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Jeffrey Cooper
Out to Get Me

Toni has five million dollars stashed in the back of her BMW that she needs to save her kidnapped husband Sam’s life.  The money is the payoff from Sam and his partner’s brazen robbery of an underworld courier early this morning.

She's being chased through the deserted streets of pandemic-era Los Angeles by the tenacious courier; a desperate, violent killer who is willing to go to any extreme to get the money back and take their revenge on the robbers.

Everyone wants the money, including Sam’s partners in the robbery and the dangerous man whose money was stolen, a connected underworld figure with a talent for making people disappear.  

An unexpected ally re-enters Toni's world to help pull off Toni's dangerous, risky plan to get her life back and avenge a terrible wrong, leading to an action packed finale that will change the trajectory of all of their lives.

Cooper’s fast-paced, high stakes adventure is full of backstabbing, betrayals, and high-speed chases set in Los Angeles at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toni Williams’s husband Sam has been kidnapped, and the price for seeing him again is the suitcase in the back of Toni’s car that holds five million dollars. As Toni attempts to track down Sam’s business partners, she’s chased around the city by a mysterious woman named Vera Cruise who has her own plan for the money. When Toni is finally reunited with Sam, things do not go as she expects, leaving her to scramble to execute a daring plan with an unexpected ally in order to set her world right again.

There’s a deeper level to the suspense here, though. As the story goes on, the reader will increasingly wonder if Toni truly is just an ordinary housewife, and if she really wants to remain one when the opportunity that five million dollars offers is right at her fingertips. Cooper (Burn One Down) has set Out to Get Me as told over the course of a single day, with a flashback. While the primary adversary is a shadowy group called The Organization, the money in play naturally entices multiple interesting parties and a dizzying series of betrayals.

Cooper’s crisp, quick prose keeps the story moving quickly, often at the pace of a screenplay, moving from car chases to shootouts to twists that upend character and reader expectations, and then doing it all again. The action is vivid and precise, the dialogue tough but boasting a light touch. The plotting itself can be dense, with the twists coming so quickly, and with such frequency, that it can become a challenge for the reader to keep pace with the state of play and who is meant, at any individual moment, to be allied with whom. But for readers who enjoy constant action, Cooper delivers.

Takeaway: A kidnapped husband, suitcase of cash, and a young woman’s fast-paced adventure.

Great for fans of: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s You Are Not Alone, T. M. Logan’s Lies.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A