Cal Leandros, Book #8
By Rob Thurman
ISBN # 9780451465023
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Albert


I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun.


Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago—before they became a force to be reckoned with—the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer.


Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent—the legendary Spring-heeled Jack. He’s just hit town. He hasn’t forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protégé. He hasn’t forgotten what they owe him.

And now they are going to pay…and pay…and pay.…


This book, Slashback, is the first in the Cal Leandros series that I’ve read. As such, I can’t compare it to the previous books. For me, this book had to stand on its own merits without relying on my familiarity with the series.

It did an admiral job.

The plot is one of revenge. When Cal and Niko were children, they crossed paths with a murderer, a very human murderer. Now, they’re not children any more. They are monster hunters. But, it turns out the human serial killer had a very inhuman ally, Spring-heeled Jack.

The villain, Spring-heeled Jack, was refreshing in that he isn’t one of the “normal” villains that normally show up in an urban fantasy. Too often, I see writers in this genre throw a vampire into a story as the only fantastic element. It gets boring fairly quickly. A character like Spring-heeled Jack is different.

And, even better, the fantasy elements in Slashback were not treated as fantasy. Monsters exist. That’s the reality that Cal and Niko live with.  Cal is part monster himself. It lets you immerse yourself into the world that Thurman created completely rather than just anticipating the next bit of fantasy that’s going to slap you in the face.

I might need to pick up the rest of the series.