Featured Review: ‘The Hike’ by Landon Beach


When an ordinary, everyday man finds out that his brother is in trouble and has gone missing, he’ll go to extraordinary lengths to find him before it’s too late in this page-turning new thriller from underrated author Landon Beach.

Brad Cranston has a complicated relationship with his brother, Conrad, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love him. In fact, the growing separation between brothers is hardly Brad’s fault at all, and more on Conrad and his questionable lifestyle that has constantly led to him rubbing shoulders with the wrong kinds of people. In fact, when readers meet Brad here, he’s not heard from his brother in nearly six years, a streak that is suddenly broken when a panicked, broken up message from Conrad is left on Brad’s answering machine.

The sudden plea for help includes several instructions—bring a boat, head south, and do not involve the police—and the mention of money. Lots of money. Then click. That’s all, leaving Brad to ponder just what in the hell his brother got himself into this time. After failing to reach Conrad, Brad realizes something bad must have happened to his brother and enlists the help of Shelter Harbor, Michigan  Private Investigator Allison Shannon to help connect the dots.

Meanwhile, as Brad and Allison follow a mysterious set of clues in hopes of locating Conrad, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bruno is still acclimating to Detroit after being reassigned to the Motor City and tasked with helping to bring down the Detroit Mafia. Known in private circles as “The Association,” the local mob is run by Don Ciro Russo, and Bruno has his eyes set on nabbing the crime boss, advancing his own career in the process. Little does he know, though, that he’s far from the only one with his crosshairs settled on the Detroit Godfather.

As the story unfolds, all paths collide—and as Brad and Allison team with Bruno to find answers, the truth begins to trickle out, and one thing becomes abundantly clear: they’re all in way over their heads, and one wrong move will surely cost them their lives . . .

A more hard-boiled approach from Landon Beach pays off in a big way here, with his latest offering settling somewhere between a crime novel and an all-out thriller. The pacing is fast, but still, Beach manages to layer his story with excellent character development and a thoughtful, well-plotted backstory that helps reveal characters’ real intentions and motives on its way to a shocking ending. Though technically part of his “Great Lakes Saga” series, The Hike is not a direct sequel to any of the other books, allowing readers to jump right into this one—and they should. Scott Brick, one of the most in-demand narrators in the game today, returns to lend his voice in the soon-to-be-released audiobook, proving yet again to be the perfect partner to Beach’s breakneck, slightly gritty style. Always one to know how to deepen the suspense and tension, Brick’s delivery is sure to keep readers on the edge of their chairs and battling goosebumps as the final act plays out in grand fashion.

Buckle up. It’s Breaking Bad meets The Godfather…and the battle for Detroit is about to begin. Do not miss this intense, must-read thriller from Landon Beach.


Book Details

Author: Landon Beach
Pages: 363 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1982166398
Series: The Great Lakes Saga
Release Date: June 24, 2021
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10


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. Additionally, he co-hosts ThrillerTalk, a new podcast with K.J. Howe. 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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