BROADRIBB’S THIRD BOOK WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY.

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Deep Dirty Truth AW.inddI 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 Also adding fuel to my ire is the fact that “Higgins” originally played by the diminutive actor John Hillerman, has been replaced by a young blonde… Sacre Bleu!!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?

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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.

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Steph Broadribb

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.

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BROADRIBB GOES FROM CRITIC TO CRITIQUED TO BURY THE OPPOSITION DEEP DOWN IN A KNOCK EM’ DEAD DEBUT.

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deep-down-dd-cvrI was in the UK’s second city recently at an event in the NEC, when I was informed by a sign on the wall of some of the well known people who have come from Birmingham. The likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Leona Lewis were mentioned, while the literary world wasn’t referenced. The West Midland’s capital has produced such luminaries as J.R. Tolkien, James Barlow, Bill Odie and Barbara Cartland. When it comes to bounty hunters though… They’re a bit thin on the ground, until now. This month’s book is written by a former bounty hunter, who’s a Brummie. The book is Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb and was published in January by Orenda books www.orendabooks.com .

Our heroine Lori Anderson is a single mother working as a bounty hunter in Florida. When the medical bills for her nine – year old daughter’s treatment start to stack up, along with the rent, she’s forced to take an out of state skip trace worth enough to cover her mounting bills. But there’s a deadline, she must have him back in court in three days. The ‘him’ turns out to be her mentor, JT, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years. Getting him back from West Virginia in three days should be a cake walk. But then things start to go downhill,  her child minder goes  away early to see relatives out of state, thus forcing her to take Dakota on a “Ride-Along”. JT is being held by another bounty hunter in the hills awaiting Lori’s arrival.  At the hand-over she’s ambushed and just about manages to get away with JT, then Dakota is kidnapped by a theme park owner running a pornography ring from one of his parks ,who wants incriminating evidence JT has on him. Meanwhile the mob also want a piece of JT.  Will she get Dakota back? Will she manage to return JT to Florida without letting her past with him get in the way?

The first thing that strikes me about this book is that it’s full of the usual bog standard storyline building blocks of your average half decent American tv drama. A kid, a bounty hunter playing fast and loose with the law, the mob and the two main characters bumping off each other or having done so in the past with the usual results…. But add to that Broadribb’s tense and moving writing style we are presented with a steadfast page turner of a first novel and if she can keep this up for the next couple of books she’ll set herself up as a force to be reckoned with in this genre.

The child pornography ring being run out of a Winter Wonderland theme park was original, but in parts reminded me of the plot of Beverly Hills Cop 3, when Axel investigates a money laundering racket in a theme park. Also, the link between the three main characters is a bit predictable but again it doesn’t take away from the self-assured, fresh – in your face writing style of this new kid on the block.

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Steph Broadribb

Broadribb’s life reads almost like my own, I was born in London grew up in Chesham in Buckinghamshire and then moved to Dublin where I write this blog. Ok, so I haven’t trained as a Bounty hunter but I often thought about it while growing up watching “The Fall Guy”.

This is the first foray into becoming a crime fiction writer for the Birmingham born debutant, but not her first time writing about crime fiction, as she’s been writing the book blog www.crimethrillergirl.com for several years now. She trained as bounty Hunter in California, studied creative writing at the City University London and now lives and writes surrounded by horses and cows in the English home county of Buckinghamshire.

Steph is planning to make this into a series set around the exploits of her heroine Lori Anderson,

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Duane “Dog” Chapman

who comes across as very likeable and far more interesting character than the real-life Duane “Dog” Chapman and his cohort of hanger-on’s in the reality TV series “Dog”.  The methodical way Lori goes about things and the style of writing shows experience and sufficient knowledge of Broadribb’s field of expertise, means she is to this sub-genre what Kathy Reich’s is to the Medical Examiner sub-genre.

So without further ado download this book or hot foot it to your local book store and snap up a copy and get in at the start of what looks set to be an enthralling series.