The Price You Pay
February 12, 2024
Book Review

The Price You Pay

reviewed by Lou Jacobs


Jump aboard this lightning-fast roller coaster—a high-octane action thriller shrouded in mystery. This is the eighth title in Nick Petrie’s series involving Marine combat vet Peter Ash. He has often been compared to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character. In previous books, he has been drifting about while trying to cope with his PTSD, although he has a longtime girlfriend—tough as nails and a resourceful reporter, June Cassidy.

Although this is my first foray into this series, I had no trouble gobbling this gem up as a standalone, due to Nick Petrie’s excellent insertion of necessary backstory. Peter is closely affiliated with his close friend, Lewis, who in the past ran an elusive crew of closely knit buddies who went after high-end criminals who eluded the police. Lewis had a strong moral code: “You only go after people the law can’t get.” They often found it necessary to stray into gray areas in their quest for justice. Many considered them noble, but their adversaries referred to them as the “Ghost Killers”—their reputation reaching mythic proportions.

This adventure starts out with a cryptic text to Lewis from the previously head-injured crew member Teddy: “Bad men are here. Need help.” Lewis immediately enlists the help of his friend Peter. They endure and travel through an epic snowstorm to arrive at Teddy’s isolated upstate cabin. They find the dead, bloodied bodies of Teddy’s four dogs in the yard, with his cabin on fire and the front door blown off its hinges. They find Teddy hiding in an adjacent tree, unaware of who stormed his cabin but realizing they took his cherished notebooks.

Part of his therapy, post-gunshot to the head, has been a protracted course of speech therapy.

Recommended by his speech pathologist, Leanne, in an attempt to regain his memory, is an active exercise by creating notebooks in which he continually wrote down his past memories—in the hopes of prompting further recovery. Unfortunately, these notebooks ended up being a source of intricate details involving “jobs” in the past—names, dates, and details that could put Lewis, Peter, and the crew members and their families in the crosshairs of their past enemies… seeking retribution for their past noble take-downs. They have to get these notebooks back and/or uncover who has read them.

Nick Petrie provides an action-packed narrative that incrementally builds suspense and trepidation as he intertwines multiple plot twists into an explosive denouement. He utilizes a colorful cast of characters to enhance the intrigue, as they battle wits with a cold and calculating ex-CIA loner, Jay Streyling, who proves to be an amoral killer, who will stop at nothing. But, the relevant question is, who’s his boss? And what are their relentless motivations to extinguish the crew? Action scenes are cinematic and expertly choreographed, with the results always in jeopardy.

Thanks to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review.

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