She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

Debut novels continue to be my favorite, and She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper did not disappoint. Shotgun is a gritty, dark and violent ride from start to finish. The story of eleven-year-old tough as nails, Polly McClusky “kidnapped” by her ex-con father, Nate in order to save her life will have you feeling shocked, cringing and cheering all at the same time. Nate has made an enemy out of a gang called Aryan Steel while behind bars. His actions have put a bounty on his own head plus the heads of his ex-wife, Avis and his daughter.

Nate and Polly take to the road after Avis is murdered. Being chased by very dangerous people causes Nate to love his daughter the only way he knows how- by teaching her to defend herself and to survive. The lessons Nate teaches her are hard and reading them isn’t always easy, but the love that develops between this father/daughter team is beautiful. They are two misfits trying to survive in a very dark world. Every time you start to forget that Polly is only 11-years-old, you will quickly be reminded by the stuffed bear she carries with her everywhere she goes.

I can’t say enough about the writing style and character development by Harper. He is truly a gifted author. I will be watching for his next novel.

~ Leslie M.