The Holver Alley Crew - not your usual Neighborhood Watch
The Rynax brothers, Asti and Verci, decided to go straight and are almost ready to open their gadget emporium when Holver Alley burns to the ground. None of the shopkeepers have enough ready cash to rebuild so its not surprising when someone offers them all quick money to sell out. The brothers find it suspicious that someone wants to buy every lot in a poor neighborhood so they start looking into the buyer. Finding that information proves remarkably difficult even for Asti, who was in Druth Intelligence. Since it's obvious someone burned them out on purpose, the brothers, along with some of the other shopkeepers and residents, go back to their roots and set up an elaborate scheme to steal the information they want and get some payback.
This is an ensemble cast of characters engaged in various shenanigans Oceans 11 style. Asti and Verci Rynax are the main movers. After growing up in the Seleth neighborhood Asti was recruited by Druth Intelligence as a spy. He was betrayed, captured, and tortured until he was left with little control of his rage so the service dumped him. Verci is a talented inventor whose wife hates his criminal past and considers Asti a bad influence. Other members of the group are a sniper (crossbow) and her autistic brother, a chemist, locksmith, coachman, beggar girl, and the former crime boss lady of Seleth. They think they have nothing left to lose and their cause is righteous. Verci assures his wife its just this one last job.....
We've seen Maradaine from the perspective of its constabulary and university students. Now we meet the not-so-seedy underworld. The amazing thing about Maresca's various series in Maradaine is that they all have a different feel. The Constabulary feels very Law & Order, The Thorn brings to mind Batman, and the Crew is very Oceans 11, none of which seem to have much in common except being in the same city. As usual, Maresca's writing is very good and the characters add deeper layers as the story goes on. This is also probably the most socially aware book from Maresca. Although not emphasized, characters are dealing with PTSD, Autism, democratic elections, urban renewal, and family loyalty.
The first two books of this series stand alone with only slight references to other Maradaine books. Verci appears in the third book of the Constabulary where he proves of great help to Rainey and Welling. I expect to see more interaction in the the upcoming third Crew book. Although I prefer the Constabulary and Crew series I do feel that they should be read in order to keep up with the overall developments.
The Holver Alley Crew is not yet on Audible but I'm sure it will be before long.
The first two books of Constabulary, Thorn, and Crew then the overlap begins and the order is:
The Alchemy of Chaos (Thorn 3)
The Way of the Shield (Elite 1)
A Parliament of Bodies (Constabulary 3)
Shield of the People (Elite 2)
The Fenmere Job (Crew 3)