Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

photo courtesy of Amazon.com
Released: July 2015

Swerve is a thriller and standalone novel by Vicki Pettersson — author of the popular "Sign of the Zodiac" urban fantasy series. Like the urban fantasy series, Swerve takes place in Las Vegas, too (as well as in Primm and on the I-15), so if you live in Vegas or have spent time there, you'll most likely really enjoy this novel.

Swerve is a quick read and everything a thriller should be — it's extremely suspenseful and fast-paced, and well written to keep you interested to the last page. It's bloody, gory, and scary, and could easily be adapted for the big screen. In fact, Pettersson's writing in Swerve is so vivid and colorful that I could see the story unfolding in my head as if it were an actual movie.

The novel opens with a young woman named Kristine driving through the desert on the I-15 with her fiance Daniel to visit his rich family for the 4th of July weekend. Daniel is a prominent surgeon at a Las Vegas hospital, and Kristine is his assistant in the operating room. While taking a quick break at a rest stop, Kristine is attacked in the bathroom and wakes up minutes later to discover Daniel has been abducted, and that his abductor wants Kristine to take part in a grotesque scavenger hunt if she wants her fiance kept alive.

Swerve is action-packed the entire way through and tastefully woven with psychological elements. There's lots of guts and violence, and Kristine is an extremely likeable badass. Despite knowing Kristine is likely to succeed and beat the bad guy at the end, you can't help but stay glued to Swerve just for the sake of devouring the nasty, gory details about the enemy's demise. Fans of thrillers—psychological and otherwise—will largely appreciate Pettersson's Swerve.

I've been a fan of Pettersson since reading The Scent of Shadows shortly after its release in 2007, which is the first novel in the "Sign of the Zodiac" series. The series is fantastic if you're a fan of urban fantasy, and extra fantastic if you're familiar with the setting of glitzy Las Vegas.

Here are all the novels in the "Sign of the Zodiac" series, in order:
  1. The Scent of Shadows (2007)
  2. The Taste of Night (2007)
  3. The Touch of Twilight (2008)
  4. City of Souls (2009)
  5. Cheat the Grave (2010)
  6. The Neon Graveyard (2011)
Have you read Swerve, and if so, what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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