Running Toward Danger – Review of “North of Nowhere” by Allison Brennan

Being sweet sixteen shouldn’t mean running for your life and constantly looking over your shoulder. But that’s where Kristen McIntyre finds herself and her ten year old brother Ryan. Five years ago Tony helped them escape Boyd, their biological father, after Kristen saw him ruthlessly kill a man and order the body disposed of. As head of an L.A. crime family Boyd had unlimited resources so Tony had prepared them for the inevitable with a carefullly planned escape route and safe house. But his planning didn’t include a gunman firing into the plane he was using for their escape. With the fuel line hit and chest wounds from the gunfire he was able to make a crash landing in the mountainous Montana wilderness. But Boyd would waste no time getting someone on their trail. Tony knew his wounds were fatal so he was forced to send Kristen and Ryan on ahead not knowing a blizzard was rapidly moving in from the north. IF they could stay ahead of their trackers, would their survival skills be enough to see them through to safety?

“North of Nowhere” by Allison Brennan started strong and kept me flipping pages as fast as I could read, right up until someone piled on enough baggage to fill a freight car. Between Nick Lorenzo, his son Jason, Boyd, Boyd’s brother, Aunt Ruby (Boyd’s sister), Millie, Sheriff Kate, and grandmother Frankie McIntyre, I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep track of all the players. Too many characters resulted in a fractured plot and several insignificant subplots that left me exhausted.

In Brennan’s defense, style-wise, her writing is clear and concise with no superfluous wordiness to drag it down. Her primary characters are intriguing and likeable and even the antagonist Boyd displays a sense of honor, skewed though it may be. All in all, there’s suspense and conflict aplenty but the storyline suffers a critical fracture that weakens the structure Brennan so carefully crafted. Three stars.

My thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy) of “North of Nowhere” by Allison Brennan. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Scheduled release date August 8, 2023.

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