Monday, April 26, 2021

Breakout - Paul Herron

Breakout is Paul Herron's debut thriller. 

Jack Constantine is an ex-cop, currently serving time at Ravenhill Prison for murder. Its Kiera Sawyer's first day on the job as a guard at the prison. And it's also the day a massive hurricane hits the coast - with Ravenhill right in it's path. What to do? Well the warden makes a decision - gather the employees and leave - and hope the National Guard shows up to evacuate the 800 prisoners. He leaves the cells locked, but an underling opens the doors - and now each and every prisoner is free, including Jack. And one lone guard who missed the bus.

What a great premise eh? I immediately thought of Bruce Willis and his Die Hard movies. Breakout reads like a movie - and that's no surprise as Herron has worked on over twenty seven television shows. 

Jack is a complicated lead character - part criminal, part cop. The reader isn't ever quite sure which path he'll take. And Sawyer is too darn innocent -she want to save everyone. She did surprise me though. But things are down to save yourself. The prison isn't going to stand up to the hurricane. Their only option is get over to an adjacent old lock up that has tunnels to hide out in 'til the storm passes. But first they're going to have to get past every killer, every gang and the downright crazy on the way there. Oh and a few of the guys that Jack put away.

Herron has come up with some terrifying obstacles for Jack, his cellmate Felix and Kiara. His descriptions of time and place were really good. I could easily picture the prison and where they were and where they were trying to go. The storm's increasing power is mentioned at the beginning of every chapter, ramping up the tension. The action is pretty much non stop, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.  Gentle readers, this is definitely not the book for you. Visceral violence abounds. But seriously, this one screams movie. Read an excerpt of Breakout. 

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the review copy.

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