THE LION HUNT

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by Richard Zappa RELEASE DATE: tomorrow

Thriller fans will find this adventure highly entertaining and addictive.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Zappa’s latest installment in his saga featuring Jo Crowder pits the New Orleans homicide detective against a ruthless Mexican drug lord.

After stealing a cache of drugs and money from a recent raid, a disillusioned Crowder is caught, convicted, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. “Here I am, putting my life on the line every fucking day doing my job, while others are getting away with shit—buying new cars, paying off their mortgages and credit card debt, and padding their bank accounts. And me, I can barely afford the mortgage payment on the dump I call a home.” Temporarily housed in a low-security detention facility, Crowder realizes she can’t spend the next two decades in prison—she needs to escape as soon as possible, flee the country, and try to begin a new life under a new identity. Then Elena Sanchez-Gomez—the wife of the head of an infamous Mexican drug-trafficking cartel—enters the facility as a prisoner; she’s recently been convicted of the attempted murder of a Louisiana state trooper during a traffic stop. The two women soon join forces in an attempt to not only survive the many dangers of the prison system but also to try to escape, cross the border into Mexico, and reunite with Sanchez-Gomez’s all-powerful husband, nicknamed El Leon (the Lion). Both women are cunning in their own ways: Crowder is a “dirty cop” with military and combat training, and Sanchez-Gomez is a survivor of Mexico’s mean streets, an orphan who’s had to kill multiple times to survive. Should the modern-day versions of Thelma and Louise eventually find a way to escape the detention faculty, their path to freedom—literally more than a thousand miles into southern Mexico—will be flooded with DEA agents, police officers, enemy cartel members, and innumerable people seeking the lucrative reward money for apprehending the two escaped convicts.

Complicating matters is El Leon’s newest drug on the market, which is laced with fentanyl, ecstasy, and LSD and is “a hundred times more potent than prescription oxycodone.” Described as “the most dangerous drug to have ever been trafficked in the United States,” the deadly new product leaves Crowder with a conflicted conscience. Her intense bond with Sanchez-Gomez is genuine, but will helping her ultimately end up killing thousands of addicts in the States? The action-packed story revolves around a cast of diverse and deeply developed characters, but the novel’s greatest strength comes from former trial lawyer Zappa’s ability to construct an impressively intricate storyline. The plot twists are worthy of applause, and readers will find themselves riveted throughout this highly palatable fusion of police procedural and mainstream thriller. The novel also differentiates itself from comparable titles through an examination (albeit subtle) of the opioid epidemic, which brings a timeliness and thematic weight to the story: “The body count from accidental overdoses continued to rise [in] the streets of more American cities. The only way to slow the emerging fentanyl epidemic was to stop the manufacture of [the] drug.”

Thriller fans will find this adventure highly entertaining and addictive.

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 9781922329660

Page Count: 378

Publisher: Alkira

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2024

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