Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Escape Velocity

Summary: When does the Con become the Artist? Georgia Griffin has just arrived in Silicon Valley from Piney, Arkansas on very bald tires, having firmly rejected her beloved father’s life as a con artist. Her father is in jail and a certain minister is hugging her mother for Jesus while eyeing Georgia’s little sister, Katie-Ann. Georgia desperately needs to keep her new job as paralegal for Lumina Software so she can provide a California haven for her sister before it’s too late.

While she’s still living in her car, Georgia realizes that incompetence and self-dealing have a death grip on her new company. She decides to adapt her extensive con artist training—just once—to clean up the company. But success is seductive. Soon Georgia is an avid paralegal by day and a masterful con artist by night, using increasingly bold gambits designed to salvage Lumina Software. Then she steps into the shadow of a real crime and must decide: Will she risk her job, the roof over her sister’s head, and perhaps her very soul? -- Steelkit Press

This is a pretty cool story about Susan Wolfe, the author of the novel ESCAPE VELOCITY. She won an Edgar Award twenty seven years ago for her debut novel THE LAST BILLABLE HOUR and hasn't written a novel since! After practicing law as a criminal defense attorney and then as an in-house lawyer for a Silicon Valley high tech companies, she has returned to writing with ESCAPE VELOCITY.

ESCAPE VELOCITY tells the story of Georgia Griffin, a young woman who has recently received her paralegal degree and moved to Silicon Valley. She is trying to start a new life for herself and her teenage sister. Georgia grew up in Arkansas with a father who was a con man, and she is determined not to follow in her father's footsteps. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the apple doesn't fall so far from the tree.

Georgia jumps right into getting to know her new company, and it doesn't take long for her to realize that there are quite a few inept managers running the company. She decides that she can use her "special skills," aka con artist moves, to remedy the problem employees. Things seem to be working out fairly well for Georgia until she discovers a real crime. It's at this point that she has to decide the extent she's willing to go to save the company... and herself!

I found ESCAPE VELOCITY to be a fairly unique read. I tend to read quite a few mystery/thrillers a month, but I can't remember ever reading one quite like this. And it's the unusual nature of the story, as well as the author's ability to weave humor into the story, that made ESCAPE VELOCITY an enjoyable read for me. This novel received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and I do think it will appeal to many readers.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I loved this book, but I did like it. My only issue with the book was that I thought there was a lot of build up to get to the actual crime/mystery. Having said that, once that part of the story became the focus, I truly enjoyed it; and I found it to be very suspenseful.

One of my favorite things about ESCAPE VELOCITY was the character of Georgia. I found her to be quite entertaining, and I loved her moxie. Her sense of humor and insight into other's behavior was  also terrific. And I adored how she used her acquired skills as a con artist to put all of these questionable managers in place... and eventually save herself!

I sincerely hope that Ms. Wolfe doesn't wait this long before writing another novel! I found her storytelling abilities to be strong, and I loved all of the humor she put into the story. In addition, it was interesting to get an inside look into the inner workings of a high tech company. It was obvious to me that she incorporated her personal experiences into the story, and I bet she's seen quite a bit in her years as a lawyer in Silicon Valley.

Overall, ESCAPE VELOCITY was an exciting read; and I do recommend it to fans of mysteries and suspense!

Thanks to Get Red PR for providing a review copy of this novel.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

Wow, that was a long time between books! I'm glad to see she didn't lose her writing mojo.

Kim@Time2Read said...

This one sounds pretty interesting, but I'm still on the fence about actually reading it. I'll add it to my 'maybe' list and see if I can make some time for it!