Saturday, August 20, 2011

Truth Behind The Mask by Lesley Davis

Publisher:             Bold Strokes Books

Imagine a city full of Batmen and Batwomen. The Sentinels and their Sighted are very reminiscent of that. Normal people who employ high tech equipment to enhance their abilities, they use their skills to protect their city Chastilian from criminals and other "bad" people. They live routine lives by day and wear masks to protect their identities at night when they enforce the laws and live by a strict code of honor. Their job is to rescue victims, not to get involved with them.

Pagan Osborne was born into the Sentinels, literally. Her parents were founders of the group and performed legendary feats before being brutally murdered by a crime lord. Pagan was raised by her older sister and her lover to accept that legacy and step into a leadership role in the Sentinels when she was old enough.
Pagan is shy by day and heroic by night, but neither personality quite knows how to deal with Erith Baylor. They meet when Pagan's security company is asked to install alarms at the car dealership where Erith works and an instant friendship forms. Erith brings a lightness and sense of fun that Pagan has been missing for a long time, but she has her own secrets and they soon draw her into Pagan's Sentinel work. 

A criminal is trying to seize control of the city and is leaving a string of dead bodies to prove how determined he is. As information is gathered about this new threat, Pagan has to determine whether Erith is a victim of the crime spree or a clever plant meant to infiltrate and undermine the Sentinels. The answer is important to Chastilian's safety as well as Pagan's heart. 

Lesley Davis fans may be unsettled if they buy Truth Behind the Mask, because she has taken a slightly different path. Unlike her previous work, none of the characters in this book have paranormal or supernatural powers, but the fans should give the Sentinels a chance. Anyone who likes stories about heroes will probably enjoy this book. The characters seem somewhat flat and undeveloped, but the story flows well and is entertaining. 

Davis may be heading in a new direction with her novels. The question will be whether the fan base built by her earlier work will follow her.

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