Nothing Short Of Dying is Erik Storey's debut novel, featuring Clyde Barr, who has spent the past 16 years as a soldier of fortune (fighting for the "good" guys of course). Good at thinking on his feet, good with guns but not so good with people, Barr gets dragged into a drug war, trying to rescue his sister. An action packed novel that went down real easy, I'm looking forward to the next effort.
Barr is heading to the mountains, trying to get away from it all, when his little sister calls him and asks for his rescue. He, of course, in that honorable way of all thriller loners, of course drops everything and heads out for the rescue. Turns out she's gotten involved in some kind of drug lord's plans and, along with a female barkeep with a heart of gold (is there any other kind?), heads up into the hills to rescue her. Along the way, he gets some help from a psychopathic ex-cellmate and together they try to crack the drug king's fortress.
As you can see from the above, Storey isn't above trotting out pretty much every thriller trope there is. But the inner monologue of Barr is interesting enough, and his back story is colorful enough, to keep it entertaining. Actually my biggest complaint with the book is that it never lets up. As one review of the Lord Of The Rings movies whines, it's one damn thing after another, with little or no let up between the disparate action scenes. So Barr careens from shootouts in a rest area, to shootouts in the hills, to shootouts in the mountains. It is, frankly, a little exhausting.
But despite the non-stop action, and the shopworn tropes, it remained easy to read and a perfect example of a "just one more chapter" book. I'm interested to see where he takes Barr and if he matures as an author.