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.
Breathtakingly fast-paced, both hard-boiled and heart-breaking, Deep Down Dead is a simply stunning debut.
I am fairly new to the world of blogging, having only set up my own blog back in June, but I was already familiar with Crime Thriller Girl (Steph Broadribb’s blog) and when I first discovered that Orenda Books were publishing her debut thriller earlier this year, every book blogger on Twitter seemed to explode with excitement. I knew that from the moment I started reading Deep Down Dead that I was in for a rip-roaring adventure and I never found a dull moment in this book. Steph’s writing is first class and there is no question about it, this novel is certainly going to be a hit; from blogging, reviewing and reading crime for years it seems that she certainly knows her stuff. I hated having to put down the novel, only because of other commitments or a desperate need for sleep, and I couldn’t wait to dive straight back into it again.
Well, what can I say about Lori Anderson that hasn’t already been said? Lori is a bounty hunter from Florida with a troubled past that continues to haunt her, the star protagonist of Steph Broadribb’s debut novel, Deep Down Dead, a heart pounding action thriller set in America that could very well rival with Jack Reacher.
Lori has had a tough few years. Her only child, nine-year-old Dakota, has been fighting cancer and Lori has huge medical bills to pay off. When a job comes in with the offer of a huge sum of money she knows she can’t turn it down. But there’s a problem; the man who her boss wants her to bring in is her former instructor and friend, and a man who knows her biggest secret, a man known to Lori as JT.
When no one is on hand to help, Lori makes the decision to take her daughter with her to bring JT in, unbeknown to her is the amount of danger she has now put them in. It has been years since she has seen JT, and from the outset he has changed in a dramatic way from when she last knew him. Can she really trust her feelings for him? Does she really know who is anymore? Following on from her acceptance of the mission, Lori’s whole world is turned upside down. In what seems at the beginning as a simple case of bringing a man in who has broken is parole, sets in motion a long trail of explosive events that keep you turning the pages, desperate to know what happens next.
I don’t want to say anything more about what happens as I don’t want to spoil the story for you, in case you haven’t read it. But I just have to say, my God, the tension in the final pages had me gripping the end of my seat until the novel came to a very neat and satisfying conclusion. Steph has created a great cast of characters and I can’t wait to see more of Lori and JT in her next book!
Publisher: Orenda Books
Print length: 320 pages
Publication date: Kindle (15th October 2016) Paperback (5th January 2017)