Erik Storey returns
following his debut hit, Nothing Short of Dying
(2016)—where the talented new author introduced readers and new fans to the unlikely hero, Clyde Barr.
In this highly anticipated follow-up, A PROMISE TO KILL,
Barr returns, better than ever! An action-packed, intense, adventure
where life is anything but simple for Barr. Trouble seems to find Barr no matter how many times life attempts to pull him down. He comes up swinging.Storey has created
an edgy tough main character with strong morals and honor . . . and a heart of gold. Men and women readers
alike will be drawn to the setting and this strong and intriguing character. I actually like him better than Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.As we pick up
from the last book (can be read as a standalone); however, would recommend reading the first book to get the proper intro into this complex character. However, we do learn a bit more about Clyde in this installment.Traveling across Utah,
with a new mare and a reluctant mule named Bob, Barr spots an old man’s truck in the ditch. He, of course, stops to assist. His heart. His cell is dead. He needs to get him to a hospital.
He hops into the truck and takes him to the hospital. An old Ute from the nearby Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. They connect. Heart problems. Myocardial infarction. He would be dead without Clyde Barr. Lawana and her son.
The three of them – grandfather, daughter, Lawana and grandson, fifteen-year-old- Taylor all lived at the family ranch. They needed Barr’s help. He offered.
He had worked on a lot of ranches and he, of course, did not tell them all the work and places he had been. Clyde likes this woman and family. Barr settles into a routine on the ranch. . . until the Reapers.
An outlaw bikers club. All white.
These men were full of menace. The Reapers called him a "bumpkin" and told him to go play with the Indians. He was threatened and warned. Thousands of lives were at risk. Taylor’s dad had died in Afghanistan,
as an army captain. He was going to help run the ranch while his mom ran the local clinic. He died trying to save his men. Soon Taylor had confidence in him. He looked up to Barr. However, Barr had some proving to do to earn his mother’s trust. He wants to protect
the reservation and fight for those he cares about. Barr soon learns
that the family name was a corruption of the name of their great war chief ancestor, Nicaagat. He’d let his warriors in one of the last actions against the US government, right before his people were forced out of the mountains of Colorado and into the alkali desert of Utah.The memories surface.
His rough childhood, the wars he had fought in the third world, and his time behind bars because of a mix-up between the Mexican government and the cartels, and the people he loved and lost along the way. One who was especially important.
He thought he had left all the chaos behind when he came back to the States more than a year ago. But apparently, he was mistaken. Whatever tranquility he had felt
when he first entered town had entirely disappeared. This was the kind of thing Barr had tried to avoid since coming back, after being released from prison. However, his strong sense of protecting the underdog had a way of bringing him to the center of trouble.
Will Clyde ever go back to normal or will he be broken? Will the boy, the grandfather and the daughter want to him to stay around? Would he ever belong? He wasn’t Ute. He was an outsider. Barr liked to live on the edge.
He missed it. He loved it here. Like a wild animal. The most beautiful, smartest, and the toughest woman he had ever met. He liked this family. Was it time for him to move on?
. . . Does Lawana deserve more than he can offer? Does Barr need to be out there in the wilderness?
. . . “Somewhere along the way, the empty spaces became part of who I am. It’s where I’m at my best.”WOW, a powerful story.
Well written with in-depth research, Storey knows the great outdoors and the wilderness, reflective throughout the novel. His style strongly reminds me of Charles Martin
(another favorite author), The Mountain Between Us
and Water from My Heart
. Martin (not a crime writer); however, both talented authors possess their own unique individual style; however, they both write stories about the rugged great outdoors and strong tough characters (men) who connect with equally strong dynamic women and children. There is always a memorable story
which creates a nice balance. A fated encounter, strong bonds, connection, a tug and pull, heartstrings, choices, and consequences.
Also for fans of John Hart (another favorite), C.J. Box, Lee Child, Ace Atkins, David Joy, William Kent Krueger, and Craig Johnson. Highly recommend
this gripping and suspenseful series and this gifted newfound master storyteller. Can’t wait to see what’s next for Clyde. A special thank you to Scribner, NetGalley and the author for an early reading copy.
I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Pete Simonelli
for an entertaining performance. Move A PROMISE TO KILL
to the top of your list. Movie-worthy!JDCMustReadBooks