*I received a free copy of The Operator from Pocket Books via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Operator by Kim Harrison
Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #2
Published by Pocket Books on 22 November 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Suspense
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
On-the-run ex-agent Peri Reed returns bigger and bolder than ever in this second highly-anticipated installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's new suspense trilogy, The Peri Reed Chronicles.
Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing.
Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency who turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for anonymity riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt. But when a highly addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who’d use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to remain broken and vulnerable, or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will—for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty.
Yet even now as then, a love based on lies of omission might still save her life.
The Operator is a very twisty tale, where Peri continues to try her best to do what’s right, but with no idea who is telling her the truth, and who wants the same things she wants.
If you haven’t read Sideswiped, The Drafter and Waylaid yet, you should stop reading this review right now! There are things that happens in The Operator that might spoil the prior books for you, and believe me, you don’t want that to happen! This story is quite tense, because Peri has managed to live on her own for almost a year, managing her own coffee shop, and staying low so that Bill won’t find her. Which works pretty well, until Silas approaches her at a car show, only for Peri to feel like things are unravelling, and fast. Especially when she learns that Bill had freed Jack, her old anchor.
I found the intrigue in The Operator to be even better than that in The Drafter, possibly because I know much more about the world and what exactly Peri can do now. I enjoyed the characters from the past – some who were there to help Peri, and other who wanted to use her for their own gain. There were also some new characters I loved, both LB and Harmony. Especially how Harmony didn’t like or trust Peri at all in the beginning, but as they got to know each other, they both slowly started to trust each other. Having two strong women trying to go for a better world together was amazing.
There is a lot of second-guessing and betrayals going on in The Operator, both because Bill seems to be doing several different cons, and because Michael will stop at nothing to get the drug Peri has gotten her hands on. To be able to remember their own drafts without the help of an anchor who might end up lying to them is a lure no drafter can resist. There are several complications, and poor Peri really doesn’t know who she can count on for being on her side. At all. And she was already paranoid to start with, so things really aren’t easy for her.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, and mostly from Peri’s perspective, the action unfolds in episodes that almost overlap. There is a lot going on, and with a race to make the most reliable and safe drug for Peri and other drafters, the tensions are high as well.
“I’m not your girl, Bill,” she whispered breathily. Her pace to the van was slow to hide the effects of the sedative. The six men bracketing her followed at a respectful distance. She was free to kill and maim, and they had to hold without damaging her. Such was the rarity of her skill. Such was the pearl of his Peri.
“You’re welcome,” Bill said as he buttoned his jacket closed, but what he meant was, I own you.
Peri’s faint smile grew as the unusual feeling of kinship drifted through her. Stretching the stiff hours from her, Peri got out as well, carefully shutting the door so the sound wouldn’t carry. The cold woke her up fast. Two inches of new snow crunched underfoot, but it would likely be gone by noon.
LB sighed. “All five days,” he admitted, and Silas groaned. “Enough to take care of Bill. She’ll be back.” Silas lowered his head, his fingertips pressing into his forehead hard. “If she remembers me,” he whispered. Breath held, she carefully turned and headed for the surface. She’d be back, she vowed. If I remember him.