Nick Petrie Dishes on His Next Peter Ash Novel, ‘The Breaker’

Peter Ash, the hero of Nick Petrie’s popular series, will return in The Breaker on January 12, 2021.

Ash, who was first introduced in Petrie’s award-winning debut, The Drifter (2016), was last seen in The Wild One, which came out back in January. A combat veteran who suffers from PTSD and an extreme case of claustrophobia, Peter would much rather spend his time alone, in the wilderness, underneath the stars. However, his knack for being in the wrong place at the right time has led to him mixing it up with a number of unsavory individuals, where his skill as a soldier has served him well.

Often compared to Lee Child’s hulking nomad of a hero, the bestselling author even weighed in on Peter Ash saying, “Lots of characters get compared to my own Jack Reacher, but Petrie’s Peter Ash is the real deal.”

This time around, in The Breaker (the sixth book in Petrie’s series), Peter once again finds himself pulled into a dangerous situation . . .

“In The Breaker, Peter Ash is a wanted man, living quietly under the radar with June and renovating houses with Lewis,” Petrie told the Real Book Spy. ” But his quiet life is disrupted when he and Lewis see something bad about to happen, and steps in to stop it.  When June’s reporting on the incident turns ugly, she needs Peter’s help to find the truth—and keep all of them alive.

“Because my previous book was set in a relatively exotic location—Iceland—and because Peter spends most of that book on his own, I wanted the new book to be set somewhere familiar—my hometown of Milwaukee—and feature June and Lewis prominently.  I also wanted to see June at work, and those scenes were particularly fun to write.”

Check out the cover art and plot details below.


jacket THE BREAKERPeter Ash is back in action in the newest thriller from national bestselling author Nick Petrie.

A wanted man, Peter Ash has found a simple low-profile life in Milwaukee, working on his PTSD with his girlfriend, June, and renovating old buildings with his friend Lewis. But when June’s reporting on a mysterious high-tech robbery turns threatening, she needs Peter to protect her while she dives deeper into a world of very strange and very dangerous people.




As for how Coronavirus is impacting his day-to-day life, Petrie told me, “I feel really, really lucky that I get to work from home and write full-time because COVID-19 hasn’t thrown my life into a blender as it has for so many people,” before dishing on how he’s filling his time while living in quarantine.

“I actually find it soothing to dive daily into my own little fictional world, where I’m (at least theoretically) in charge of how the story unfolds, unlike the real world with all its pandemic strangeness, where all most of us can do is stay home, limit our social contact, cross our fingers, and hope.”

“I’m also feeling enormously grateful that so many essential workers are still doing the jobs we all need them to do—medical professionals, obviously, along with police and fire—but also the folks at grocery stores and shipping hubs who keep the world running for the rest of us.

“What do I do differently these days?  I’ve dramatically reduced my news consumption because, otherwise, I can’t think of anything other than the current crisis.  I also spend a lot more time walking outside, even on cold, wet days, because our house is small and full, and also because walking helps me figure out book problems.

When it comes to passing the time, Petrie said he’s digging into a bunch of great books, and even recommended some titles to those in search of a great thriller.

“I’ve always been a big reader, and I’m reading even more now.  I just finished Desperation Road, by Michael Farris Smith, and really really loved it.  Dark as midnight, but gorgeous.  I’d not read him before, and now I have to pick up the rest of his books.  I’m currently in the middle of James Lee Burke’s Robicheaux, which is excellent—I’ve been a fan of his since The Neon Rain.  Up next are Mindy Mejia’s Strike Me Down, set in the world of kickboxing (Mindy is super-talented) and Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes’s big Vietnam war novel that’s been recommended to me by many, many people.

The Breaker, the next must-read Peter Ash thriller from Nick Petrie, is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold.


Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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