Title: Lust, Money & Murder: Book 3
Author: Mike Wells
Review: I just finished the third book in the Lust, Money & Murder series and I am absolutely hooked. Although I swear to God all the twists and turns in these novels will give me a heart attack by the end of the series.
We aren’t even halfway through the 7 published books and Elaine has already been framed twice and possibly a third time, her seed of hatred and revenge is growing in every chapter and sooner or later she is going to explode. After all, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
We continue to follow Elaine but into her new life of crime with the Cattoretti’s. She begins to enjoy the lavish lifestyle and most of the time the consequences of her actions don’t bother her as they are hurting the man that framed her; Gene.
But as the story progresses we see that Giorgio Cattoretti is apparently developing emotional feelings for Elaine, but she is still in love with Nick, and is desperately trying to find out what has happened to him. She keeps him at an arm’s length but still within reach because in some ways she is dependent on him to learn and to grow as a character. But he also helps her understand her enemies, or who she thinks is her enemy.
By the time we are only four chapters in we begin to see there is something far bigger afoot and our reading pace picks up tenfold to find out what it is.
The first thing we find out is Elaine is pretending all along to help Giorgio as she is deliberately holding back information on the fake notes that will get them caught, although it is her pride and moral judgements make her do this, she ultimately knows that these actions cause possibly lead to her death. This doesn’t matter to her as she believes Nick is imprisoned and she has no one else.
Although this soon changes after Gene robbed the Cattoretti Castle robbing the 8 million euros he believes belongs to him and his beloved; Gypsy.
As we delve deeper into Elaine life of crime we see her strong exterior begin to fracture and crumble as she desperately tries to claw them back. Giorgio’s romantic advances frighten her and she wants to leave. Even though Giorgio has promised her a passport she can’t wait to leave.
The plot twists in almost every chapter keeping us on the edge of our seats the entire time.
Coming towards the end of the novel we finally met Gypsy as a character in the flesh and we find out he is a man. The man Gene loves the most, although Gypsy only sees Gene as a meal ticket but only till the cash runs out.
We then switch back to Giorgio and Elaine’s story where they are tracking Gene down to get the money back that Giorgio had promised to Elaine, which Gene stole. Although a mafia boss like Giorgio was specialises in counterfeit goods could make that 8 million euros back in no time, he wishes to track down Gene which seems a bit odd. And his outburst when he finds out seems odd to me.
We find out that this is because Giorgio has been watching Elaine and Gene tracking them, prying into their lives, work and romance related and targeting them, although we have no idea why. We assume it is because they find the errors in his counterfeits and he wants them to help him, which Elaine has been doing.
In the final chapters so much happens. Nick is alive, Giorgio confronts and kills Gene and Gypsy. Giorgio finds out about Elaine’s betrayal and tries to kill her too but not in the obviously way. She knows it’s coming but she doesn’t expect him to use her as a whore first. It utterly demoralizes her and she almost looks forward to her death.
But when confronted with death she fights back as Elaine always do and stabs Giorgio in the eyes and pushes him off a cliff and runs back into her beloveds arms. As Elaine and Nick walk away we feel all is well, but there is a great sense of foreboding. It’s like something isn’t right. But the novel ends there and we have to wait and see till the next novel to find out whether or not Giorgio is actually dead, what happens to Elaine and Nick and what other challenges will be coming their way.
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