July 26, 2010 by Elizabeth A. White •
Mike Brody has led an adventurous life. Formerly a special forces operative, upon leaving the military he worked as a smoke jumper – a firefighter who parachutes into remote areas to fight wildfires – until a catastrophic knee injury forced him to give up the job.
Now working as a guide for extreme adventure tours, Brody is trying to take a break from his hectic life by traveling with his son and ex-wife for a relaxing vacation at a dude ranch in Montana. Fortunately for the reader, it’s not in the cards for Brody to lead a life of relaxation.
Shortly after their arrival Brody is contacted by the local sheriff and enlisted in the search for a boy who’s gone missing in the forest surrounding the ranch. It turns out Brody has a special talent for tracking people, and a few high profile cases have made him the “go to” guy for law enforcement when all else fails. Complicating matters in the current situation is that the boy didn’t just wander off, but is actively on the run because he witnessed a murder.
Before Brody knows it he’s deep in the wilderness searching for the boy, saddled with a deputy he’s not sure he trusts, and receiving threatening phone calls from a mysterious figure called “The Partner” who says they’ll harm Brody’s family unless he tips The Partner to the boy’s location once he finds him… before he tells the police. It all makes for a thrilling, multi-layered plot that will have you turning pages late into the night.
Debut author Sam Hilliard has created an immensely likable reluctant hero in Mike Brody, and he’s only scratched the surface of the character’s potential. Though we know Brody’s ability to track people borders on the supernatural, how he first discovered his talent and the inner demons that compel him to answer every request for help are only hinted at. Given the undoubtedly rich backstory available for Hilliard to mine, it’s exciting to know that a second book featuring Brody is already in the works. It’s clear that both Sam Hilliard and Mike Brody have very bright futures ahead of them.
The Last Track is not only author Sam Hilliard’s first book, it’s also the first book from publisher Buddhapuss Ink, which has done a spectacular job with its initial offering. Hilliard lives outside New York City with his girlfriend and an army of four cats. When not writing, he’s the Director of IT at an all-girl boarding school. To learn more about Sam, visit his website.*excerpt from a review on Musings of an All Purpose Monkey. To read more, go to: