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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins



ISBN: 9781476798578

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 7/7/2015

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 3 Stars

In the electrifying tradition of Dean Koontz and Gillian Flynn comes the first riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author!

It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

One road. One woman. One killer. Sprinting against the clock, and uncertain if danger lies ahead or behind, Kristine must blaze an epic path through the gaudy flash of roadside casinos, abandoned highway stops, and a landscape rife with horrors never before imagined. Desperate to save her doomed husband-to-be, Kristine must summon long forgotten resources if she’s to go head-to-head against this unpredictable killer. And she’d better hurry. Because she only has twenty-four hours…to make one hell of a trip.

Vicki Petersson

About the Author

I am a Las Vegas native who has always loved to read and write, yet a brief post-college stint in public relations convinced me that “working on assignment” was not the career for me. So I did what any self-respecting Vegas girl would do: I became a showgirl by night … and a closet novelist by day.

A decade later I became an “instant bestseller” with my Signs of the Zodiac fantasy series featuring reluctant superhero, Joanna Archer. The Celestial Blues para-noir trilogy – about a 1950’s PI-turned-angel unwillingly dumped into the 21st century – quickly followed, and I recently finished work on a stand-alone psychological thriller.

Though I write both paranormal and straight thrillers, the tie that binds my work together is my insistence and love for strong female characters, and with ten novels behind me I can now look back and clearly see that my passion – no, my obsession – is writing about what it means to be a woman in this man’s world. How we choose to move through it. How we define and present ourselves in it. How we prepare our daughters to do the same.

Of course, there are countless ways to answer this question, and my protagonists in my first two series – Joanna Archer and Kit Craig – do so in very different ways. Yet whether their strength is primarily physical or mental, the one thing all my female protagonists share is a willingness to face their respectively dark and dangerous worlds head-on. I love that, and so I continue to write about women who defy the odds, women who refuse to be silenced or stopped. I write the women who simply won’t be written off. Website Twitter

My Review

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Ghosts and demons, all around in Vicki Pettersson’s latest suspense horror thriller, SWERVE -- a road trip from past to present, keeping you holding your breath for a fast-paced, wild crazy twenty-four hour ride. Kristine Rush, twenty-seven, a surgical physician’s assistant and her fiancé, ER surgeon Daniel Hawthorne, are making a quick getaway, driving in his Beemer from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California for the Fourth of July weekend holiday at the prestigious Hawthorne estate.. While driving, Daniel swerves at a construction cone in the road, and causes Kristine to spill her drink and soil her scrubs. He pulls over to so she can change, at a nearby rest area (these are so spooky and creepy at night)! As they are about to go in together, his phone rings, so she proceeds without him. Kristine still sleeps with the light on and cannot make it through an average horror movie, and she is no fan of the dark. She thinks Daniel must still be talking to his mother on the phone. She is alone. While in the stall, changing, she hears footsteps and thinks it is Daniel. However, it is not Daniel. A knife blade, a scream, and a black gloved hand reaches her and all turns black. She is bleeding, and she is unaware where the person is. Could he be waiting outside and what if he is not alone? She makes it to the car and Daniel is not there? Where is Daniel? There is a phone in the car? His mother is calling. Surely he is in the men’s room. She has been attacked. A text comes through and she find herself staring at her own name in the sender’s box and in the body of the text, “Say good-bye. Now, or he dies.” Inside the building Daniel screams. The phone beeps again and says, “No police.” Get on the road, drive, or he dies. Now drive.” Now what? A game of cat and mouse sending her through the desert into a nightmare, trying to find Daniel for the first half of the book and the second half trying to survive. Slowly the past is unraveled for pure horror, both past and present. "Take a ride on the dark crazy side." It is very difficult to review SWERVE without giving away the second half with spoilers, so I will wrap up with, “not a solid complex psychological thriller, as I expected.” Twisted, violent, terrifying, horrifying, wacko, haunting, and scary enough to make me not want to stop at rest areas, with my return trip from NC to Florida next week! For me it swerved a little too much, off course.

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