Throw Gin "the Spider" Blanco into the esteemed group of kick-butt female protagonists who take no prisoners. She's not bogged down with laborious things like a "normal" conscience, and doesn't apologize for it.That's not to say she isn't without rules, standards, honor (of a sort) and professionalism, however. And it's for that reason that she finds herself fighting hard on what should have been her last assignment before a well-deserved vacation.The book reads in a very straightforward manner (one woman, one mission, no meandering side-plots), managing a bit of world building but mostly spending time working out what's inside Gin's head. Why she does what she does for a living. What she cares about most in life and what she's willing to do to protect it. And most interestingly, how she can fall for a guy that is seemingly so unlike her.Whilst reading I kept thinking to myself, "Hm, this is kind of like Payback/The Bourne Identity/Mr.&Mrs.Smith (without the Mr.)/Kill Bill." Which I mean to be a compliment, really...there's something really exciting about a well-done tale of someone having been done dirty and trying to avenge themselves. Especially when that person is not herself all that innocent and rosy-cheeked, either.I loved how Gin was rather frank and unapologetic about her profession. Despite the fact that she kills people for a living (but "no torture, no kids, no pets"), she still manages to make you care about her. I wanted to her win, to get the BAD bad guy and save the day. Also fun to read about was Gin's reaction to "one of the only good cops in town," Donovan Caine. Their interactions were exciting not only because they clearly had the hots for each other, but because one couldn't be sure they weren't going to pull out weapons and "throw down" to the death at any given moment. Cop and killer; perfect love match, right? :o)Gin's got a funny, likeable voice, and her character is multidimensional (also a bit contradictory, but in the same way most of us tend to be). Can't wait for books 2 and 3 (thankfully being released in mid- and late-2010, respectively).