It is the seventh book in the Peter Ash series and is set in multiple states, but mainly Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Peter is headed east to join the family construction business and stops to help a woman whose car has broken down, but encounters more trouble for himself and for her than one would expect.
He is ex-military and still suffers from PTSD and also has a strong need to help others. But he also gets a thrill out of exciting (to him), but dangerous situations that most people would avoid. He has grit, energy and an inner strength. But will he survive the woman’s vicious husband and his friends or has he finally met his match? Helene is young, married only a few months, insecure, and immature. Will she find growth and depth as the story progresses? Both Peter and Helene are complex characters that are well-drawn. The point of view mainly switches between them with a few cameos from others. Several secondary characters play prominent roles and are well-developed. Who are the prey and who is the predator?
The plot is clever and tight which leads readers on an edge-of-your-seat adventure. Evolving plot facts are sometimes unexpected twists and turns that keep both Peter and readers on their toes. Tension, danger, and excitement was sustained throughout the book. With vivid world building that felt believable, this novel had a strong sense of place. Two timelines a few months apart are handled proficiently by the author. A smooth flowing narrative with perfect pacing keeps readers hanging on for dear life.
There is some discussion of weapons and gear, but not as much as most books in this genre. Themes include family, friendship, anger, jealousy, charisma, desire, greed, domestic abuse, courage, resilience, and murder.
Overall, this book was a well-crafted, swiftly paced, and gripping page-turner with fascinating characters. If you enjoy heart-pounding action crime thrillers with a strong lead character intent on helping those in trouble, then this may be the series for you. This was the first novel that I have read by this author, but it won’t be my last. It worked well as a standalone novel, but I want to read the earlier books. Additionally, I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for Peter in the next one.
The publisher, PENGUIN GROUP Putnam – G.P. Putnam’s Sons, provided a complimentary ARC of the book. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is scheduled for January 18, 2022.
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