Wednesday 23 February 2022



Raised as siblings by an itinerant “gypsy” family, knife expert Bobby Cain, trained by the US military in the lethal art of covert eliminations, and Harper McCoy, nurtured by the US Navy and the CIA to run black ops and wage psychological warfare, are now civilians. Of a sort. Employing the skills learned from the “family” and their training, they now fix the unfixable. Case in point: Retired General William Kessler hires the duo to track down his missing granddaughter, a Vanderbilt University co-ed. Their search leads them to a small, bucolic, lake-side town in central Tennessee and into a world of prostitution, human trafficking, and serial murder. The question then becomes: Will their considerable skills be enough for Cain and Harper to save the young woman, and themselves, from a sociopath with “home field” advantage, a hunter’s skills, and his own deeply disturbing agenda?

“Skin in the Game is The Most Dangerous Game on steroids. Fast, relentless, and cunning.”
—David Morrell, New York Times Bestselling Author of Murder as a Fine Art

A different series to enjoy from new favourite author, D. P. Lyle. Skin in the Game is the first in his two book series featuring 'siblings' Cain and Harper. Prior Bad Acts is the second, which I hope to get to at some point.

Here we have a missing person case with Cindy Grant,  the granddaughter of a well known US military figure disappearing. Cain and Harper, well schooled in the dark arts of CIA black ops and with various dubious skill sets to burn, are co-opted to look for her. What they find is deeply disturbing.

A prostitution ring, with college girls for hire - sometimes for kicks, sometimes for money and a pimp chain, with the end man selling the girls to an anonymous customer. Cain and Harper have to discretely coax other girls involved in the network to talk, dealing with them sympathetically in order to find the pimps and get closer to the man at the end of the line, all the while battling the clock.

We have other victims. We have a twisted and cruel sadist. And we have a dynamic duo hunting him and his partners down. 

Fast-paced, violent and very full-on. I liked the investigation. I liked the dot joining and the quest from point A to B to C etc. I liked the take no prisoners attitude of Cain and Harper. As far as their employment is concerned, it's all off the books and deniable and therefore there aren't any rules or niceties to abide by. If the people you are dealing with don't have any mores or ethics, it's kind of helpful if you are of the same mindset.We get Cain and Harper's back story drip fed into the narrative. We understand the bond they share and for the course of the book they are fantastic company.

Overall - really enjoyable, slightly darker in content and tone than the Longly series and a bit of a page turner. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series soon.

4.5 from 5    

D. P. Lyle has five different series under his belt. I've enjoyed all of the books in his Jake Longly series -  The OC (2021), Rigged (2020), Sunshine State (2019), A-List (2017) and Deep Six (2016). 

Read - February, 2022
Published - 2019
Page count - 279
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle


  1. This sounds right up my street. My TBR pile is over-flowing at the moment and I shall have to make a note of this and return to it later. Thanks for this. xx

    1. Jane, I know that TBR feeling! Hope you can squeeze this in at some point. Thanks for stopping by! x

  2. That 'sibling bond' sounds really interesting, Col. And it sounds fast-paced and solidly timed, which are so important to a thriller, I think. I'll check this one out for the next time I'm ready for something darker and more violent.

    1. Margot, I'd be interested to see what you think if you ever get around to this one.