I’ve lived a life, several lives. I was the daughter of a violent father, the wife of a violent husband; oppressed by weak men who only knew how to express themselves with their fists. Now, at thirty-two years old, I’m living something close to the life I hoped for. I’ve got a successful career on my own terms; I’m mom to Dakota; I’m lover to JT. I don’t want things to end. Not this way.”


There’s something about female bounty hunters. I love them and American crime writers do them so well, Janet Evanovich’s excellent Stephanie Plum a case in point. So it’s both a surprise and a pleasure that Brit Steph Broadribb has created such an authentic protagonist in US bounty hunter Lori Anderson, star of Deep Dirty Truth. It’s Lori’s third outing and my first encounter with her. And it’s a splendid one, helped quite probably by Broadribb’s own experiences: she trained as a bounty hunter in California. Career envy.

From the first page, we’re thrown into the action, the fast pace and short chapters adding to the sense of urgency that we experience alongside Lori, when a crime that she committed ten years ago comes back to bite her with a vengeance.

Snatched by the Boncheses, Miami’s prominent mob family, she’s offered the chance to save herself, her lover and young daughter if she can bring in Carlton North, the mob’s numbers man who Old Man Bonchese also considers a son. The problems – North is in federal custody and due to testify against the family in 48 hours and Lori has to wonder if she’s really just a dead woman walking.

Still, you can’t keep a good woman down.

Lori’s a survivor. She’s known violent men all her life and she’s finally reached a place where things seem good. She’s not giving that up without a fight. And it is a fight.

I’m not going say any more here as I don’t want to spoil the plot. Suffice it to say, this is a very tightly written book, the action relentless, the characters unforgiving. But don’t just take my word for it: read it.


Deep Dirty Truth | Steph Broadribb | Orenda Books | 10 January 2019 | paperback | £8.99


Music to listen to: Father John Misty, ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings‘; Jacuzzi Boys, ‘Island Ave’; Levek, ‘Black Mold Grow‘; Otto Von Schirach, ‘When Dinosaurs Rule the Earth

Acknowledgements: Quote from Deep Dirty Truth © Steph Broadribb 2018. This review is published as part of the Deep Dirty Truth virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater for organising the tour and to the publisher for supplying a book proof and the jacket. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

See also: ‘Remembrance of things past: The Old You’; ‘Family matters – JD Robb’s Obsession with Death’; ‘Another one bites the dust: Symon’s Overkill; ‘Beautiful words – The Language of Secrets’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir’; ‘Johana Gustawsson’s Keeper – indie publisher Orenda does it again‘; ‘We should all be feminists’; ‘Jane Harper’s stylish debut – The Dry’; ‘Mallory an old-style hero – It Happens in the Dark by Carol O’Connell’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”’; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Select The Literary Lounge Q&As/interviews:  ‘Gunnar Staalesen: The Literary Lounge Q&A’; Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist; ‘Meet Gina Kirkham: The Literary Lounge Q&A.

Film: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) – a Billy Wilder classic?; Night Mail (1936), changing the face of British film; A Colour Box by Len Lye (1935); Hitchcock (2012); The Splendour of George Stevens’ Giant (1956).


This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.