I noticed over Christmas that American TV’s love affair with remakes is continuing unabated. In the past couple of years we’ve seen the updated return of Hawaii Five-O and more recently the return of McGyver. Now, both of these have more or less kept to the basic premise of their originals, Steve Garret still says “book him Dano...” now and then and McGyver still wears a well worn leather jacket and fixes most problems with his trusty Swiss Army Knife, much to the delight of Victoronix. But what has shocked me most over the festive season is seeing the trailer for the new Magnum PI!!!! The actor playing him is some unknown and he doesn’t even have a big bushy mustache. Also adding fuel to my ire is the fact that “Higgins” originally played by the diminutive actor John Hillerman, has been replaced by a young blonde… Sacre Bleu!!
But don’t worry because this month’s first book review, and the first review of the new year, sees the return of a sassy female bounty hunter / private investigator. Its Lori Anderson, the creation of real life Brummie bounty hunter and author, Steph Broadribb. The book is Deep Dirty Truth and is published by Orenda (www.orendabooks.co.uk) on the 5th January.
Lori is just getting her life back together when she is kidnapped while on the school run and taken across country to Miami, where she is forced to dress in a skimpy dress and sandals, then frog marched marched up to meet her captor. Its “The Old Man” head of the notorious mob family the Bonchese’s. These two have history, he’s put a price on Lori and her family’s head after she shot her abusive husband and trusted Bonchese lieutenant in cold blood a number of years ago. He offers her the opportunity of lifting the bounty on her head if she rescues a fixer of his, Carlton North. The only problem he’s being held by the Feds, prior to testifying in court in 48 hrs time. Reluctantly she takes the job, but when she finds out where North is being held with the help of a shady FBI source, she and North are ambushed and double crossed by “The Old Man’s” son, who is trying to depose him, leaving a couple of federal agents dead. Now Lori and North are on the run from the law and the Mob. Can she get Carlton North back to “The Old Man” in one piece, stay one step ahead of the Feds, as well as protecting her family who are also being hunted by the mob?
This book is a real fire cracker and takes off from the first page. If you are into one session reads this is right up your street. I was one hundred pages in after opening the book, before I had to step away to take a deep breath and re-hydrate myself. Broadribb’s writing style is full on and unrelenting, but having reviewed her debut novel over a year ago and got blown away by that I wasn’t expecting anything less.
As for the characters, there’s only really one and that’s the main protagonist Lori Anderson. She’s a tough talking, hard fighting woman who can look after herself but she’s not made of Teflon, because she bleeds and hurts, not just physically but emotionally, especially when her family are in danger.
As for the support cast, they aren’t exactly cut outs either, they are well rounded and acutely defined. If anyone comes across as a support cast its Lori’s love interest JT and their daughter Dakota. The chapters which feature them come across as more of a distraction than a way of building tension. Never did I feel like they were ever in any danger, unlike in the previous books.
Another slight niggle for me is Lori’s cellular phone. She needs a new one, like yesterday. The story is set in present day, but her phone never seems to last longer than a couple of hours, my phone can last up to 24 hours with moderate usage.
This is English Author Steph Broadribb’s third Lori Anderson book. Her others are Deep Down Dead (2016) and Deep Blue Trouble (2017). The Lori Anderson series was inspired by her training as a bounty hunter in the States. She also writes under the pseudonym Stephanie Marland and her first novel a twisting crime thriller My Little Eye was published in April 2018. Her follow up to that, titled You Die Next, will be published in April 2019. Steph was born in Birmingham and later grew up in the English county of Buckinghamshire, where she still lives surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. She’s also a keen blogger and writes under the other alter ego, Crime Thriller Girl (www.crimethrillergirl.com).
If you are looking for a fresh female lead to take you through first few weeks of the new year, whose perilous adventures are always edgy and original from the get-go, then Lori Anderson is your girl. So, I suggest if you haven’t read any of the previous Lori Anderson Books, then download the first in the series or head down to your local bookshop and get a copy.
This book review is part of a Random Things Blog Tour, take a look at the other blog tour dates below and visit the reviewer’s sites to see what they thought. Then if you agree or disagree after you’ve read the book, comeback and let us know.