Book review: Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb
Steph Broadribb is perhaps best known by her alter ego, Crime Thriller Girl'¦ an online blogger and book reviewer with a love of '˜all things crime thriller.'
But what many crime fans may not be aware of is that Broadribb, who lives in Buckinghamshire with a menagerie of horses, cows and chickens, also trained in faraway California as a bounty hunter.
So who better to invent a feisty, fearless, kick ass female bounty hunter for a powerful and exhilarating debut thriller series which marks out this clever writer as an exciting new voice in the crime fiction world that she has long observed and admired.
Everyone – except for a few jerks who resent a woman doing the job – know that Lori Anderson is one of Florida’s hardest and most experienced bounty hunters but so far she has managed to keep her career separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota who suffers from leukaemia.
But the hospital bills are starting to rack up and she needs the cash to pay them… fast. So when her boss offers her a five-figure ‘big bucks’ assignment, she has no choice but to accept. The job is to collect a fugitive in West Virginia and bring him back for summary judgment, but she has only three days to make the pick-up and drive back.
The first problem for Lori is that her regular babysitter is away so she will have to take along Dakota and the second is that the fugitive she has been assigned to haul back to court is none other than Robert James Tate, better known as JT, Lori’s former mentor. He is the man who taught her everything she knows and the man who 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 supposedly ‘bad things never happen,’ but he is also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob… all crimes that do not sit right with JT’s innate sense of justice.
Soon, Lori has two fearsome foes on her tail, just three days to get JT back to Florida and her precious daughter to protect. And when they are ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become very personal…
Broadribb pulls out all the stops for this breathtaking, fast-paced ride through three days of danger, double-dealing, some delicious romance and moments of heart-rending emotion.
Lori Anderson is an authentic and charismatic new star… hard-boiled, straight-talking, smart, tough as old boots but soft round the edges… and with a big, big heart, especially when it comes to her cherished ‘baby girl’ Dakota.
The non-stop twists and turns – plus Lori’s constant dilemma as she is torn between the instincts of motherhood and the need to stay focused on her perilous mission – draw in readers like a magnet and keep them hooked to the action right up to the emotional conclusion.
Gripping, entertaining and utterly addictive, this is a cracking start to an enthralling new crime series…
(Orienda Books, paperback, £8.99)