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Jeff Norburn
Author
Triple Barrel
Jeff Norburn, author

Every paramedic’s worst fear is that one day they'll respond to a call where the patient is someone they know and love. 

Ana Marshall must face that fear when she and her partner Rick Lebeck are called to the scene of a home invasion in Vancouver where they find two severely beaten men. Despite their efforts to save them, her worst fears are realized when one of the two men, her brother, dies as a result of his injuries.

Ana tries to make sense of her brother's murder in the days that follow and is surprised to learn that he had secrets, one of which may have gotten him killed. It becomes apparent that his death is linked to a series of warehouse thefts and a well-intentioned but ill-fated blackmail scheme. After making inquiries into her brother's murder, Ana stumbles unwittingly into the crosshairs of Gavin Taylor, a warehouse supervisor whose gambling addiction and demanding ex-wives have led him to supplement his income by stealing from the warehouse where he works.

The death count rises as Gavin, who is willing to do whatever it takes to find a video file that is being used to blackmail him, tries to outwit and outmaneuver a hired killer who works also part time in a dollar store, a ruthless computer hacker who may or may not have ties to the Russian mob, and an ambitious co-worker with a military background, homicidal tendencies, and an unexpected connection to Ana Marshall and her brother.  When Gavin realizes that Ana has uncovered the truth about her brother’s murder, it will not only put her life at risk, but endanger everyone close to her.

Triple Barrel is a fast-paced, intricately plotted thriller that weaves multiple converging storylines. Funny, unpredictable, and wildly entertaining, the novel offers insightful reflections on family, commitment, and unconditional love - not to mention tips on how to lose at poker, the hazards of melting cheese on fish, and a whole lot of gunfire.

Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10

Assessment:

This overly complicated but promising novel tells the story of paramedic Ana Marshall -- and what happens when she responds to a call from a home invasion only to discover that the two victims are her brothers. The plot, while unrealistic at times, is well constructed. Unfortunately, the author provides a large number of characters and gives equally lengthy descriptions of each. In addition, there are too many subplots -- these could be cut in favor of a focus on strengthening the more vital plot threads.

Date Submitted: September 08, 2016

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