Following a tactical raid at an Oklahoma farm, a phone call sends U.S. Deputy Marshal Piper McKay rushing back to the East Texas cattle ranch where she grew up. Her grandmother, Jennie Layton, is near death from a crushed skull. When local authorities claim the cause of the injury was an accident, Piper isn’t convinced.
Who wants Jennie dead and why? Is the reason connected to a dubious contract Piper finds in Jennie’s desk? Piper realizes her grandmother isn’t the only one in danger when she barely escapes a deadly attack. Thrust into the middle of a high-stakes, high-risk shell game, Piper’s become the target. The case takes a bizarre turn when Piper unknowingly crosses paths with a Special Ranger. If he can’t derail her investigation, it could cost him his life.
With millions of dollars on the line, nothing will stop a ring of cold-blooded killers, including the murders of a U.S. Marshal and a Special Ranger.
A couple of months back, I had the chance to participate in the cover reveal for Anita Dickason’s Deadly Business. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the blog tour and review the book. And boy, am I glad I read it!
The book opens with our protagonist, U.S. Marshal Piper McKay, on a raid. As the raid wraps up, she gets word that her grandmother, Jen, was seriously injured when she was thrown from her horse. Jen took Piper in after her parents were killed, and Piper is skeptical that any horse could throw Jen. When she gets back to the ranch where she grew up, Piper talks to Grady, the ranch foreman, and does a little investigating of her own. She soon realizes that something is out of line. And then we’re off and running.
I could not love this book more if I were twins. It grabs you by the heart and the throat from the beginning, and it does. not. let. up. The action is intense, the emotion Piper and Grady feel over Jen’s injury and whether or not she’ll recover is wrenching, and the characters are vividly drawn. I’d love to know how much of Piper is drawn from the author’s own life experiences in law enforcement, because the book sure reads like Ms. Dickason is writing what she knows.
I love Piper, of course, because who doesn’t love a strong woman who takes no crap and does a great job in a typically male-dominated field? Her relationship with her boss and co-workers is excellent – she says she needs help, and she gets it, no questions asked. We should all have such great working relationships! Grady is wonderful, too. He helps Jen keep the ranch running smoothly, and he’s a great cook, too. If there are more books in Piper’s world, I’d love to see some of Grady’s recipes added in at the end! Jen is the heart of the story. Everyone revolves around her, and their care and concern for her is palpable.
While romance can sometimes be a distraction in a good thriller, the chemistry between Piper and Cade Tanner works here. It isn’t insta-romance. It’s a slow burn that hints of romance and fireworks yet to come. I hope we see more of their relationship in later books.
And I learned some things in this book, too! The information included about cattle breeding and certain characteristics that make one animal more desirable over another was fascinating to me. I didn’t grow up a rancher’s daughter, but I was a farmer’s daughter, so anything that can relate back to what I learned in 4-H, I’m all about learning more on the subject. I loved the factual details included in the book.
If I hadn’t had to work while I was reading Deadly Business, I probably would have stayed up and finished it all in one night. It’s that good. I nearly got myself in trouble by reading past my lunch break at work. It’s a well-written, engaging, hair-raising ride with a plot that rings true and characters you either love or love to hate. Give me more.
Five bad-guy butt-kickin’ stars. If you enjoy a good thriller, go grab this one. Quick. (Or scroll down and enter the giveaway and see if you can get yourself a copy for FREE!)
Award-winning Author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, tactical officer, and first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team.
Anita writes about what she knows, cops and crime. Her police background provides an unending source of inspiration for her plots and characters. Many incidents and characters portrayed in her books are based on personal experience. For her, the characters are the fun part of writing as she never knows where they will take her. There is always something out of the ordinary in her stories.
In Anita’s debut novel, Sentinels of the Night, she created an elite FBI Unit, the Trackers. Since then, she has added three more Tracker crime thrillers, Going Gone!, A u 7 9, and Operation Navajo. The novels are not a series and can be read in any order.
As a Texas author, many of Anita’s books are based in Texas, or there is a link to Texas. When she stepped outside of the Tracker novels and wrote, Not Dead, she selected Meridian, a small community in central Texas for the location.
First, my heartfelt thanks for hosting my book. And, then–Wow, oh Wow! What an awesome review. I love it. I’ll be using quotes in my advertising banners.
I’m so glad you love the review! Deadly Business was an easy book to say good things about. More Piper McKay, please. And Cade Tanner. And Grady. And all of them. And I am honored that you’d use any of my words!
What a terrific review. You pointed out some of the things about the story that I enjoyed, too.
What a great review! Your enthusiasm really comes through. Thanks for the sharing your thoughts!
Happy to run my mouth about good books!
I have not read this author before. The book sounds really good.