Monday, September 26, 2022

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Safe by Jane Adams

Safe by Jane Adams (Joffe Books, 2020) is the first book in the DS Petra Merrow and DI Toby Clarke series but the story really belongs to Lauren Sykes. The 17-year-old daughter of Kyle Sykes, the leader of a criminal gang in London, had been promised to the son of a rival gang leader in marriage. The gang leader in question had been moving in on her father’s business interests and Sykes thought joining the families by marriage would fend off a takeover. Lauren was not consulted and she knew she had nothing to say about marrying Charlie Perrin, an alcoholic 15 years older. That’s just the way these organized crime crews operated.

But Charlie decided to anticipate the wedding vows and Lauren was having none of it. She shot Charlie with his own gun and knew immediately that her brutal father would kill her in return. (Her father lacked basic parenting skills.) She grabbed all the cash she could find and Charlie’s car keys and went on the run. Her attempts to reach safety constitutes the plot of this nail-biting thriller that had me holding my breath.

DS Petra Merrow and DI Toby Clarke get pulled into the story line as a result of some of the action but the focus is always on Lauren.

It’s hard to say much about this hair-raising book without giving away critical plot points but I think it is safe to point out that it bears strong similarity to Edgar winner She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper (Ecco, 2017). This violent narrative has even more depth. There’s some insightful commentary about the dangers of undercover police work, as well as the way organized crime works, suborning vulnerable personnel within law enforcement to forestall prosecution.

Adams grabs the reader’s attention from the first page of this electrifying book. The action never stops, the tension is palpable, and the ending deeply satisfying. One of my best reads of the year.



·         Publisher:  Joffe Books (June 30, 2020)

·         Language:  English

·         Paperback:  272 pages

·         ISBN-10:  1789314534

·         ISBN-13:  978-178931453


Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2022

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.


Unknown said...

Kevin, your review had me hooked. I liked your comment about the father lacking parenting skills!
Thanks for bringing SAFE to my attention.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

NOT my review. This is Aubrey's review. All I did was copy and paste it into blogger.