The Flesh Cartel #15: Twenty-Five (The Flesh Cartel Season 5: Reclamation) - Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz
~ Review by Christine

As with previous reviews of books in this series, this one will be brief in order to avoid spoilers for this episode. Note, there may be spoilers from previous episodes.

As this episode begins, it’s been twenty-five days since Mat’s escape from Paradise Island and twenty-five days of not knowing what repercussions Dougie may be subjected to as a result.

Mat is now under the protection of the FBI and has insisted he be used as bait to infiltrate The Cartel and help rescue his brother Dougie, still alive and being tortured and horribly abused. When their strategy in using Nikolai as an ally proves successful, they begin preparations for Mat’s delivery back into the hands of the brutal Allen and the destruction of The Cartel.

This episode had me in its grasp from beginning to end. Again, as with Independence Day, most of the violence is off-page, and the focus is on Mat’s role in bringing down The Cartel while dealing with the post-trauma of his captivity. I was relieved to see the authors take time to center some attention on that, as it seems that regardless of Mat’s drive to save his brother, he should have serious demons that he struggles to keep at bay. In typical Mat style, he has his issues but is determined to work through them, as his primary directive is to get back to Allen and get his brother out...

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