Hands of Flame – C.E. Murphy

Amazon of "Hands of Flame (The Negotiator,...

Cover of Hands of Flame (The Negotiator, Book 3)

Hands of Flame is the final book in the Negotiator trilogy started with Heart of Stone.

It wraps up some important threads in the topic regarding the four main characters, and provides closure overall.

It’s competently written and fairly fun.  3/5 *

Hands of Flame did not seem to have the internal momentum that House of Cards or even the first book did…

Janx and Eliseo find out whatever happened to their lost love; Grit steps into more cross-race tensions; and there’s a lovely explosion down at the docks.  We find out that Grace o’Malley is both more and less than she seems (how’s that for cryptic and non-spoiler).

What OUGHT to happen next…

I think Murphy’s matured as a writer and that the specific world she created in her first novel is just a little too constrained for her to write solid new books with these specific characters.  It seems you might be told by your agent to wrap things up in a last book, but not have compelling desire to write it.  I am glad this will apparently the last book in the storyline… for now.

But, related stories could work very well:

  • Perhaps a far-past prequel about Eliseo and Janx?  Perhaps how they met? I don’t want to see them with the particular woman that they quarrelled over, though.
  • A next-gen sequel about Grit and Alban’s daughter?  Oh, and Grit’s tragically dead and the daughter is being raised by Grit’s parents.  There, that’ll be cool.  Have at it.


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  1. C.E. Murphy – bibliography « Bibliophage91's Blog

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