Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Wild One, Nick Petrie's latest Peter Ash novel is a thriller about a man seeking a kidnapped boy



Peter Ash is back in another blow the doors off action thriller. Peter Ash is an ex-vet who suffers from bad PTSD, which he feels as wild static, which gets worse in close in spaces. But since he has returned from the wars, he has put to use his martial skills, both hand to hand and with weapons and shrewd intelligence in the helping of others.

Here Peter Ash has been hired by a rich Washingtonian to track down her missing grandson, who disappeared with his father, of Icelandic descent, after her daughter, the boy's mother was murdered.

While a little slow in the beginning, Petrie gets in high gear once the action gets to Iceland as he has our hero tackle some extreme weather, some burly Icelandic barkeeps and fisherman, cops with batons and killers all to try and find the little boy, who may have been kidnapped by his killer dad.

There are a couple of slick twists and not all of the action involves fisticuffs but Peter Ash is up for almost any challenge.

I was sick for two weeks and really could not get into a groove in reading, but opened this up one night and danced with it to 1:30 am when I finished it in one long glide.

If you like these type of thrillers, then you should be adding Nick Petrie to your go to list of authors.

Petrie is the real deal, and Peter Ash, is a good hero to find.

In Louisa Luna's Alice Vega returns in "The Janes" to save underage girls from a terrible fate in the compelling mystery thriller



Alice Vega and Max Caplan reunite to investigate the suspicious deaths of two underage Latino girls, who appear to have been working as sex slaves. The main clue is that they have been fitted with IUDs with very close manufacturers marks. Vega a bounty hunter and Caplan, an ex cop are being paid off book in cash by members of the police and DEA, the latter of whom seem to be mostly interested in various underground tunnels used by drug smugglers.

From this scant little clue, Vega and Caplan are able to sift through the vast criminal underworld and various connected criminals and open a lot of doors with the use of smart detective skills, computer searches from Vega's computer hacker friend - Bastard - and the application of extreme bashing (Vega) to get to the bottom of mystery.

But its not all an upward trajectory as Vega and Caplan are each assaulted and hurt, face the inevitable double cross, dirty cops, murderous thugs, Cartel killers and a hodgepodge of dire situations.

Luna keeps the action coming while shifting the point of view between the cagey smart and bashing Vega and the older family man Caplan, with his young teen daughter. As this is the second book featuring these two detectives, one could have hoped for a tiny bit more elaboration about Vega's background, if you, like me had not read Luna's first book, but Caplan does make some wry observations about Vega's capabilities that help and Luna drops in little tidbits. But its a minor gripe in an otherwise stellar work.

Because Luna's Vega knows what she is doing, and that is saving the world one little bit at at time, and we are all lucky to be able to see her doing it. So much so, that I am going to track down Luna's first book and read it too. I suggest you do the same.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

A Little Hatred

A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Union is in the midst of an Industrial Revolution. Investors like Savine dan Glokta have become remarkably wealthy thanks to these inventions, but commoners find their lives changed for the worse because of machines doing the jobs of many. Multiple wars with Styria has left the Union deeply in debt, so much so that the Union can't afford to pay to send an army to Angland to help the embattled Leo dan Brock's war with Stour Nightfall and his forces. The disappointing Crown Prince Orso is trying to sober up enough to help. Rikke, the daughter of the Dogman, is trying to help the Union and the protectorate with the magical foresight of her developing Long Eye, but even with her assistance men will continue to fight and die.

A Little Hatred is undoubtedly what I've come to expect from Joe Abercrombie. Brutal and dismal with hopelessness sprinkled on it for good measure. Even when good things happen, Abercrombie is quick to remind the reader of additional horrors. Abercrombie does not do happy endings.

A surprising element to this book was the Industrial Revolution the Union is undergoing. Despite the world being fictional, the struggle experienced by the commoners especially felt quite historical. The problems they experience in the book could easily have been what people experienced as new technology emerged and altered industries forever. Greater efficiency often means that someone is out of a job and the commoners of the Union are living in a hellish time.

Abercrombie did a good job mixing the old characters with the new. The world he created made it somewhat simple as nearly all the point of view characters are the children of characters from The First Law world. Jezal, Glokta, Dogman, and Calder's children are all among the main characters. A multitude of familiar characters appear from earlier books and many other notable names are mentioned.

The point of view characters are distinct and their stories are solid. I can't say I particularly care about any of them though. My two favorites may in fact be two of the characters who get the least attention, Vick and Gunnar Broad. Vick was sent to the work camps in Angland because of a crime her father committed, but she's back in Adua now. Gunnar Broad is a war veteran who just returned home. Broad means to do well, but he's an extremely powerful man with an awful temper. The two of them were dealt awful hands and they're playing things out as best they can.

A Little Hatred has all the elements of The First Law trilogy with some new characters and stories to tell.

3.5 out of 5 stars


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