3.5 stars.This was a pretty good UF book, and I plan on following the rest of this series.I liked the unconventional, humane assassin that features as the protagonist in this story. It's a credit to the author's skill that she can create and pull off a character that,while believable and true to her profession's nature,can incite sympathy and respect in the reader.Gin is smart,sarcastic, tough-as-nails,ruthless and unapologetic,but not the standard of catty know-it-all that seems to plague the genre. She isn't exactly humble either, though.Rather,conscious of her exact strengths and honest about them.This is very much Gin's story, and so Estep's universe comes through vividly in her particular brand of commentary and worldview.Therefore,situations and/or explanations that might have seemed recited and stiff, are infused with a jagged,world-weary tint. The only thing that bothered me was that judgmental, sanctimonious @$$ of a love interest, Detective Donovan Caine.I couldn't, for the life of me, fathom their attraction. I might have dismissed it as simple lust, or a desire to live dangerously (which seems to be the deal on the detective's case. The detective's case. Ha.),but Gin implies a far deeper attachment on her part.She doesn't seem the sort to pine after anyone, but I still hope she'll not pull a Georgina in the next one,or I'll be very disappointed. :pOh,and also, a small thing, that got pretty annoying by the end: what's with all the inner monologue "mmm"s in every other page? LOL So weird.All in all, a good, alternative sort of story, with interesting characters and lots of potential.