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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9780648189046 B09SL7Q6ZL
  • 250 pages
  • $3.99
Oliver Sands
Author
The Lightning Rod
Ged Gillmore, author
When gunshots ring out on a respectable Sydney street, Anna Moore finds herself sharing an Uber with a dead man. Unfortunately, the dead man was part of the feared Mendoza drug cartel, and now Anna’s the only one who knows his whispered last words. Ruthless undercover cop, Charlie Hall, sees a perfect opportunity when she interviews Anna. Charlie has a secret agenda, and Anna might just be the perfect pawn for her to use to bring down Mendoza’s operation. Meanwhile, the Uber driver, Bassam, still has the dead man’s bags in his trunk. As Anna, Bassam and Charlie descend into the murky depths of the criminal underworld they’ll have to trust each other to outwit Mendoza. But when pressure mounts and morality blurs, the three will face a desperate fight that only two of them will survive… The Lightning Rod is a gripping mystery thriller set in Sydney and the Philippines. A tightly woven story with razor-sharp dialogue and flawed characters you can root for, this is a smart and twisting page-turner that will hook you until the last line.
Reviews
Gillmore (Base Nature) delivers satisfying twists and turns in this engaging crime thriller. When secretary Anna Moore decides to spend a night out and be more daring than usual, she ends up finding herself in a cab with a dead man. Anna’s cab driver Bassam Beydoun, who takes care of his dead brother’s daughters, has enough problems of his own–and when he gets a questionable opportunity to make a better life for himself, he brushes away his scruples and jumps at it. Soon, he’s plunged into the world of hardened criminals and drug dealers, and before long he and Anna both are irrevocably changed.

Gillmore’s characters are all refreshingly real and believable, whether it’s the tough-as-nails policewoman Charlotte Hall, doggedly ambitious Bassam, or Anna and her struggles with moral ambiguity. The story is narrated from these three characters’ perspectives, allowing readers a chance to identify with their dreams, hopes, and sorrows. Filipino drug lord Edward Mendoza is fairly stereotypical, with a “crocodile smile,” boyish charm, and ruthless ways, and the seething antagonism between Charlotte and Anna simmers just beneath the surface, adding necessary tension to the novel. Gillmore steers clear of romanticizing Bassam’s foster parenting, portraying his challenges with his nieces authentically, and when Bassam finds himself sinking in the quicksands of a drug deal, his life understandably takes a turn for the worse

Gillmore sets his scenes up well and demonstrates a sure hand for depicting the world of crime and the police working to stop it. Between his even pacing and twisting plot, it’s obvious that Gillmore has done his homework to create plausible power dynamics between his main players—and as a bonus, he threads in convincing and dramatic procedural elements that bring the milieu to life. This story’s characters, particularly Anna, will stick with readers long after the last page.

Takeaway: Crime readers will be entertained by this fast-paced thriller with well-rounded and intriguing characters.

Great for fans of: Karina Halle’s Dirty Angels, Julie Hockley’s Scare Crow .

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

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9780648189046 B09SL7Q6ZL
  • 250 pages
  • $3.99

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