“Drift” by L.T Ryan and Brian Christopher Shea

4 May 2021
Drift Book Cover Drift
L. T. Ryan, Brian Shea (Novelist),

Ex-Army criminal investigator Rachel Hatch is a drifter. No home. No commitments. Until her sister's drowning drags her back to the town she left fifteen years ago. Convinced her sister's death was no accident, Hatch partners with the local sheriff, Dalton Savage to uncover the truth. Every answer unlocks another question, and as the investigation begins to unravel, Hatch and Savage find their lives on the line. Hatch is forced to use her special set of skills--forged on the field of combat--to learn the truth about her sister and bring those responsible to justice. -- Page [4] of cover.

Upon the suggestions on Twitter, I decided to look up a book from a narrator I did know, and that narrator is Maryne Young. Moreover, she so sweetly suggested I listen to this specific book, and so using my Audible credit for the month, I purchased up “Drift” by L.T Ryan and Brian Christopher Shea for an honest review!

I do not want to give spoilers because I feel that would be a terrible idea and spoil a book you as a listener may enjoy. Instead, what I want to do is give a basic synopsis. Rachel Hatch comes from an experienced military background, and she knows a lot about criminal behavior from that perspective. She gets a call from her mom to come home, which sends her life into a spin she is not comfortable with and is adjusting to. Without any other spoilers, Rachel has to find the person or people responsible for the death of a beloved woman in the community. This is the story of how she does it and how she adjusts to a life she is not comfortable with.

For the review, my only complaint falls in how this story is set like a mystery but has different pacing notes, and for me, that threw me off a bit on the genre nature of it. I am a big fan of mystery pacing. I love when things are put together like breadcrumbs. Some easier to figure out than others. “Drift” has different notes, and the red herrings are not as obvious, nor are the mystery clue paces. I like it, but it threw me off, and that is my most significant criticism.

Another issue I had was a structure issue regarding the desire to care about a victim and not use that as a prop. We do not ever really get to know the victim intimately. We are told about them a lot, but there is not that connection. Furthermore, while yeah, that is often done in an Agatha Christie type novel, I felt that it was a missed opportunity with what was going on in this story. I would have liked to know more about the victim, aside from the few things we got.

Like for example, why was she a single parent? What happened to the husband to make her a widow? What else did she like to do with her kids? These questions represent the little things that would have helped connect to the prize a bit more, in my opinion. Again, this is just my opinion here. If you, as a reader, do not need to know the little details of the victim behind the story, please ignore my critique here.

So now, allow me the opportunity to go into what I truly enjoyed about this story. Rachel Hatch is an unforgettable female protagonist. She is not strong because we are told she is strong or given off-page descriptions of her strength. We are shown bullet for bullet or punch by punching a solid and wonderful female protagonist. Hell, she is more robust and better than Rambo, in my opinion.

Secondly, I loved how the tension went in the story and how that enhanced the pacing. The story flowed so well. When it was tense, the story was fantastic and helped me feel the pace increase. I found this especially significant during the fight sequences. There was the initial introduction one, and the tension at the end as Rachel was going into a place she did not know, but felt confident against her component, was fantastic. The tension was the best during the fight between the cars later and her new ally by her side. I loved this part. It was thrilling, and I could see it in my mind’s eye in a cinematic score. Tension is essential, and it was masterfully placed through the narrative by the writers.

Lastly, I truly enjoyed Maryne Young’s performance. Her ability to do voices was fantastic. She also did a phenomenal job at adding to the story by giving it a voice. The best part for me was her ability to make the moments with the children so touching and warm where they needed to be and make a fight sequence more realistic with her vocal ability. Maryne has a skill at her craft of narration, and I think her Twitter handles her role. She truly is an Audio Sorceress.

Overall, “Drift” was a wild ride. I have scored “Drift” with a 91/100, a 5-star review on Goodreads and Audible. It is the first book in a series, and I am planning on looking into the series further because I enjoyed this book so much, and I hope you do as well.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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