Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Review of Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb (Orenda, 2017)
Deep Down Dead is a crime thriller that follows the exploits of sassy bounty hunter and single-mother, Lori Anderson, in bringing back to Florida the person who taught her everything about her job, JT. In tow is her ill daughter and a messy past with JT. The key ingredients to the book are pace, action and tension. Broadribb keeps the narrative hurtling along as her heroine grapples with JT, the Miami Mob and a paedophile ring working in the Winter Wonderland theme park. What holds the story together, however, is an endless series of plot devices, many of which felt a little clunky, that stretched believability to the limit. Moreover, the relentless pace meant the tale lacked emotional depth and reflexivity beyond some confused feelings for JT and a desire to rescue the daughter. Overall then, a Hollywood action thriller that zips along in a series of improbable scenes, propelled by a sassy lead character, a will they/won’t they romance, and fear for a kidnapped child.