Red Glove by Holly Black
Release Date – April 5, 2011
Publisher – Simon and Schuster
Pages - 325
My Rating- 9/10
Here is the synopsis from GoodReads
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.
That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.
When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?
Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.
I love White Cat. Holly Black made me fall into this world she created. The world was so well developed that I was excited to return to it again in Red Glove. I was not disappointed.
You can read my White Cat review here. This will have spoilers for White Cat so if you haven’t read it you may want to come back once you have (and go pick up a copy right away).
At the end of White Cat we found out that Lila had been worked by Cassel’s mom to love him. This in Cassel’s view made it impossible for him to ever really be with Lila. I felt so bad for him. I honestly believe that Lila did like Cassel even before she was worked, but sadly Cassel will not believe it even if Lila does admit it. I am a sucker for romance and Cassel’s love of Lila is actually a sweet backdrop to the grit, crime and film noir feel. I have to say that my book crush on Cassel is still very much intact. Lila is crazy to not have snapped him up earlier! J
The big question of this novel is who killed Cassel’s brother Philip. The pacing and way in which clues are revealed is perfect. We learn things as Cassel learns them and this results in us only knowing who the killer is when Cassel figures it out. Holly is able to keep the feeling of suspense going and as a result you keep turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next. I was surprised by who the killer was when we did find out. I was thinking it was someone else.
I love that because of the cons, curse work, and the mobster feel that we don’t know who to trust. Everyone is suspect and we treated to a few twists and reveals as a result of the lies, and cons going on.
I still love Cassel’s friends Sam and Daneca. It’s nice to see Cassel have actual friends that he can lean on and even trust. They are the only slightly stable thing in his life.
Cassel’s mother was exactly what I wanted her to be. I loved to hate her. What she does I this book made me raise my eyebrows and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the next book.
I really enjoy Holly Black’s writing style. It really does have a crime noir feel. I mentioned that I thought Holly got Cassel’s voice exactly right in my White Cat review, and I am happy to see that it is still pitch perfect in Red Glove.
I adored Red Glove as much as White Cat. I am now dying to see how Cassel’s story will continue in Black Heart.