Getaway by Lisa Brackmann
Publisher: Soho Press/May 2012
Kind thanks to Soho Press and Netgalley for providing a review copy
Michelle is in sunny Puerto Vallarta, attempting to escape from her troubles, including the mound of debt her recently deceased husband left her (hey, the vacation was already paid for), and wondering what kind of life will be waiting for her upon returning to LA. Unfortunately, escape isn’t in the cards, since trouble manages to find Michelle in the form of handsome, mysterious Daniel. He’s everything her late husband wasn’t: lithe, sexy and definitely mysterious. Their first night together is a disaster, though, after armed men burst in on them in the middle of the night. Danny is injured, Michelle is scared, and when she goes to his apartment to return his belongings, a gruesome discovery leads Michelle to think that Danny may be part of something sinister. When an acquaintance of Danny’s threatens her unless she spies on him, she knows she’s in over her head.
If you’re looking for a fast paced and diverting thriller, look no further than Getaway. Michelle is very likeable, and the author manages to capture exactly how it feels to be on vacation, at least in the beginning. You know what I’m talking about: the I’m-on-vacation-so-nothing-bad-can-possibly-happen-to-me feeling? Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t last for Michelle, as she spends time with Danny, becoming increasingly sure that he’s into some pretty nasty stuff. I’ve been to Mexico, and it’s a beautiful place to vacation. While I haven’t been to Puerto Vallarta, the author seems to know her way around and perfectly illustrates the devil-may-care feeling of a coastal tourist town. What she also shows is the darker underbelly of drug and cartel violence that has been ubiquitous lately. You can’t read the news without coming across an article on the cartel wars that have claimed thousands of lives, in increasingly gruesome ways. Her timing is perfect with this book, making it very relevant to current events and adding an additional layer of menace. Rapid pacing and tight plotting will keep you turning pages and even though it never manages a real romance between Michelle and the enigmatic Danny, the ending will leave you wanting more of this talented author. Lisa Brackmann is most definitely an author to watch!