Review of T.K. Toppin’s To Catch a Marlin

To Catch a MarlinI grabbed T.K. Toppin‘s To Catch a Marlin from the Amazon KDP list.

Description from Goodreads:
In the tail end of the 24th Century, Special Inspector Michael Pedroni pursues a beautiful and elusive vigilante, Jax Marlin, in a wild cat and mouse chase that will take him from Earth to the Bacchus Dome and beyond.

Jax Marlin is not your average criminal; she seeks out evil-doers and law-breakers, doling out justice in whatever way she sees fit. But lately, she finds she’s been gift-wrapping criminals specially for her favorite copper.

Four of the world’s leading criminals are determined to form an alliance. Jax is determined to stop them. Hot on her heels, Inspector Pedroni finds himself questioning the difference, if any, between her justice and his. More than that, he wonders why, when he’d had her in his grasp, he was unable to slap on the restraints and bring her in.

Both want the same thing–to stop criminals. But the growing attraction each has toward the other becomes a dangerous hindrance.

First off, I love this cover. Props to whomever designed it. The story’s pretty good too. The first 10-15% felt like it just rehashed the book’s description repeatedly, but after that the action seemed to pick up. Pedroni and Marlin’s cat and mouse game was amusing, as was the way Marlin managed to stay one step ahead of Pedroni but was never too far away. Her affection for him softened her personality and made it a lot easier to relate to her. Without it she would have felt too cold to like, too mechanised. She was pretty much a good at everything, fighting, tech, disguise, etc. I was left wondering exactly how she became so awesome. The answer was hinted at, but I still would have liked to know how exactly that came about.

Pedroni, was wonderful. He’s the epitome of ‘good cop.’ He reminded me a little bit of Asimov’s Elijah Baley, but that might just be an effect of a New York detective in space. I enjoyed watching him struggle with his role as the Special Investigator in charge of catching Marlin and his growing feelings for her, as well as his increasing understanding of her motives. I really wanted them to have their happily ever after, but I’m happy with how the book ended. Anything more would have been unrealistic.

All in all, I have very few complaints. It was a sweet story, with some good fight scenes and truly evil baddies.

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