Saturday, August 19, 2023

North of Nowhere

North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan
8/8/23; 368 pages
St. Martin's Press

North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan is a very highly recommended race-against-time survival thriller that is compulsively readable.

After five years hiding in Montana with father figure Tony Reed, Kristin (Kris) McIntyre, sixteen, and her ten-year-old deaf younger brother Ryan, have to run again immediately. Tony has spotted men looking for them, sent by their real father, Boyd McIntyre, head of a Los Angeles crime family. The trio barely escape in a plane, which was shot at by his men. Tony is mortally wounded and the plane is malfunctioning from the gun fire but he manages to land the plane up in the mountains. With a blizzard quickly approaching and Tony dying, Kris needs to use all her learned skills to save Ryan from the men looking for them. Kris is old enough to remember what and why they went into hiding from the McIntyre clan.

North of Nowhere is an extremely well-written, compelling, fast-paced thriller that is un-put-downable. You may have to suspend some disbelief, but with an action-packed plot, characters confronting danger at every turn, and no clear outcome it is a pleasure to keep reading. The chapters are short, which keeps the pace moving swiftly and are told through the point-of-view of different characters. This adds complexity to the already tension-filled plot and ensures the just-one-more-chapter response right to the end.

There is a large cast of characters in the novel, but I found it easy to keep them all straight as Brennan takes care to provide them all with some development. The main characters all are fully realized and feel like real people. You will care about many of the protagonists and wish them well. Some characters you will feel uncertain about for a time, while the antagonists, especially a couple of them, will draw your ire.

Allison Brennan has written another complex, exceptional thriller in North of Nowhere.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

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