The Swan & the Jackal by J.A. Redmerski

November 1st, 2014 Kimberly Review 33 Comments

1st Nov
The Swan & the Jackal by J.A. Redmerski
The Swan & the Jackal
by J.A. Redmerski
Series: In the Company of Killers #3
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Kate Reinders, Luke Daniels
Genres: Crime Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Suspense Thriller
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 5 cups

Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share.And then Seraphina was gone.It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead. But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die. Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?

The series In the Company of Killers by J.A. Redmerski has continually blown me away. For lack of a better phrase or perhaps the most genuine assessment, “ this series is a total mind-f@ck.” Redmerski brings her dark, sadistic characters to life making you love them even as you cringe. The Swan & the Jackal is the third story and brings us Fredrick Gustvsson’s story. At its heart, it is the love story of Fredrick and Seraphina. These characters are dark, cold-blooded murderers, and assassins. Redmerski chewed me up and spit me out as their tale unfolded.

Seraphina and Fredrick are broken, complex and yet together they had this twisted beauty. Seraphina has been missing for six years, and when Fredrick is not doing his job, as an integrator and assassin he hunts for Seraphina. He believes Seraphina is in hiding, fearing he may kill her if he finds her. She may be right. When he locates an innocent woman injured in a fire that Seraphina ignited, he brings her to his home and locks her in the basement. Cassia has amnesia but Fredrick is convinced she holds the key to finding Seraphina and will stop at nothing to unlock her secrets. Cassia slowly becomes a bright light that dims the darkness for Fredrick and the tale that unfolds is mind blowing. Holy twisted tales my friends!

I should loathe Fredrick; the man is a cold, heartless bastard who takes pleasure in inflicting pain, but Redmerski slowly peels back his layers revealing the tortured soul behind the cruel facade. Cassia seems meek at first, and I attributed her feelings and emotions to Stockholm syndrome but I was wrong, so wrong. Characters from the previous novels are present, and we work a couple of side cases with Fredrick and the team. We also learn of overall arc developments making me eager for more.

The Swan & the Jackal was brilliantly paced with twists and turns that shocked me, ripped my heart out and made my jaw drop. The last 40% of my listening experience continued into the wee hours of the morning because there was no way I was stopping. Fredrick’s story is far from over and maybe I am sick, but I cannot wait for more.

Fans of dark, gritty, complicated romances wrapped in the world of assassins for hire will find The Swan & the Jackal to be a brilliant addition to the In the Company of Killers series. Redmerski has this incredible gift for bringing these dark, damaged characters to life and weaving them around your heart.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

33 Responses to “The Swan & the Jackal by J.A. Redmerski”

  1. Jennifer

    I just ran across this audio tonight looking for something else. I want to try it because Luke Daniels is one of the narrators.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a great, mind blowing series Jennifer. Everyone I recommended it too loved it

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These are brilly, and everyone I have recommended them too has loved them. They are different and oh so good

  2. Red Iza

    After all the enthusiastic reviews I read, I’m so looking forward to diving into that series before the end of the year (hopefully) – I’ve already got all the books ! Thanks for sharing, great review 🙂

  3. Sharon

    I love this author’s work and I’ve heard so many good things about this series. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Amber Elise

    Oh my goodness, how hadn’t I heard of this? Must check out the first installment. Which do you prefer Kim, audio or text?

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love the audio, but both are good. The eBooks are nicely priced

  5. Michelle

    I’m gonna have to pick up this series. It sounded like something special! Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah he is twisted but you cannot help but feel for him. You crack me up because you typically don’t like this controlling obsessive type. I keep watching for the next audio.

      • Christy

        I do when it’s done right and with the right kind of woman. He and Seraphina … yes. She doesn’t just submit to him… she has a lot of control and he likes when she fights him. At the end of the next book … yeah, I love her and him.

  6. Berls

    I’m kicking myself right now. Why haven’t I picked up the other two books? I loved Killing Sarai – totally agree with the “total mind fuck”. Is this it for the series? I kind of skimmed your review, since I don’t want any spoilers, but I don’t think you said.

  7. Lorna

    This is the first I have heard of this series, but I don’t know if I can get past the main character not being a good guy? I generally like serial killer books, but they aren’t the main character. Just not sure I guess. Thanks for the very interesting review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hmm, well they are twisted, but they are kind of good guys in that they stop bad people..but they are dark.

      • Lorna

        Oh! I thought they were bad guys! Then I change my mind completely-I will have to check this series out..Thank you!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I listened on release day and the wait for book 4 is killing me!!

  8. Lupdilup

    OH yes! I loved this one too Kimba. It’s funny how violence and other hard material seem to be more manageable (a least for me) in super natural setting, but it seems a lot darker when in set in our world. I love the twist in this one, although I kind of knew 🙂
    I can’t wait for her new book!

  9. Melliane

    I really really need to try this series! I keep hearing amazing things about it but it’s true that I’m cautious because I dislike the Edge of Always and now I’m anxious to try something else by her.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I did not read the Edge of Always, but love this twisted series.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes. She loves this series too. She does the books and I listen. 🙂