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She Rides Shotgun: A Novel by Jordan Harper (Review #2)


Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

She Rides ShotgunFrom the first sentence in Jordan Harper’s thrilling fiction debut, She Rides Shotgun, you find yourself a willing captive held fast by his audaciously gritty narrative which centers on the corrupted coming of age of young Polly McClusky, an innocent, thrust into the seamy side of life where criminal elements heartily dwell.

The day estranged dad and convict, Nate McClusky reappeared in eleven-year-old daughter Polly’s life, and it was effectively forever changed. Fresh out of jail, Nate didn’t bring candy and gifts like other fathers might do to make up for lost time; instead, he brought trouble, danger and visceral violence hot on his heels.

As a criminal for most of his life, Nate was no stranger to difficult predicaments, especially when he finds himself just before his release out of jail, faced with an irrefusable demand to work for a violent and widely powerful white supremacist organization, Aryan Steel. But, when Nate refuses with a shiv to the neck of the brother of the leader of Aryan Steel, he consequently finds himself, his ex and young daughter on a hit list. Compelled into an intense race against time and the treacherous, as well as forced to use any means necessary to ensure his and daughter Polly’s survival, he instructs his daughter in life lessons that no young girl should ever have to experience. Additionally, to further complicate matters, father and daughter are basically strangers and polar opposites causing personality clashes and breathtaking moments as the two have to learn to accept each other for the sake of their own survival.

She Rides Shotgun was conclusively one of the absolute best debut novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading fraught with nail biting tension, this ferociously imaginative, twisted and violent thriller brings the dark side of human nature front and center. Moreover, I found the raw emotion, and intensity that flowed throughout the story, combined with edgy characters, an engaging treat. I especially loved young Polly, a completely sympathetic character, forced to face the dark side of life. She turned out to be a richly rewarding heroine, as her inherit bravado became more noticeably tangible within the story. Definitely a necessity to add to the summer reading list.



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