#DeepDownDead DEBUT DIARY: IT’S LAUNCH DAY!

ddd-paperback-inc-quotes

 

It’s 5th January, and that means DEEP DOWN DEAD is out in paperback! It’s so exciting to hold my debut novel in my hands – I feel like I need to pinch myself to check it’s actually happening! 

It’s out in the world and available from Waterstones HERE and Amazon HERE (in the UK) and on Amazon.com HERE (in the US) as well as other great bookstores.

In case you’ve missed it, here’s the blurb:Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the darkest secrets of her past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest amusement parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has here work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric and things become personal.”

 

I’ve been overwhelmed with the quotes that DEEP DOWN DEAD has been getting from crime thriller writers. Here’s what they’ve been saying:

‘This is a good one – fast, confident, and suspenseful. My kind of book’ Lee Child

‘With a Stephanie Plum-style protagonist in bounty hunter Lori, Deep Down Dead has a Midnight Run feel to it, but much darker. Really, really good’ Ian Rankin

‘Read some great debuts this year but Deep Down Dead is a real cracker. Steph Broadribb kicks ass, as does her ace protagonist Lori Anderson!’ Mark Billingham

‘Crazy good … full-tilt action and a brilliant cast of characters. This is a series and an author to watch’ Yrsa Siguroardóttir, author of I Remember You

‘Deep Down Dead is a blast of a book – fast-paced, engaging and hugely entertaining’ Simon Toyne, author of Solomon Creed

‘Steph Broadribb has written a brilliant, pacey, bounty-hunter tale that marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly become a sparkling career’ Steve Cavanagh, author of The Defence

‘An action-packed crime thriller dripping with intrigue from the Deep South, and with a feisty no-nonsense heroine to boot. It’s a debut that demands to be read, with excitement and exhilaration flying off every page. In Lori Anderson, Broadribb has created a memorable and authentic female lead – and readers will be left wanting the next installment of her adventures as soon as possible’ David Young, author of Stasi Child

‘Tough as a pair of rhino-hide cowboy boots and unremittingly energetic. An explosive, exciting debut’ David Mark, author of Dead Pretty

‘An action-packed Southern road noir that pulls no punches. Single mom/bounty hunter Lori Anderson is an engaging new heroine, and Deep Down Dead is quite simply a hell of a thriller’ Mason Cross, author of The Killing Season

‘A fresh and compelling debut with an intriguing plot, a great new heroine, and a setting that zings with authenticity’ Anya Lipska, author of A Devil Under The Skin

‘If anything, Broadribb and her protagonist, tough Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson, have more than a hint of Lee Child and Jack Reacher about them, with (literally) no punches pulled. The other parallel with Lee Child is, of course, the fact that this is an English writer making a sterling job of finding an American voice for both the narrative and the characters, and Broadribb proves to be just as adroit in this area as her male counterpart … a promising debut delivered with both energy and colour’ Barry Forshaw, Time Crime

‘Furious, fast and thrilling’ Graeme Cameron, author of Normal

‘Dead Down Dead grabs you like a whirlwind – once you’re in, there’s no getting away till it’s through with you. Pacey, emotive and captivating, this is kick-ass thriller writing of the highest order’ Rod Reynolds, author of The Dark Inside

‘A relentless page-turner with twists and turns that left me breathless’ J.S. Law, author of Tenacity

‘Deep Down Dead oozes authenticity. This is an engaging, original thriller with the type of characters you wish you knew in real life. Fresh, compelling and beautifully written, with a real cinematic quality. Read. Now.’ S.J.I. Holliday, author of Black Wood

‘Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter like none you’ve ever encountered before. This is a series that will run and run. You’ll need to clear some time in your diary to read Steph Broadribb’s Deep Down Dead because you won’t want to set this one aside till the end. A genuine page-turner’ Howard Linskey, author of No Name Lane

‘Fast, furious and utterly addictive, Deep Down Dead is a blistering debut and marks Broadribb as a rising talent to watch’ Neil Broadfoot, author of Falling Fast

‘Non-stop adrenaline rushes in this romantic action-adventure, introducing gritty, earthy, unstoppable heroine in bounty hunter Lori Anderson – and a bad boy opponent/partner who is actually worthy of her. If you love romantic suspense, you’ll love this ride’ Alexandra Sokoloff, author of The Huntress/FBI thrillers and co-author of The Keepers series

‘The story moves at a frantic pace, and the plotting, along with the writing, is so deft and assured that it’s really quite staggering that this is a debut. But what really sets this book apart is the characterization of Lori and JT; it’s kind of like reading early Reacher, where you know you’re at the beginning of something very special, characters that will stay with you, books that you’ll wait patiently for each year’ Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks

‘A stunning debut from a major new talent’ Zoe Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox crime series

‘This is perfect for fans of Lee Child and Janet Evanovich, with the same American charm you find in Charlaine Harris, but it also has a sensibility that is completely unique and totally Broadribb. Lori Anderson is a fascinating heroine, with plenty of secrets and depth, but also totally kick-ass and relevant. Deep Down Dead is just so assured for a debut, and there wasn’t a single false step. It’s fun, thrilling, edge of your seat but also dealing with some seriously dark issues, and introduces a cast of characters I want to meet again! A great start to what is already one of my favourite series. Can’t wait for the next one’ Alex Caan, author of Cut To The Bone

‘Powerful, passionate, and packs a real punch’ Fergus McNeill, author of Knife Edge

‘A gem of a read that delivers thrills at breakneck pace … Lori is a feisty heroine we all wish had our backs’ Marnie Riches, author of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die

‘There are a couple of different ways to think about this debut. Once is an entertaining bounty-hunter adventure, and on that level it’s quite a ride. But another take is as a character study, with depth – the relationship between protagonist Lori, daughter Dakota and male lead JT. It’s assured and emotionally moving. Will be keeping an eye on this author and she does next’ Daniel Pembrey, author of The Harbour Master

‘A kick-ass American thriller and a great read … crying out to be a Hollywood movie. I couldn’t put it down’ Louise Voss, author of The Venus Trap

‘I ripped through this high-octane, breathlessly paced thriller in almost one sitting. Loved kick-ass Lori and her sexy-as-hell love interest JT – a combo to get your heart racing, and then some’ Ava Marsh, author of Untouchable

‘Steph Broadribb’s debut novel has been a long time coming, but is was definitely worth the wait. Dripping with authenticity, filled with unforgettable characters, and with a plot to die for. The writing is fantastic, making it one of my favourite debut novels for a long, long time. Deep Down Dead is just the first novel in what will be an incredible career for Broadribb. I can’t wait to read the next Lori Anderson book!’ Luca Veste, author of The Dying Place

‘We all need a fast-talking, gun-toting heroine with a heart of gold in our life, and Lori Anderson is a most compelling creation. If you don’t read Deep Down Dead, you’ll really be missing out’ Claire Seeber, author of The Stepmother

‘This writer! This book! I haven’t witnessed such a buzz about a new author for quite some time, and the buzz is entirely deserved. Breathtakingly pacey and authentic. You have to read it’ Michael J. Malone, author of A Suitable Lie

‘This thrilling debut is a masterwork of suspense, as bounty hunter, Lori Anderson, takes us on a road trip fraught with danger, passion and high-octane jeopardy. Steph Broadribb is a top crime talent! Unputdownable’ Helen Cadbury, author of To Catch A Rabbit

‘Finished this at a gallop! Great action scenes and great atmosphere in a top romantic thriller’ C.J. Carver, author of Spare Me the Truth

‘Relentless, breathtaking and emotionally charged. A roller coaster of a read! Jane Isaac, author of Beneath the Ashes

‘Steph Broadribb’s gritty debut will appeal to fans of the Sue Grafton alphabet series. I can’t wait to see what bounty hunter Lori Anderson gets up to next!’ Cass Green, author of Hold Your Breath

 

 

CTG Reviews: The Samaritan by Mason Cross

cover image

cover image

What the blurb says: “When the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains, LAPD Detective Jessica Allen knows she’s seen this MO before – two and a half years ago on the other side of the country. A sadistic serial killer has been operating undetected for a decade, preying on lone female drivers who have broken down. The press dub the killer ‘The Samaritan’, but with no leads and a killer who leaves no traces, the police investigation quickly grinds to a halt.

That’s when Carter Blake shows up to volunteer his services. He’s a skilled manhunter with an uncanny ability to predict the Samaritan’s next moves. At first, Allen and her colleagues are suspicious. After all, their new ally shares some uncomfortable similarities to the man they’re tracking. But as the Samaritan takes his slaughter to the next level, Blake must find a way to stop him … even if it means bringing his own past crashing down on top of him.”

Since reading the first couple of chapters of The Samaritan in a teaser sampler last September I’ve been dying to get my hands on this latest book by Mason Cross. And let me tell you, the wait has certainly been worth it!

The Samaritan is packed with all the trademark heart-stopping action, break-neck pace, and twisting-turning plotlines that made Mason’s debut novel – The Killing Season – such a huge success.

In The Samaritan we also get to find out more about the past of mysterious ‘people finder’ Carter Blake (although don’t worry, he’s still pretty damn mysterious!). Jessica Allen is a great female lead – strong, determined and courageous in the face of extreme danger. She reluctantly accepts Blake’s assistance, but is less inclined to completely trust him. As they each follow their own lines of enquiry, gradually closing in on this most brutally sadistic of serial killers, they both become targets. Question is, can they get to the killer before the killer gets them?

Set in Florida and California, The Samaritan showcases some great locations (including one very creepy and atmospheric one that I can’t mention – sorry, it’d be too much of a spoiler) to create a vivid backdrop to the story.

With great characters, fab locations and a super-twisty plot, The Samaritan is an absolute page-turner. And I already can’t wait for the next Carter Blake novel – I think this is a series that’s going to run and run.

A fabulous must-read for thriller lovers – and one of my top reads of 2015 so far – I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

 

[with thanks to Orion Books for my copy of The Samaritan]

 

 

RUSH OF BLOOD by Mark Billingham

Rush of Blood cover image

Rush of Blood cover image

What the blurb says: “Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find. Then a second girl goes missing. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody could imagine?”

Holiday friendships: sometimes they last, sometimes they don’t. But they’re usually fun while they last, and don’t usually involve murder, unlike the holiday friendships made in Mark Billingham’s standalone thriller RUSH OF BLOOD.

What starts out as the story of three couples from England who meet at a Florida beach resort  takes a sinister twist when the daughter of a fellow holiday maker goes missing. Back in the UK, the couples stay in contact and over the course of three dinner parties, and a few girly and blokey evenings out, discover far more about each other than they might ever have wished for.

Billingham creates a huge sense of dread for what has, and might, happen. While initially each couple seems happy in their everyday lives and relationships, as the story unfolds the reader starts to realise that no one is exactly as they seem, and some have darker secrets than others. In fact many of the characters have rather unattractive traits: they’re mean or angry or jealous or attention-seeking or rude. But, you find yourself thinking, does that make them more or less likely to be the murderer?

This is a book that keeps you guessing. As a reader you know a bad thing has happened. You’re fairly sure one of the six holiday makers is responsible. But which one, and how they did it, provides an intriguing puzzle. Helping solve that puzzle along with you is Trainee Detective Constable Jenny Quinlan– an over-eager workaholic who is determined to crack the case (and meet the Florida homicide detective – Jeffrey Gardner – whose voice she so adores).

A cross between a police procedural and a psychological thriller, this high-tension, fast paced, character driven story is masterfully plotted and flawlessly told.

It’ll also make you think twice about striking up a conversation with the people sitting round the pool or beside you on the beach next time you’re on holiday!

Highly Recommended.

 

[I bought my copy of RUSH OF BLOOD at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival]

The Deep Blue Goodbye by John D. MacDonald

The Deep Blue Goodbye cover image

The Deep Blue Goodbye cover image

What the blurb says: “Travis McGee isn’t your typical knight in shining armour. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: He’ll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.

Travis McGee isn’t particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet girl who’s been tortured repeatedly by  her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn’t anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake.

As Travis hunts for the ruthless man who steals women’s sensibilities and livelihoods, he can’t guess how violent his quest is soon to become. He’ll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse …”

Gosh, where to start.

Well, within the first few pages of this story I was both shocked that it’d taken me this long to pick up a John D. MacDonald novel, and delighted that there is now a whole new series for me to work my way through. MacDonald’s straight-talking, uber observant yet fast paced style feels highly contemporary, despite The Deep Blue Goodbye first being published in 1964.

Travis McGee is a character you can’t help but want to spend time with: tough yet tender, honest yet outside of the law when necessary, and to-the-point yet charming. He lives by his own rules, even when those rules might well get him into life or death situations.

In The Deep Blue Goodbye, Travis McGee is living on his houseboat, the Busted Flush, and not especially looking for work, but when a friend asks him to help her friend, Cathy, he agrees to look into the situation. He starts following the trail of Junior Allen, an insincere, charmingly seductive but abusive con-man, and as he digs a little deeper Travis discovers the wartime secret Cathy’s father left behind and just why it made her a target of Junior Allen. In the process of trying to recover what is rightfully Cathy’s, Travis comes across another woman who has suffered at the hands of Junior. Determined to help both woman, Travis tracks Junior down and prepares to confront him during the climax of the con he’s working on a group of young people. It’s a bold and dangerous move, and one that requires all Travis’ resourcefulness to survive.

As well as a masterfully plotted storyline, MacDonald’s book takes the reader into Travis’ world – Lauderdale, Florida in the 1960s. It balances perfectly timed action and pace with deep emotion and heartbreak. It makes you want to keep reading, undisturbed, from the first sentence to the very last.

Highly recommended.

 

The Deep Blue Goodbye is available through Transworld Digital on Kindle. Over the coming months each of the Travis McGee series will be re-published in order. This new release of the series includes a foreword by Lee Child.

[A massive thank you to Transworld Digital for my copy of The Deep Blue Goodbye]