Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Deep Down Dead, the debut novel from fellow blogger Steph Broadribb who blogs about crime fiction at www.crimethrillergirl.com. I was intrigued by the blurb for Deep Down Dead, which is the first in a series of books featuring Lori Anderson – a bounty hunter, and a mother.
‘Still, I can’t look at him, not yet, so I focus just below his eyes, where the dark shadows lie. My hearts racing, a voice in my head screams, run, just run.’
From the opening pages I was immediately gripped, and keen to know where bounty hunter Lori Anderson was, and how she came to be there. With the prologue taking place in the present day, we then go back in time three days as we begin to unravel the events that led to Lori’s present predicament. And an action packed three days it was. From early on I was fascinated by Lori, a tough woman who has to keep her career as a bounty hunter separate from being a mother to nine-year old Dakota. However, these two worlds are forced to collide and Lori has no choice but to take her daughter with her on a particularly difficult job. Dakota suffers from leukaemia, and under the strain of mounting hospital bills Lori needs to make money – and fast. But despite her strength there is something about this job that leaves her troubled, and the man she is sent to obtain is an important part of her past – her former mentor JT, a man who taught her everything she knows, and a man who knows her secrets.
‘If only I’d acted different, none of this would have happened. I exhaled hard. It wasn’t my only regret.’
The plot is fast paced throughout and this is heightened when Lori and JT, with Dakota in tow, find themselves in the midst of a disturbing child exploitation case, and in the sights of a notorious mob. Lori is forced to summon all of her strength to bring the people responsible to justice, and to keep her daughter out of harm’s way. Together they lurch from one terrifying encounter to another, and there was no let up in the action – this is a high octane thriller filled with danger. There are lots of violent scenes throughout although the writing is not overly gratuitous, and the situation surrounding the child exploitation case JT is working on makes for some uncomfortable reading. But alongside the relentless pursuit of truth and justice we also get to learn a lot more about the characters and how their relationships develop. Lori is a great protagonist, a tough woman who has experienced tragedy and hardship. But the unfortunate events of her past have helped to shape Lori, and she is fearless, and devoted to giving her daughter the best she can. I was also interested to find out more about JT and how his relationship with Lori changes over time, and there was intrigue throughout about the past experiences they share. The action continues with events building up to a dramatic conclusion, an ending which sets up nicely for the next instalment in Lori’s extraordinary story.
‘He had changed. That was something I’d never have reckoned on him doing.’
Deep Down Dead is an enjoyable, fast paced debut that will appeal to fans of action packed thrillers. It is an exciting debut that feels very different to thrillers that I have read previously. I will be interested to see what is in store for Lori in the forthcoming books in the series.
Deep Down Dead was published in paperback on 5th January 2017 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the blog tour for Deep Down Dead. You can follow the rest of the tour on the dates and blogs below!