At the risk of sounding like a broken record in regards to this series, I am being truthful when I say "Stain of the Berry is my new favourite". This is especially true for one very personal reason.
But first off, I need to say that I prefer when a series author does not lead his audience on for too long with an unresolved plot line (I feel the same with TV series). However, I found the ongoing mystery surrounding the background of subsidiary character, Sereena Orion Smith, compelling enough to keep me going for at least a few more books. So I was wary when I understood much would be revealed in Stain of the Berry. But as usual, this author reads his readers right, and gave us just enough to satisfy our hunger, yet not allow us to gorge.
Back to why this was such an emotionally evocative book for me - there is a scene, in the lovely (not to mention exciting and noirish) Sereena side story, where Russell is comfronted with not only Sereena's past but his own as well. Without making this review a spoiler, let me just say, I recently had a loss in my family which left me reeling, and the deep emotions this writer shares in some of these scenes - one in particular - made this self-proclaimed tough-guy reader, shed a tear. I know its melodramatic of me, but gosh I loved it, needed it, re-read it several times. And I just know the author knows what I feel and that is comforting some how.
I can't ask for more than what I got from this book, but am just betting when the next Russell Quant mystery comes out, I'll be saying...ohhhh, this is my favourite.