A Book Spy Review: ‘Light It Up’ by Nick Petrie

Light it upFollowing his award-winning debut thriller, The Drifter (2016), and 2017’s hit Burning Bright, Nick Petrie brings back Iraq war veteran Peter Ash for his most hard-hitting novel yet.

Answering a friend’s call for help, Peter Ash finds himself in Colorado working for a security company run by Henry Nygaard’s daughter. The company’s primary source of income is providing protection to Denver-based “cannabis entrepreneurs,” who deal mostly in cash and therefore have become a prime target for thieves. After one of their vehicles goes missing, along with all the cash and crew–including Henry’s son-in-law–Peter agrees to be part of the next security detail. 

Riding shotgun down the highways in Colorado, Peter’s vehicle and their cargo are attacked. Not one to roll over in the face of adversity, Ash fights back hard. Soon, multiple attackers are dead, and Peter barely manages to escape alive before fleeing into the mountains. 

In the aftermath of the attack, Peter becomes a suspect when law enforcement officials think he may have something to do with the hijackings. Several things, though, don’t add up. For starters, Peter can’t figure out why thieves would go to such a great risk to steal a few hundred thousand in cash, which would then need to be split up among themselves. More importantly, he notes, is that everything about the attacks–how they’re planned, where they’re executed–indicates that they’re being carried out by professional, well-trained assailants. Not amateurs. 

The more Peter digs for answers, the more questions pop up. As his investigation continues, it takes him in a direction he never saw coming as Nick Petrie slowly pulls back the curtain to reveal a much larger plot lurking in the background. . . 

Petrie deserves a lot of credit for how he’s developed his protagonist over his first three books. Peter Ash isn’t the most attractive guy, and he’s not necessarily the smartest. But he is fiercely loyal and possesses a particularly lethal set of skills that tends to make bad guys stop breathing when they cross him.

Beyond that, he’s flawed like the rest of us. Battling PTSD, Peter suffers from a severe form of claustrophobia that makes it difficult for him to not only be in tight places but even indoors. These real-life issues make him layered and complex, but also relatable. There’s also, of course, a Jack Reacher-like side to Peter Ash, who is a wandering, combat-proficient nomad. Bottom line, Petrie has quickly turned him into one of the genre’s best characters in a very short amount of time. 

Get ready. . . Peter Ash is back in Light It Up, the latest action thriller from Nick Petrie, one of the genre’s fastest rising new stars. 

Book Details

Author: Nick Petrie
Series: Peter Ash #3
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399575634
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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