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With more twists and turns than Lombard Street, Deadfall is an adrenaline rush from the get-go.

Pen Wilkinson is now a former federal prosecutor after her boss felt like she wasn't a team player. This doesn't sit well with her, and when she's presented with an opportunity for a rather unconventional assignment, she takes it. The assignment has her taking a job as a paralegal at DSI, a defense contractor, to dig into the murder of Keri Wylie. Wylie, an attorney at DSI, had made a call casting suspicion on Paul Landrum, whose company holds a significant chunk of DSI shares, but didn't give any hard information to support her concerns.

But once she's on the assignment, Pen can take nothing for granted. DSI's head of security seems to take a particular interest in her, despite her polished cover story. Who can she trust? Just how much support from the FBI does she have? Is Agent Wendy Nomura running this as a rogue operation, with no real backup? And what did Keri Wylie know about Paul Landrum, and why did her knowledge get her killed?

Pen Wilkinson is an excellent protagonist. She's smart, thinks quickly in a jam, and isn't afraid to do the right thing just because it needs doing. She's well aware of her physical limitations, both how they impact her and how they impact her relationships with other people. Wendy Nomura, the FBI agent handling Pen's assignment at DSI, is another strong female character dealing with her own issues in the form of a harassing supervisor who may or may not be on the take.

This book. I reckon if you'd checked my blood pressure as I was reading, it would have been through the roof. Lutterman knows just how to let the story unfold to build maximum tension. He also excels at keeping you on the hook thinking one thing will happen, and then yanking the rug out from under you and going in a whole different direction. I was nearly finished, thought, okay, we've reached the big reveal. But the action wasn't done yet. Deadfall kept me guessing, and kept me engaged, to the very last page.

If you're partial to action-packed thrillers with strong female protagonists, plot twists you don't see coming, and nail-biting suspense, grab yourself a copy of Deadfall and strap in for one wild ride.

Reviewed by

I'm Lisa. Mom of boys, baker of treats, and reader of all the books. I prefer cozy mysteries, fantasy, and suspense, but I'll read anything that grabs my attention. I thrive on coffee and dark chocolate, and I need about 12 more hours in any given day.

About the author

Brian Lutterman is the author of Downfall, which launched the Pen Wilkinson series, and four sequels. Lutterman, a former trial and corporate attorney, lives with his family in the Twin Cities. Visit his website at: view profile

Published on September 01, 2020

Published by Conquill Press

90000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by