Under Pressure (Road Trip 03), by BA Tortuga
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Action, Sci-Fi
Sonny and MJ really want to think they’re retired, but after an old enemy of MJ’s blows up their boat, they know they have a lot of running to do. Still, there’s no hostages around to cramp their style, and they have each other, so life is good. At least until Cowboy, an old friend of MJ’s, looks them up. Cowboy brings a whole host of problems with him, including Duncan, a very interesting professor with surprising ties to MJ.
When the boys decide to investigate Duncan’s origins, it leads them back to their old allies, Paddy and Neil, who were pretty happy to say goodbye after their last adventure together. When Neil is kidnapped, though, Paddy knows he has to help MJ and Sonny to get help in return. Enemies are coming out of the woodwork, MJ doesn’t know who to trust, and Sonny finds out a few things that shake him down to the very foundation of his life. Will the boys be able to survive this third installment of the Road Trip series?
Under Pressure begins immediately where Steam and Sunshine let off, again focusing on Sonny and MJ. While Sonny tries to hold MJ together as he mentally unravels a bit, we’re given glimpses of Neil and Paddy who are trying to live separate from Sonny and MJ’s craziness.
Then we’re introduced to Cowboy, an assassin who has been hired to get a vial of blood from, then kill, Duncan, a professor with a rather unusual ability that connects him to the others. Luckily, Cowboy and MJ have been friends for years, and Cowboy calls MJ to figure out this aspect of Duncan he’d completely unanticipated.
Under Pressure is focused on determining who in their intertwined pasts is causing the recent disruptions of their lives. This goes deeper than the last book, in terms of disclosing MJ’s past, as well as Paddy’s and Duncan’s, which are all connected through one person.
Tortuga has continued the switch-it-up point of view, and with six characters’ thoughts to keep track of, there were a few places I had to re-read, but the rhythm stayed steady. Plus, Tortuga doesn’t go back and re-write the scene from a different perspective; rather she barrels through from whoever’s mind makes most sense.
This book ends with a serious cliffhanger, so if you’re just starting this series, buy the fourth book at the same time. You’re going to want to read it immediately. Trust me, I was utterly pissy for a good year while waiting for the fourth book when I first finished Under Pressure.
Publisher and Original Publication Date: Torquere Press, March 25, 2009
Purchase URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&%20products_id=1866
Formats Available: html, lit, pdf, prc, (paperback at Amazon)
Length: 270 pages / 80500 words
Reviewed by: Adrienne
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