Deep Down Dead, by Steph Broadribb, is the first in a proposed crime thriller series featuring Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson. In need of a high paying assignment that will enable her to clear the debts incurred gaining cancer treatment for her nine year old daughter, Dakota, Lori agrees to pick up a fugitive who has been found and held by a less than reliable associate. Lori is perturbed to discover that the fugitive is her old mentor, JT. When her usual child minder cannot be called on to help she is forced to take Dakota along for the ride.
From the off it is clear that there is more to this job than a simple pick up. Whatever JT had been trying to achieve had brought him to the attention of some high level and well connected criminal masterminds. They are as determined as Lori to bring him in, but have no qualms about killing any who get in their way. A shoot out at a gas station puts Dakota’s life on the line. Lori needs to use every lesson she has ever learned from JT in order to protect her daughter’s life. This includes delivering him in time to collect her fee.
The story is a road trip from hell. Just as it seems that Lori has overcome one obstacle another, more challenging one, is placed in her way. She is unsure who to trust and JT is unwilling to open up about who exactly is after him or why let alone how they are all connected. Lori is skilled and fearless, but her normally clear judgement is clouded by the knowledge that her daughter is in danger. She struggles to set aside the guilt she feels for allowing such a situation to occur.
This is a fast moving, adrenaline rush of a story with a relatable protagonist who it is hard not to cheer along. Lori is as feisty and independent as they come, refusing to rely on men who all her life have given her nothing but grief. Her past may be catching up with her but she is determined to do whatever it takes to provide for Dakota.
A hugely enjoyable, edge of your seat read. As you turn those pages, remember to breath.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher.
This review is a stop on the Deep Down Dead Blog Tour. Do check out the other posts detailed below.
Deep Down Dead is published by Orenda Books and is available to buy now.