Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Nook Review: "HOT PURSUIT" by Susan Dayley

Susan Dayley 

Susan Dayley, author of YA suspense novels, heats things up in Hot Pursuit, her sequel to 2013’s Cold Pursuit, which presented a dynamic twist to ebooks by offering dual plot lines and four possible endings.

Hot Pursuit was my first experience with a multiple-ending format in a YA read. It’s a great option for readers who enjoy exploring a great story from other angles. Dayley’s narrative is crisp, her topics are current, and the action is well-paced. The book grabs your attention on the first page where two sinister-sounding conversations are revealed. By page two, the romantic tension between Kennady and Atticus is framed, and by page five you realize that this cast of coeds is about to be assailed from all sides.

Dayley strikes a good balance between the suspense line and the romance, making it a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers, and with four possible endings, you can literally have the ending you want.

From the back cover:

Kennady thought she’d found the perfect summer escape–working at a resort in Jackson Hole. But then Atticus, whom she once loved, comes to town, an international conference threatens world finances, and a Mexican cartel shows up to stop the conspirators. When Kennady’s friend Chelo gets entangled with a handsome and possibly dangerous man, her own life is threatened. From blowing the door off a room with a microwave, to being shot at in the rain, Jackson was not an escape after all.

Dayley weaves her multiple storylines well, keeping close tabs on her diverse characters while converging all the plots. Her main character, Kennady, just wants to put some distance between her broken heart and the professor and son who broke it, so she and a her friend Chelo take jobs at a luxury hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But the professor’s seemingly perfect family is embroiled in their own personal struggles which lead Atticus to Jackson Hole as well. He and Kennady run into one another, and as in Cold Pursuit, they also run across some criminals’ nefarious plans. The attraction is still there, at least they each think so, but it’s hard to untangle a complicated relationship when you and your friends are being chased by international criminals bent on killing you.

Meanwhile, Chelo is pursued by a handsome suitor whose story doesn’t quite add up. Her mother’s concern causes her to tell Chelo how the pair were forced to escape from the cartel in Central America. About the time danger closes in around Kennady, it also comes knocking at Chelo’s door, and the cavalry arrives from unlikely heroes and anti-heroes.

Though Hot Pursuit is a sequel, Dayley handles the backstory deftly, making the book a satisfying standalone read, with many levels of interest. Her diverse cast of characters come with a variety of flaws and strengths. There is someone here for every reader to embrace.  This “choose-your-own-ending” novel also includes links to supplemental info about story locations, songs, music videos, and other fun material accessible easily with a click.

Hot Pursuit would make a great weekend escape. Danger is sometimes averted too conveniently, but the real joy in the book is watching these savvy, highly skilled college kids deal with their own “stuff” while trying to save the world and each other, and the optional endings allow readers to have a satisfying conclusion, no matter what kind of ending they seek.

Hot Pursuit is available in paperback or as an ebook, but choose the ebook version so you can quickly tap into the extras the author has included.

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