I received a copy of this title from http://www.lovereading.co.uk/ for review purposes...
Freedom Oliver is a drunk. She is trouble. She is desperate. She is in Witness Protection. She needs to find her daughter. The daughter that she only held for a few minutes, over twenty years ago. Something sinister has happened and nothing can hold Freedom back any longer. Just who will she have to take down on her journey?
This debut from US born author, Jax Miller, is unusual. It uses the format of a crime thriller (good guys, bad guys, murder, mayhem and clever detective work), yet there is no real detective. There is badness in the goodies and some of the bad guys lean toward the good side. The past is brought into the present and ongoing nightmares become reality.
Freedom has pushed everyone away from her since she lost the most important things in her life; her children. Accused of murdering her husband, years before, she signed her son and daughter over for adoption, believing she was providing them with the best possible future. An acquittal, re-location and name change means that she has no contact with her children, but she keeps an eye on them via social media. When Rebekah, her daughter, stops posting online, Freedom is not the only one who notices. So does Mason, Freedom's son. He fears for his sisters safety and returns to their childhood home, in a religious compound. A place he had hoped never to see again. However, he is not welcome and he needs to turn detective himself, in order to help his sister. Mason is not aware that Freedom is also en-route to search for Rebekah and is being trailed by her dead husband's family, who are keen on revenge. There are also more eyes focused on Freedom than she realises. But are they watching with good intent, or bad?
The novel opens with a confident approach. A strong female protagonist, ballsy, tough, determined and yet flawed. Booze is Freedom's drug of choice and sex is just a quick fix. She has no ties, no family, no links to her past and a seriously bad temper. Working in a trucker bar, fighting her way through life on a daily basis, occasionally having convenient sex, she trusts only two people. Her female boss and a hooker called Passion. Although she has a bit of a crush on a local police officer, she is not prepared to let him get close to her. There is such an anger in Freedom's character. A bitter and twisted past, a traumatic event and the loss of her kids has made her teeter on the edge of sanity for more than two decades. The disappearance of her daughter is going to tip her one way or the other. The cross country journey that she takes is one of pain, sorrow and a host of crazy events. Everyone she touches, everyplace she goes, each time she enters a room; it all ends up in bloody chaos. There are thrills after thrills, bodies piling up, firearms, motorcycles, drugs, sex and a whole lot of bad language. The atmosphere is dark. Very dark. There are religious cults, drug-fuelled family feuds and sexual mistreatment. But there are chinks of humanity in Freedom's soul and she shows how a mother is not always in control of her feelings. Jax Miller writes like a man, and I mean that as a compliment. There is a removal from femininity, an attempt to make a female just as bad-ass as her mostly male counterparts, and she manages to make a tattooed redhead, with a nasty mouth and a murky past, seem sexy and assured. This novel is a blend of early James Patterson or Jonathan Kellerman and has chinks that are reminiscent of Thomas Harris's The Silence of The Lambs. Horror, mistrust, deception and a cracker of a female protagonist. A top-notch, right rollicking read...
Freedom's Child is published on July 30 2015 by Harper Collins and will be available in TBP and ebook format.
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