Monday, June 26, 2023

North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan

New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan’s latest standalone is an unputdownable race to the dramatic finish.

After five years in hiding from their murderous father, the day Kristen and Ryan McIntyre have been dreading has arrived: Boyd McIntyre, head of a Los Angeles crime family, has at last tracked his kids to a small Montana town and is minutes away from kidnapping them. They barely escape in a small plane, but gunfire hits the fuel line. The pilot, a man who has been raising them as his own, manages to crash land in the middle of the Montana wilderness. The siblings hike deep into the woods, searching desperately for safety—unaware of the severity of the approaching storm.

Boyd’s sister Ruby left Los Angeles for the Army years ago, cutting off contact in order to help keep her niece and nephew safe and free from the horrors of the McIntyre clan. So when she gets an emergency call that the plane has gone down with the kids inside, she drops everything to try save them.

As the storm builds, Ruby isn’t the only person looking for them. Boyd has hired an expert tracker to find and bring them home. And rancher Nick Lorenzo, who knows these mountains better than anyone and doesn’t understand why the kids are running, is on their trail too.

But there is a greater threat to Kristen and Ryan out there. More volatile than the incoming blizzard, more dangerous than the family they ran from or the natural predators they could encounter. Who finds them first could determine if they live or die. . .

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication August 8, 2023
 by Minotaur Books
4/5 stars

This is my first time reading an Allison Brennan book, North of Nowhere releases on August 8, I was lucky enough to be granted both a digital and audio arc from the publishers.

The story begins at a breakneck pace and doesn't let up for the over 350 pages. We follow Kristen, Ryan and Tony as they flee from Kristen and Ryan's father, who they've been hiding from for the past five years.  It is a cat and mouse chase through a snowstorm involving a plane, ATVs, and snowmobiles in the mountains.  It doesn't take long to realize that they're not just being chased by their father but by someone else entirely.

The plot is multi-layered and expertly weaves back in time to reveal a complex story about a powerful mafia type family. There are plenty of red herrings and unreliable characters that kept me guessing. The story is told from a wide lens, but the focus is on Kristen, her aunt Ruby, and the local sheriff.

North of Nowhere is a well-written and engaging story that I found to put down.  The audiobook definitely helped me get through it faster, but I enjoyed listening (the narrator did a great job). It's a story of family, even when one is not blood related, revenge and strength.  Very entertaining, I will be on the lookout for more books by Allison Brennan.

My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Macmillan Audio (via Netgalley) for advanced copies in exchange for honest review.

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