In 2015 I kept track of every published piece I wrote on this blog. In 2016 I did absolutely squat with this blog. This year I thought I would at least keep track of every book I read. I mean, I am paying for the domain name. I do plan to read a lot this year, some related to research I’m working on, some for pleasure (and how I do miss that while I’m working on researching a book). This first book was started in 2016 and finished yesterday– I read it in fits and starts.
1. Burning Bright by Nicholas Petrie (2017, Putnam)
I’m not sure where I first heard of Nicholas Petrie’s debut book, The Drifter, but I picked it up and read it and enjoyed it. It’s an action thriller/ mystery and I loved it because the backdrop was Milwaukee (Petrie is local). The key scenes take place in Riverwest, the north side, the east side, and downtown. Several specific locations are visited– Colectivo on Prospect, Cafe Corazon, the US Bank building. Petrie’s protagonist Peter Ash is an interesting character, too– a veteran struggling with PTSD in the form of extreme claustrophobia.
When I saw that Petrie had a follow up Peter Ash novel, Burning Bright, slated for a January release I pitched an “Off the Cuff” (Q & A) to the Shepherd Express to tie in to the book release. I interviewed Petrie by phone and his publisher sent me an advance reader copy of the book. Here’s the feature: http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28983-a-thriller-with-a-milwaukee-setting.html
In Burning Bright, Ash is trying to find solace in the Redwoods of northern California when he encounters a woman who needs help– a cute, wily investigative journalist name June (be still, my beating heart). The two embark on a danger filled ride from California up to Washington. The MacGuffin of the story is a computer program named Tyg3r which may or may not have something with June’s father, who is nicknamed “the Yeti.”
Petrie did a great job with this book. Character development was great, the plot intriguing, the action satisfying as eating popcorn in an air-conditioned movie theater in July.
You don’t necessarily need to read The Drifter to understand Burning Bright, but it would add another level of understanding.
Nicholas Petrie debuts the novel at 7pm tonight at Boswell Books.