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Monday, 16 January 2017

‘Deep Down Dead’ by Steph Broadribb

Published by Orenda Books,
15 January 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-910633-55-7

Lori Anderson is tough - she has to be. She is a fearless Florida bounty hunter and a single mother to nine-year-old Dakota who suffers from leukaemia. So far, she has managed to keep her two roles separate, but, with her daughter's medical bills racking up, she has no choice but to take Dakota along on a job that promises to earn her more than enough money to pay what she owes.

The fugitive she's been assigned to bring back to court is none other than her former mentor and the one who knows about her murky past, J.T. But not only is J.T. fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida's most popular theme parks, Winter Wonderland, he is also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob.

Lori has just three days to bring in J.T., but with powerful enemies on their tail things go from bad to worse and her daughter's life hangs in the balance.

In Deep Down Dead, Steph Broadribb (who trained as a bounty hunter herself) has created a thrilling ride with a side-dish of romance that captures the reader right from the start of the mysterious prologue to the very end.

The characters are fully realised. Lori is a memorable lead - and how many novels are there with a female bounty hunter as the main protagonist? She is fearless, both in the face of danger and in the way she protects her daughter from harm. J.T. is a great character, too - in turns tough and tender, but how trustworthy is he?

Deep Down Dead is a rollercoaster of a book, full of action and sexual tension as it ranges across the Deep South of the USA. As a reader you're with Lori every step of the way. Thankfully the door is left open at the end for a potentiality nail-biting second instalment.

Steph Broadribb has spent the last four years or so blogging about and reviewing crime fiction as Crime Thriller Girl, and now, with her fabulous debut novel, it is time for her to have the limelight.

Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. As her alter ego - Crime Thriller Girl - she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads, is out on April 28th. In her spare time Mary-Jane likes to walk the dog and eat a lot.

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