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Deep Down Dead, by Steph Broadribb


Author: Steph Broadribb
Publisher: Orenda Books
ISBN: 9781910633557
Genre: Murder-Mystery | Crime


Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor—the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.


DEEP DOWN DEAD by British author, Steph Broadribb, just oozes authenticity so much so you can almost smell the burnt rubber on the asphalt, and the cordite smoke after each shoot out. It’s one of those rare books that when started, is almost impossible to put down. A page-flipping, tense, action-packed crime thriller, that will leave you breathless. Indeed, the frantic pace is one long roller coaster ride that doesn’t stop until the last page, with an ending that says: ‘This ain’t over yet, honey!’ And that there is plenty more where this came from.

A fact that makes me so happy. Because, simply put, the characters of Lori and JT are so well written, they draw you straight into the tangled story that Broadribb has crafted for them, tailor-made down to the last detail. This is not just a simple case of bails-bond Lori Anderson going to collect a ‘Jumper’ but so much more complex when the Jumper turns out to not only be her mentor, but someone she fell in love with. Throw in a couple of wrenches in the guise of the Miami Mafia on the hunt for JT, but also a pedophile group hell bent on silencing him, and Lori—Momma Bear—has her hands full staying one step ahead. And keeping her, and JT alive, long enough to save Lori’s daughter, Dakota, who’s been kidnapped.

And, as these guys find out the hard way, you don’t mess with a Momma Bear and come between her and her child!

From the crisp, snappy banter, to the subtext and romantic tension between JT and Lori, to the dynamics of a plot that twists and turns at every corner, everything clicks into place perfectly. DEEP DOWN DEAD is one hell of a satisfying read, with one kick-ass, memorable heroine in Lori Anderson; a woman who just doesn’t know how to give up, when fighting to save her child’s life.

A thrilling 4-STAR debut outing. If this doesn’t leave you wanting more, then I don’t know what will.

3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag: Day 3

Day 3: Government & The Church

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A. Heinlein

What do you think, given the kind of world we live in today—are we any more civilized now than we have been at any other time, in history?

Q&A with author Steph Broadribb

The first question has to be, how did a girl from Birmingham (in the UK) end up training as a bounty hunter, in the US?

It was all in the name of research! Once I knew that Lori Anderson would be a bounty hunter I knew I needed to find out as much as I could about the realities of that job—and about how it felt being a woman in the largely male dominated profession of bounty hunting – in order to make Lori as a character, and the story itself, as authentic as possible. I researched it online and via books and TV, but there’s no substitute to getting out there and finding things out first hand. By flying over to California and training with a really experienced bounty hunter, and in getting to speak with some great women who do the job for real, I felt better able to write about Lori’s world and all the challenges she faces.

What part (if any) of your training as a bounty hunter formed the basis of your character, Lori Anderson, in DEEP DOWN DEAD?

All of the scenes which involve the ‘business’ of bounty hunting are informed by my training – in that there are specific processes and documentation that have to be followed and produced, and so I’ve tried to keep these as true to life as possible while also not letting the day-to-day stuff that’s less interesting slow down the action. There are the little practical details too – things like the plexiglas divider in Lori’s truck and her use of plasticuffs – that come directly from my training. But there are also things that are different from how I was trained – Lori (and JT her ex-mentor) operate in an old school way – they’re lone operators – whereas in California where I trained it’s much more the norm for bounty hunters to work in teams. This contrast is a main feature in the story of the second book in the series – DEEP BLUE TROUBLE – as Lori finds herself having to team up with a group of bounty hunters in San Diego and the differences in how they work (among other things!) is an increasing source of friction!

DEEP DOWN DEAD could be called ‘Southern Noir’ but it’s so much more than that. Why the US and the South for your debut novel, and not say, London or Birmingham?

Ooooh I love the ‘Southern Noir’ term! I guess I wanted to set a thriller in the US because it’s such a great backdrop for an action thriller – the scale of size and the individual personalities of each state makes it a perfect setting and one with endless possibilities as the series progresses. If I’d set it in the UK Lori would have ended up travelling around the M25 or up and down the M40 motorways!! I actually got the idea for the story when I was doing the drive Lori does from West Virginia to Florida, so it felt natural to set the book there. I’m also a big fan of US action thrillers – my writing heroes are people like Lee Child, Jeff Abbott, and John D MacDonald – when I think action thriller I automatically think US!

What made you decide to write Lori in the first-person POV?

It’s how I heard her voice. When I was thinking about the story snippets of dialogue or narrative in her voice would come to me (usually as I was driving, in the bath or in a meeting for my day job!!) and when I jotted them down they’d always be in first person. It just seemed natural to write her in first person when I sat down at my keyboard to start the book.

And lastly, what can we expect for Lori in DEEP BLUE TROUBLE?

Well, the story picks up a few days after DEEP DOWN DEAD ends so I can’t say too much or I’ll give away the ending of that book… but, in essence, DEEP BLUE TROUBLE [reviewed here] sees Lori in pursuit of a fugitive that she’s caught once before. It takes place mainly in Florida and San Diego, and has Lori teaming up with a retired PI and a team of Californian bounty hunters to try and apprehend the fugitive before he makes it across the border to Mexico. It’s about family secrets, betrayal and revenge, and again Lori faces some impossible choices.


Steph Broadribb aka has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) and trained as a Bounty Hunter in California. Her debut thriller DEEP DOWN DEAD was shortlisted for the eDunnit eBook of the year award, the Dead Good Reader Award for Fearless Female Character, and Dead Good Reader Award for Most Exceptional Debut.

Check Steph out on Social media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

NOTE: This interview was first published in June, 2017, on BookBlurb

Fathers Day

My own father passed away quite some time ago and me, myself, am no spring chicken. But today, we could still celebrate Father’s Day. We were delighted to have a visit from the In-Laws who also brought cake. I mean, they are always welcome especially if they bring homemade cake!

The icing on today’s cake also came in the form of an Amazon delivery. Yes. I know. On a Sunday of all days. They appear to have changed delivery companies. Or, maybe, added a new one. Because we were lucky enough, way up here in the Frozen North (where, by the way, it’s 31 degrees today) to get a delivery. Colour me surprised.

So I am now in receipt of FORCE OF NATURE, by Jane Harper, and the delightfully colourful, THE PERPLEXING THEFT OF THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN, by Vassam Khan. Both of which I’m looking forward to reading in the coming days.