Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The North Line

The North Line by Matt Riordan
4/2/24; 320 pages
Hyperion Avenue

The North Line by Matt Riordan is an adventure thriller following a commercial fishing crew at the Bering Sea in the early 1990's. It is highly recommended.

Due to a poor choice in his junior year at Danby, Adam has lost his lacrosse scholarship. College officials will allow him to return and finish his senior year, but he need $26,000 for tuition. A friend sets him up to join a commercial fishing crew at the Bering Sea. He has no previous experience, but very quickly learns what the brutal, dangerous job involves. Surprisingly, Adam finds an authenticity in the lifestyle, and even finds the relentless work and way of life invigorating. There are unforeseen challenges coming and an untrustworthy boss, both of which will force Adam to face who he really is.

The descriptions of life at sea and the work involved are extremely well done and will pull you right into the narrative. Once you start reading you will likely want to keep reading right to the end. This is truly a dirty job that people do for one reason: to earn a lot of money quickly. Reading what the job encompasses will make you question if it is worth it, but it clearly is for Adam. He needs money for college and this is his only hope. It begs the question: what would you do in the same situation?

Adam is a complex, fully realized character. The work aboard the ship and interaction with others help establish who he is and also the skills he has that others wouldn't realize. The action does slow a bit in the middle, but picks up the pace again to the dramatic ending. For Fans of "The Deadliest Catch" and novels pushing a man to his limit, this would be an excellent choice. Thanks to Hyperion Avenue for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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