Thursday, January 10, 2019

ARC Review: Tear It Down by Nick Petrie

Tear It Down
Author: Nick Petrie
Series: A Peter Ash Novel (Book 4)
Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 15, 2019)

Description: In the new edge-of-your-seat adventure from national bestselling author Nick Petrie, Peter Ash pursues one case--and stumbles into another--in the City of the Blues.

Iraq war veteran Peter Ash is restless in the home he shares with June Cassidy in Washington State. June knows Peter needs to be on the move, so she sends him to Memphis to help her friend Wanda Wyatt, a photographer and war correspondent who's been receiving peculiar threats. When Peter arrives in Memphis, however, he finds the situation has gone downhill fast--someone has just driven a dump truck into Wanda's living room. But neither Wanda nor Peter can figure out why.

At the same time, a young homeless street musician finds himself roped into a plan to rob a jewelry store. The heist doesn't go as planned, and the young man finds himself holding a sack full of Rolexes and running for his life. When his getaway car breaks down, he steals a new one at gunpoint--Peter's 1968 green Chevrolet pickup truck.

Peter likes the skinny kid's smarts and attitude, but he soon discovers that the desperate musician is in far worse trouble than he knows. And Wanda's troubles are only beginning. Peter finds himself stuck between Memphis gangsters--looking for Rolexes and revenge--and a Mississippi ex-con and his hog-butcher brother looking for a valuable piece of family history that goes all the way back to the Civil War.

My Thoughts: This story starts with four homeless teens planning to rob a jewelry store. The viewpoint character is Ellison Bell, called Eli, who has been on the streets since he was nine. His father disappeared, his mother died of a drug overdose, his older brother was shot in the face, his grandmother died of a stroke. Eli has only one possession - a guitar he received as a gift. He us a talented musician who plays the Blues and has a mathematical gift. He's the planner of the heist but only because his friends threatened his beloved guitar.

Things go wrong. Eli manages to escape with a bag of Rolexes. He knows two of his friends are dead and his best friend is missing. Now, he's on the run from King Robbie who runs all the crime in Memphis. It was his friend who had the plan to get on King Robbie's right side.

The next section of the book introduces Peter Ash who's an Iraq war veteran, a former Marine, who came home with claustrophobia and a need to right wrongs. His girlfriend recognizes that he's restless and sends him to Memphis to help out a friend. War photographer Wanda Wyatt has come home to Memphis to get some photos together for a show and bought an old house at auction. Now someone is either trying to kill her or force her out of her new house. The latest big of harassment involved driving a dump truck through the front of her house.

Eli and Peter meet when Eli hijacks Peter's beloved 1968 Chevy pickup from a gas station. Peter could have stopped him but chose to recover the truck later when he sees the desperation in Eli's eyes. But there's Peter coming to help Wanda and now without his truck, his tools, his ID and cellphone - and the kevlar vest his girlfriend gave him to keep him safe.

This was a gritty mystery with all sorts of violence. It deals with race and poverty, drugs and violence. It takes place mostly in the part of Memphis that is a War Zone controlled by drug lords and steeped in violence. The characters in this one are vivid. Peter reminds me of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee in that he's also a knight errant in rusty armor going around trying to help people who need it and not afraid to use violence to make things right. Wanda is messed up from her time taking pictures in war zones. She using too much alcohol and too many pills to try to cover her pain. Eli is a kid without much hope and with no dreams of a future since he doesn't expect to live to have one.

I really enjoyed this thriller. I loved the characters and the descriptive writing. This is the fourth book in the Peter Ash series and you can bet I'm going to read the first three as soon as possible. 

Favorite Quote:
"June was right," she said. "I told her I didn't want a big dumb guy here, some bubba I don't even know getting in my way, telling me what to do. She said you weren't like that."

"Give me time," Peter smiled. "I'm dumber than I look."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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