Monday, 23 January 2017

Louise's Review: Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that's when things start to go wrong. 

The fugitive she's assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori's former mentor - the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past. Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida's biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where 'bad things never happen', but he's also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they're ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal. 

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I’ll be completely honest and admit I was terrified to write this review, not because I didn’t enjoy the book but because of the opposite, I absolutely devoured it and cancelled the rest of real life just so I could finish it and now need to find the words to encourage others to stop what they’re doing and pick this book up.

I confess that I have never really read in the genre before and in fact I actually had no idea what a bounty hunter was till I’d read this book.  In this book we’re thrown right into the middle of some serious action when Lori Anderson, a bounty hunter who is being interviewed by someone not identified asking to hear about Lori’s adventures that appear to have ended with her being in handcuffs and interrogated.  So after the prologue the story moves back to three days earlier and Lori begins her tale.

Lori Anderson is a successful, if rare, female bounty hunter based in Florida and as her daughter Dakota is in remission from leukaemia, Lori is faced with the prospect of huge medical bills just to keep her daughter alive.  It is this difficult decision that leads Lori to accept a job where she has to hunt down the very man who trained Lori all those years ago and it is obvious from Lori’s demeanour that her relationship with JT was more than purely business.  Only her fierce protective instinct to keep her daughter safe is enough temptation to even consider even being in the same room as JT.

This is a fast paced, action driven book with the action taking place only over three tumultuous days.  Although the narrative is thrilling and thrusting it never lacks emotional punch.  The life that Lori has lead up to this point has been a secret that she’s kept for over 10 years and it is completely unwillingly that she is drawn back into the world of JT and after 10 years it would appear that JT has secrets of his own that he’s reluctant to give up.

I absolutely adored this book and its opened my eyes to a completely new genre for me but one I will be exploring more.  If you need a fast, adrenalin pumped read with a strong emotional core then this book is the one for you.  Supremely exciting and elegantly written.  This is one author I will be watching with great interest.

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