I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Ridealong by Michaelbrent Collings
Published by Michaelbrent Collings on April 27, 2015
Genres: Fiction, General, Girls & Women, Law & Crime, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Thrillers, Thrillers & Suspense, Women Sleuths, Young Adult
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"I've left clues for you, and clues for the police. They'll be searching for you. The evidence at the scene of Officer Knight's death is enough to send you both to jail." "Who am I searching for?" The Voice laughs. That strange, dangerous laugh. "Me, of course." *** It was supposed to be just one more ridealong, a night when high schooler Melissa Latham accompanies her father on his patrol. But when a psychotic killer targets them for a wicked game, the night turns into a high-speed chase where there is no prize for second place. They have to find a killer before he murders the next one of their friends. They have to find a killer before they are caught and charged for the murder of the men he's already killed. They have to find a killer… before he finds them.
THE RIDEALONG, by Michaelbrent Collings, is the type of story that is so deep and emotionally charged that you’ll find yourself thinking about it even when you’re not actively reading it. This novel grabbed my attention immediately, and its relentless pacing left no time for second guessing anything as it plunged ahead from scene to scene.
Latham is a policeman, returning to work for the first time since a drug bust went wrong a month earlier, killing his partner and injuring him and another officer. His teenaged daughter, Mel, is especially close to him since her mother passed–leaving Latham to play both roles of mother and father. Mel insists on accompanying him on his first day back–what they refer to as a “ride along”. Mel’s fear of losing her father is so strong as to be almost tangible. She defines her own feelings: “Self-doubt: The primary expertise of teenagers everywhere. In between knowing we know everything, we’re pretty sure we’re complete asses about everything“.
A mysterious voice, referred to as Jack, comes across Latham’s radio–instructing them that they must get to the bottom of what REALLY happened on that day a month ago, or risk the both of them going to jail…or killed.
What follows makes for a chilling, mental, physical, and emotional race against the unknown. “…Sometimes movement–even blind, unthinking movement–is the only thing between you and despair. Sometimes motion is a kind of counterfeit hope.”
At the heart of this mystery and carnage lies the overwhelming love between a daughter and her father–a bond so strong that it breathes life into these characters–forcing the reader to see them as real people, and cement that connection throughout the novel.
I was originally leaning towards a 4/4.5 star rating, but it wasn’t until AFTER I’d finished the novel that all Collings’ little, subtle touches came together completely for me. At that point, I decided this novel warranted a full five stars for the sheer genius in how all of these elements were crafted and brought into play. If I were to sum it up in one word, it was simply… “haunting“–haunting mentally and emotionally.
This is one story that will refuse to leave you after you’ve read that final page.