My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published April 26th 2013
Source: Received for review
'On the Edge takes, Joe Malone, a disgraced and psychologically scarred Iraq War Marine veteran to the canyons and deserts of West Texas to face his biggest fears and confront a dangerous enemy while racing in a three day adventure race. Just when Joe finds he can deal with his transition from the combat to civilian life, he finds a client in his father's fitness bootcamp brutally murdered. A few days later a second client is killed. Losing his job, losing his friends, losing his sanity all is secondary when Joe realizes that more of his clients are at risk as they get ready to leave for a three-day adventure race in West Texas. To protect his friends, Joe must beat down his debilitating agoraphobia, overcome his paranoid and violent father and find some way to resolve the rift that has been created between him and his best friend all while protecting his clients from a dangerous murderer during an adventure race.'
On The Edge is the first book I have read by Dick Hannah and I thought it was a good steady mystery novel that held my interest from beginning to end.
The main character, Joe Malone, was very believable in the way he is a genuinely good guy underneath a tough and semi anti-social exterior after he received some psychological damage from his days in the military. He's a guy who likes routine and the simple life and doesn't like making tough decisions that could be detrimental to others in any way. Unfortunately, Joe is thrown totally out of his confort zone when his father asks him to accompany his fitness team on an adventure race recently after a couple of the members have been mysteriously murdered.
The story revolves around Joe facing his demons while trying to keep his team safe and work out who the murderer could be.
I have to point out that I did find this novel was very heavily centered around military and fitness themes which are two topics that aren't usually high on my agenda to read, but the constant action and interesting characters certainly made up for it.
On The Edge contains a heap of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and is a book that I would definitely recommend to those who love a good suspenseful mystery.
Imagine Dick Francis listing toward adventure races instead of horse racing. Or Diane Mott Davidson writing about triathlons inlieu of catering. With a background in adventure races including competing in the Army Best Ranger Competition Dick Hannah provides a fresh voice and real world glimpse into the world of adventure racing and fitness in his thriller novels.
Prior to starting his writing career he spent four years as a Ranger team leader and continues to stay sharp by working as a fitness consultant at a fitness bootcamp. When not racing or writing, Dick works full-time as technical writer, business analyst and trainer.
Dick followed up Toe the Line, his first full-length novel, in 2013 with On the Edge. He has already started on his third thriller, Vapor Trail, which he plans to release in 2014. He can be contacted through his blog at www.puborperish.blogspot.com.