#BlogTour #Extract : Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb @OrendaBooks @CrimeThrillGirl #DeepDirtyTruth

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Deep Dirty Truth, the third book in the Lori Anderson series. I’ve got an extract to share today so read on and enjoy!

 

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Blurb: 

A price on her head, and just 48 hours to expose the truth, and save her family…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob, who they want her dead. But rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With only 48 hours before North is due to appear in court, Lori sets across Florida, racing against the clock to find him, and save her family…

 

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Extract:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th, 12:54

We take a right turn off the highway. The wheels judder across the uneven track. The muffler rattles louder. I wince as my ribs bash against the van floor. The men up front are talking in low voices. I figure we’ve reached our destination.

Minutes later we brake to a halt. Doors open. Heat floods the vehicle. There’s shouting, new voices, then I feel hands grip my ankles and I’m yanked across the floor of the van and dumped onto the dirt outside.

They cut the hogtie but keep my wrists and ankles bound. As they haul me to my feet I feel sensation start to return to my limbs. Pins and needles stab at my muscles, waking the nerves that went numb hours ago. My mouth’s as parched as a storm drain in the dry season. I could really use a drink.

Doesn’t happen. My captors keep me gagged and hooded. Powerless. Disoriented. That tells me that they’re still being careful, not taking chances. The hood blinds me to my surroundings, and if I can’t see where I am, I can’t figure out the best escape route.

‘Barn two,’ a man says. His accent has a hint of New York about it. I search my memory, but I come up empty. ‘Get yourselves to the house when it’s done.’

I inhale sharply. When it’s done – what does that mean? The hands grasping my arms lift me off my feet and drag me across the dirt. I want to fight back, but that’s not the smart play here. I have to conserve my energy, pick my moment real careful. So I go limp, make them work harder at moving me. Tell myself to bide my time and hope to hell I have time to bide.

The guy on my right mutters under his breath about me being heavier than I look, and the one on my left grunts in agreement. Even through the hood I can smell his cheap cologne; it’s vinegary and applied overzealously. The scent of a low-rank foot soldier aspiring towards a style they know nothing about.

They continue dragging me across the dirt. I hear the distant clank of machinery. The sun’s high and hot. This morning, in my hurry to get Dakota to class, I forgot to put on sun- screen, and now the rays burn my skin. The air is still, no hint of a breeze. I figure it must be near on lunchtime, and I wonder if JT is worried yet.

‘Here?’ the cologne-wearer says. ‘Yeah.’ I smell them before I hear them. Way stronger than the cologne, and a whole lot nastier. Then I hear the stampede of cloven feet across baked earth, and the grunts and snuffles getting louder.

Pigs. I tense. Dig my heels into the dirt and swallow hard. If they toss me into the pigpen I’m a goner for sure. Hooded, with my arms and legs bound, I’ll stand no kind of chance against a herd of hungry swine, and, from the noise they’re making, they sure sound hungry.

The guy to my right laughs and jabs me in the ribs with his elbow. ‘You can smell ’em then, our little pets?’

I try to get my heart rate under control and think logically. It makes no sense to snatch me and drive all those hours just to feed me to these beasts. If they wanted to get me dead right off the bat then a bullet in the head would’ve done the job real nice. They’re messing with me, but I don’t think they’re going to kill me, not at this moment anyways. So I force my body to relax, release my heels from the dirt and wait to see what happens.

We keep going, past the pigs and a few hundred yards further. Moments later, even through the material of the hood, I can tell from the change in light that we’ve passed from sunshine to shade. The stench of the pigs is replaced with sweet meadow hay. I figure we’re inside barn two.

Seventeen steps later the men spin me around and push me back- wards against a pillar. The wood is rough and splinters rub raw against my skin. Cologne guy holds me upright, as close to the pillar as he can make me, while the other one ties me. They use rope this time. I feel him loop it tight, around my neck, my waist and my legs. My wrists and ankles are still bound with the tape. They leave the hood on.

The one with the growly voice slaps me on the shoulder. ‘See y’all later, blondie.’

‘If you’re lucky,’ cologne guy adds. I say nothing; the tape over my mouth is keeping me silent. I hear their footsteps retreat, and the bang of a door slamming shut. Then I’m alone.

It doesn’t take long for the discomfort to set in. My muscles ache right from the get-go and before long they’re burning from the forced immobility. My head throbs like a bitch. My mouth’s dry and I feel nauseous – a sure sign of dehydration.

They’ve tied me real snug. I feel along the rope where it’s closest to my hands, but there are no knots for me to try to loosen, and the tape around my wrists is too high for me to get a finger through. I bend my knees and try to slide down the pillar, but I’m stuck; the noose around my throat won’t shift.

I’m all out of options. All I can do is wait. Time passes. The fire in my muscles intensifies. The temperature rises and I sweat rivers, my clothes turning damp against my skin. I need the bathroom bad.

No one comes. I withdraw inwards, using memories to distance myself from the pain. I think of how my morning began, and it seems like a world, a lifetime, away: waking snuggled against JT with the light streaming in through the window; his lopsided smile as I kiss him awake; the feel of him inside me as we make love in the shower – getting clean and being dirty all at once; then later JT, Dakota and me having breakfast – bagels, juice and coffee – JT and Dakota chattering about Tropi-cana Field, me smiling at the easy way they banter with each other. The concentration on JT’s face as he tries to braid Dakota’s hair for school; the way she thanks him even though his best effort is a clumsy, half- assed job. Me laughing and telling him practice makes perfect. Him looking at me all serious with those old blues of his and telling me he’ll keep on practising; and how in that moment I knew he was talking about more than just the braids.

In the couple of months we’ve been playing house we’ve never made each other any promises. I’ve said before, a promise is just a disappointment bought on credit, but that don’t mean I’m not curious, maybe even a touch hopeful, to see how things play out. I want to give us a chance. After everything we’ve been through, we owe ourselves that.

I clench my fingers together. Grit my teeth. So, whatever else happens, there’s one thing I’m sure about. I refuse to die here.

 

 

 

About the author:  

steph broadribb

 

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most
of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University
London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori
Anderson thrillers. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and
chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bloody Scotland 2017

So, days after moving house I spent the weekend volunteering and attending events at Bloody Scotland in Stirling.

The weekend kicked off in style with the announcing of the winner of the McIlvanney prize (Denise Mina) and then with a torchlight procession from Stirling castle to the Albert Halls.

As a volunteer I was positioned about halfway down the route so was able to get an amazing view of the procession as it came down the street. All the volunteers were also offered the opportunity, as we made up the rear of the procession, to carry a torch of our own (something we never expected).  This made an already impressive experience even more amazing and was the perfect way to start the weekend. I headed home after this as I had an early start the next morning.

Day 2 

On Saturday I had the pleasure of working two events.  One was with C.L. Taylor, Sarah Pinborough and Clare Mackintosh who were a joy to listen to and were an excellent panel. The conversation flowed well and I couldn’t believe all 3 of them had only met the night before!

The second panel was Catriona McPherson, C.F. Peterson and Michael Ridpath. This was a fascinating hour in which all three authors discussed detting their writing in villages and remote places rather than the cities of Scotland such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Shift over I whizzed off to one of the other venues to catch Peter May in discussion with Lin Anderson.

I’ve seen Peter May talk before but it was a pleasure to hear him again. This time he discussed his Enzo series, the fact that all of the publishers in the country turned down The Blackhouse when it was sent to them and becoming a French citizen amongst other topics. All in all a fascinating and entertaining hour.

After that it was time for a quick lunch before more of Lin Anderson, this time with Ragnar Jonasson and Thomas Enger.  (And the news that Scotland won the Bloody Scotland football match 6-3!!)

During this hour we heard a lullaby that Thomas Enger’s Henning Juul character composed for his unborn son and a lot of discussion about setting novels in countries which get little, if any, daylight in the winter months. It was another excellent panel and I ended up leaving with a copy of Lin Anderson’s new book simply for asking Ragnar where his inspiration for the character of Ari Thor came from.

Day 3

A shorter day today. First I went to the Denise Mina and Liz Nugent event.

I missed the beginning of this due to watching Mo Farah win the Great North Run but it was still interesting nonetheless. It was fascinating to hear Denise Mina talking about the people in her latest book, The Long Drop, and her concerns about the book itself. Hearing about the inspiration for Liz Nugent’s, Lying in Wait (a stunning novel), was equally fascinating and added a little more depth to the novel itself.

After that it was back to work where I had a surreal few minutes in a minibus-taxi with the panelists on the next panel and the lovely Karen Sullivan. Bloody Scotland allows some authors to pitch their novels to publishers in the hope of getting a deal or, at least, a bit more exposure. This next panel was some of the results of that pitch opportunity from the past few years.

Steph Broadribb, Jospeh Knox and Matt Wesolowski have all had books published as a result of taking part in pitch perfect. I was already aware of them having read Deep Down Dead and had the pleasure of meeting Jospeh Knox at my book group a few months ago but it was fascinating to hear their stories of what happened after they had pitched their novels and how they got from that to being the published authors they are now.

My last and final event of the day was working on the Chris Brookmyre event.

Chris spoke for the whole hour (apart from audience questions).  There was an extract from his new book, out in November called Places in the Darkness which sounds like a mix of science fiction and crime and is set on a space station orbiting Earth.  While quite different from his usual books this one does sound intriguing and may possibly bring him a host of new fans.

That was the end of my weekend and what an ending it was. Bloody Scotland is back slightly later next year on 21st September and I, for one, can’t wait. See you then!!

Blog Tour Review: Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

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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 secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, 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 her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.
Breathtakingly fast-paced, both hard- boiled and heart-breaking, Deep Down Dead is a simply stunning debut from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

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My Rating: 4/5

Review: I don’t know why but I’ve always found bounty hunters interesting and love the Stephanie Plum series but I also like a bit more depth and grit to my reading at times and this book definitely has all of that.  Lori Anderson is a tough bounty hunter but she still has her flaws and that adds some realism to her character.  She takes a job which will pay her enough to cover her daughters medical bills for a while. However, the job is not as straight forward as she expects and things go very wrong, very quickly, within pages she is being chased by the mob, people working for a high profile and well connected person and also manages to end up without transport making for a very sticky situation indeed.  As if that wasn’t bad enough things then get much worse and Lori then has a tough decision to make, she needs to work out how to sort the situation out and still get paid for the job she came to do.  Luckily (perhaps) she has her former mentor JT to help her but his help is affected by his own agenda which doesn’t make things any easier.

As you can tell from my rating I enjoyed this book, it’s quite different from the other crime books that are coming out at the moment which is refreshing because, as good as the other ones are a lot of the same type of books can get a bit boring at times.  While I love a tough female character I wasn’t completely taken by Lori, she was good and well-written but I didn’t understand or agree with some of the decisions she made so that made it a little difficult to fully empathise with her.  The story is full of twist and turns, just when you think it might be ok or you can relax just a little something else happens that has you wondering ‘how they are going to get out of that?’  The story is fast-paced enough to keep you guessing but not so much that you lose track of what is going on, a vital point because there is a lot going on in this book.

I suspect this may appeal to quite a few people; there is obvious chemistry between Lori and JT that is present right from the beginning, there is enough suspense and twists to satisfy those who like that and there is a fair bit of violence in the form of both gun fights and physical ones to satisfy those who like a bit of that in their fiction.  For a debut novel this is definitely an impressive one and while I don’t yet love Lori, in the way I do other characters like Stephanie Plum, I’m hoping she’ll develop and grow on me some more in the next book which I’m rather looking forward to reading even though I have to wait another 12 months………..

 

steph-broadribb
Author bio: Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA.
As her alter ego–Crime Thriller Girl–she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases.
Steph is an alumni of the MA inCreative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and
she trained as a bounty hunter in California.  She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.
Deep Down Dead is her debut novel. Watch out for Deep Blue Trouble in 2018.

 

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January……..

Well it’s January again, my hoped for white Christmas never happened, in fact I have yet to see any snow (bar that on the hills in the distance) this winter so far which is a bit disappointing.  As I mentioned in my end of year round up post I am only doing a few blog tours this month and one in February and have no plans to do any more until at least June.  This is because I have a placement between February and June as part of my university course and between that being full time plus the fact that I’m working weekends, I simply won’t commit to a blog tour because it would be unfair on the tour host, publisher and author if I did.  (Having said that I may bend this rule IF there is a book out by an author I already know and love.) So, this is how my next few weeks are looking at the moment:

6th – Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

10th – Brake Failure by Alison Brodie.

15th –  Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb.

17th – Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson.

24th – Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie.

30th – Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb.

6th Feb – Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt.

These are all reviews and on top of that I’m also going to be reviewing a couple of Christmas novellas that I read over the holiday but otherwise that’s me for January.  What I’m hoping to do in February onwards in work through the books I have received from publishers and authors, some of which I’ve had for longer than I’d like to admit, and those I have on Netgalley so maybe I can bring my tbr down a bit.  How much reading I’ll have time for I’m not sure but hopefully I can manage at least one or two.

So, with all lined up that I’d better get on with reading, although I do have an essay due soon so I should maybe do that first though those books are looking quite appealling, hmmmm…………..