More hardboiled goodness from Brubaker. This time, he actually reuses a character from a previous book as a protagonist. Last seen in [b:Criminal, Vol. 2: Lawless|1795583|Criminal, Vol. 2 Lawless|Ed Brubaker|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348802118s/1795583.jpg|1794624], Tracy Lawless is now working as a reluctant hitman for Sebastian Hyde, trying to pay off his dead brother's debt. Tracy has been told to figure out who is behind a series of hits on some of Hyde's associates, professionally and quietly done without witnesses. But he has more than that to worry about: there's a military inspector on his trail to haul him back into service. And did I mention that Hyde suspects Tracy is having an affair with his daughter?
So yes, it does get very messy for Tracy. There are enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, but Brubaker plays fair, if you will, by having a sort of logical progression to it all. Events may be unexpected, but they do make sense.
Although this is a direct sequel to Lawless, having read the prior book is not, strictly speaking, necessary to read and enjoy The Sinners. I would highly recommend it, though. Not only do you get a deeper understanding of where Tracy is coming from, and how he got to where he is today, it's also a fine book in its own right. Really, you're just cheating yourself if you skip it.