DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb
CBTB Rating: 4.5/5
The Verdict: action-packed, gripping entertainment
Full disclosure: I don’t normally read action thrillers. In fact, DEEP DOWN DEAD was my first action thriller ever—and it was the absolute perfect introduction to the genre. If you’re looking to branch out into action thrillers, but want a read that’s also character-driven and endearing, Steph Broadribb’s debut is an excellent choice.
DEEP DOWN DEAD follows Lori Anderson, a tough-as-they-come bounty hunter in Florida. Lori’s young daughter Dakota is recovering from cancer, and the medical bills are stacking up. To pay them, Lori accepts a tough case which finds her traveling across the country to pick up a wanted man and return him to Florida. But the assignment is much more than she bargained for: it finds her crossing paths with JT, the former love of her life, a man who seems to bring nothing but trouble with him. Lori soon becomes embroiled in a case that poses an imminent threat both to her own life, and to the life of her daughter.
DEEP DOWN DEAD is action-packed, gripping entertainment. I truly was swept up in this story from the very beginning to the very end! This book is pure adrenaline, full of tension and breathless suspense. The crimes at this story’s core are twisted and sickening, and I found myself cheering for Lori and JT as they fight against impossible odds in the name of justice. DEEP DOWN DEAD reads like an action movie, and I simply couldn’t get enough.
The best thing about this book is its representation of an unapologetically strong female lead. Lori Anderson is not only an emotionally-complex character, but she’s also just as tough as any of the men represented in this story. Working as a bounty hunter, she’s one of the few women in her profession—and she never lets herself be pushed around. She’s savvy and brave, and I’m betting she could keep up with any action hero out there. But beyond her tough exterior, she’s also a loving mom and a very human character. Her backstory is heartbreaking and compelling, and I found myself more and more invested in her as the story progressed.
This book does have a bit of romance in it, just as a heads-up! Personally, I loved the touch of romance - by the end of the book, I was quite literally teary-eyed, hoping for Lori and JT to find a way to be together. The romance part of this story is minimal - it’s just enough to make you invested in the bond between Lori and JT. I'm the first person to be critical if a crime novel has too much romance, and I thought Steph handled this aspect of the story beautifully.
DEEP DOWN DEAD is pure entertainment. It has action, suspense, a touch of romance, seemingly impossible odds for our protagonists to overcome, and a cliffhanger ending that left me desperate for more. What's more, it has a strong human angle—you'll find yourself fully invested in this book's characters. If you’re looking for a book that’s completely immersive and addictive, DEEP DOWN DEAD is the perfect choice!
Thank you to Karen of Orenda Books for letting me participate in this blog tour! I absolutely loved DEEP DOWN DEAD, and can't wait to see what Steph will do next.
Make sure to check out the rest of the DEEP DOWN DEAD blog tour! You can also find Steph's crime fiction blog at crimethrillergirl.com.