoker is certain about two things: One – he will rebuild bigger and better than ever. And two – someone will pay for torching his club.

But until that day comes, Seb has bigger things to worry about and a business deal that could make or break them all…

Sam Reynold knows Seb is out for revenge, and she’ll do anything she can to help him. But Sam has her own enemies and battles to fight – ones much closer to home.

With pressure mounting for both of them, tensions run high.

And payback will be deadly.

What a fantastic, twisty, thrilling, gritty and absolutely engrossing thriller! Payback is the first book to make its way to my Best Books of 2023 list!

Be ready for a roller coaster ride. From start to finish, this book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Unexpected twists and turns are plenty. Desire for revenge is at an all-time high. Deb Stoker’s thriving casino business was burned to ground. The man behind it is Tom Bedworth. Tom is also Sam’s father – and Sam is Seb’s fiance. Sam’s mother, Linda, made sure it remained a secret… even Sam is unaware of it.

This is the fourth book in this series. Though I haven’t read the first three books, I didn’t have any trouble following the story – we readers are given a gist of what happened in the previous installment. Sam’s mother was held captive by Tom. Tom escaped thinking he had successfully killed Linda. But turns out, Linda made it through and is currently at a rehab facility. Seb’s casino was set on fire and Seb was injured in a gun fight. The gun fight was courtesy of Sam’s step-sister, Marina.

Marina’s boyfriend Dan helped Tom is looting the casino’s safe before setting it on fire. Dan has now gone AWOL and Marina is out, looking for payback. She wants her share of money but her good-for-nothing boyfriend is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, Sam too is looking for payback – and is out to find Marina.

Meanwhile, Seb gets caught in a police case. A body is found in the cupboard (in Aurora) and the police suspect Seb of murder. Seb is innocent though. Sam feels it is her duty to help Seb clear his name. So, she goes in search of clues that finally leads her to … um, well, I cannot say more without giving away spoilers. 😉

This is the third gangland thriller I have read and let me say this straight: this is my new favorite sub-genre after cozy mystery and detective fiction. Gritty, violent, saucy romance, and revenge. Well, there is a policeman in the mix… and most probably, he’s a bad copper. Win-win for all, eh? 😀

I loved Edie’s storytelling. The characters are likable – don’t ask me to pick a favorite because I liked them all! (Including the bad guys.) The story kept me guessing till the end. It all ends with a shocking turn of events and I cannot wait to see how this will play out in the next installment.

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