LIGHT IT UP  by Nick Petrie


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An Iraq veteran stumbles into trouble when he signs on as security for a Colorado marijuana business.

Peter Ash, suffering from PTSD (he's intensely claustrophobic), responds to an old friend's request to do a job for his daughter's security company. The woman has identified Colorado's cannabis retailers as lucrative clients. Since they deal mostly in cash, they are also particularly vulnerable. This entry in Petrie's (Burning Bright, 2017, etc.) Ash series gets underway with a long, sustained hijack scene that goes from one conflict to another, ending with Ash and his friend making their escape by navigating twisting mountain roads while riding a rapidly accelerating gurney. The carnage Ash has left behind marks him as a suspect to the cops investigating the case and leaves Ash wondering if the thieves, professional and ruthless, are after something more than cash. The trouble is that you can see the elements that have gone into the creation of Ash far more clearly than you can see him as a singular creation: the combination of combat experience and combat damage marks him as tough yet vulnerable and gives him a topical edge. And there is more than a trace of Jack Reacher in the character, though without Reacher's wiseacre ability to needle the people he comes up against. Both Ash and the slow reveal of the bigger forces he is up against all feel terribly familiar.

This novel has a virtuoso opening over rugged terrain that soon turns into too-easily-recognizable territory.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-399-57563-1
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2017


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