Thursday, January 12, 2017


The Convenient Escape
by Robert Downs

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Black Opal Books (November 11, 2016)
Publication Date: November 11, 2016
Genre: Mystery | Thrillers
Print Length: 308 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.

Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.

But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…

The Convenient Escape by Robert Downs

The Convenient EscapePage one, a woman on the run in a dark and foreboding woods. Bullets wiz past her as she stumbles headlong through unknown territory with her former captor dogging her every step, death on his mind. I was caught, hook, line and sinker as I began Robert Downs’ THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE. Question one, why was Veronica Baird captured in the first place? Torn and battered, cut and bedraggled, Veronica headed for the one place she figured she wouldn’t stand out and look who is sitting, just barely upright at the bar? Pete Nealey is a former classmate, completely irritating and had a hand in ruining Veronica’s reputation. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Pete could be a good cover to escape.

Pete Nealey was destroyed during his tour of duty in Iraq and he has the nightmares and flashbacks to prove it. He watched a friend and brother-in-arms die. He killed innocent pawns to get to the enemies. And.He.Pays.Daily.

When Veronica reappears in his life, she is still the prickly and sarcastic woman she had always been, but she was clearly in trouble and he needed to do more than kill brain cells in a bar. Trained to kill, to fight and to survive, he could be the answer to her survival as well as the one person she could trust. Or can she? Definitely not a match made in heaven, this unlikely team is about to embark on a mission of survival, reconnaissance, all while sniping at each other like overgrown children. Exactly what is going on? Who is after Veronica and why? What has she seen or what does she know that makes her a target for murder? How exactly can Pete help her or will Pete find that she has inadvertently helped him to deal with his past?

My hat is off to Robert Downs for clearly stamping his creation with a unique style that runs from the gritty sound of older mysteries to a contemporary grind without missing a beat. His bold approach to his characters’ complete individuality is refreshing as he doesn’t ask you to like them all of the time, but to see what he sees inside that makes them tick. Non-stop from a high tension start down a twisted trail of mystery, danger and possible death, Robert Downs has proven to me that he can write thrillers with the greats while etching his own style into each page!

Author Bio
Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he'd already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website:
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.


Book Excerpt
Her high heels dug into the soft earth beneath her.
Her skirt and blouse, damp with sweat, clung to her body.
The trees whistled above her, the wind whipping through the branches.
Her heart raced, slamming against her chest. Her right side ached, shooting the pain up toward her chin. Her mind raced as fast as her legs moved—escape remained her only option. A grimace twisted her lips, as the stitch in her side grew stronger.
Footsteps lingered behind her. Not far. Close. Veronica glanced over her shoulder, tripping on a branch beneath her. The soft earth padded her knee and braced her fall. Up. She shot to her feet, as her adversary threatened to close the distance even more.
Glancing over her shoulder, she saw only blackness. Nothing more. She strained to hear his labored breathing, but she heard only her heartbeat instead.
A shot rang out, slamming against a tree branch off to her left. Her head whipped around, as bark sprayed in every direction. A piece caught her cheek, slicing it, and she swiped it away with her left hand. Brushing it aside like a dead fruit fly.
The blood on her fingers lingered.
Saltwater dripped into her eyes, obscuring her field of vision. With the same hand, she wiped away the remnants of sweat—and transferred the blood to her cheek—as a voice called out to her.
“You won’t get far,” the voice said. “Daddy’s going to get you.”
She shook her head, just one quick motion to clear the voice from her mind. Her arms pumped at her sides, like two pistons working together. She grimaced as the darkness found her and a hand touched her shoulder. The hand was stiff, and it lingered longer than it should have. When she turned her head, she discovered it was a tree. An owl hooted above her, as dark shadows crept over her and the surrounding forest. The moon guided her. It was more than enough light to offer her a sense of direction.
She picked up her knees and pushed herself forward. Her hands pumped at her sides faster and faster, as the darkness nearly swallowed her whole.
She stumbled again. This time a rock caught the toe of her left foot. A knee glanced off a root and shot pain up her thigh. The stitch in her side continued to throb and grow with each passing second.
Another shot rang out.
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