I’m a massive fan of Stephanie Plum, the creation of prolific author, Janet Evanovich. So, when I read Steph Broadribb’s novel Deep Down Dead last year, I loved it. Much more serious than Evanovich’s protagonist, Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter with a chequered past that has left her scarred. I was very excited when Deep Blue Trouble fell through my letterbox so I could find out what happens next.
Lori Anderson is again fighting for her family. Her once-lover, once-mentor and father to her daughter, JT, is in jail for the attempted murder of a security guard, but he did not commit the crime. Lori cuts a deal with her FBI contact, to find and bring back to him a criminal who has murdered a couple in an apparent bungled burglary with in return for JT’s release from prison. However, all is not as it seems, and while she is looking for her felon, JT is in danger in prison, adding extra urgency to Lori’s case.
Broadribb has brilliant character building skills. She manages to capture various facets of Lori’s emotional state at every step of her journey: fear for JT and her daughter, Dakota; irritation and anger at the conflicting evidence in front of her; frustration at the lack of control over any given situation; and vulnerability when she considers her relationships with JT and Dakota. Lori is a fascinating mass of contradiction, and the reader wants her to succeed.
There’s lots of experience in Broadribb’s writing. Her own previous life as a bounty hunter is undoubtedly woven into the narrative which makes the novel, and Lori’s experiences more authentic. Lori is skilled at what she does and at no point appears incompetent, even when she is coming unstuck.
There’s so much scope in the character of Lori Anderson that Broadribb has left her readers intrigued to see what will happen next, much like there was at the end of Deep Down Dead. There are also a number of additional characters in this novel that could easily make future books as gripping as Deep Blue Trouble.
Deep Blue Trouble is fast-paced, edgy and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Broadribb has written a fantastic sequel that will keep fans of the first book very interested to know where Lori’s journey will take her next. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next instalment.