Light It Up – A Peter Ash Novel by Nick Petrie

I’m in the middle of three very good thriller series: the Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz, the IQ series by Joe Ide, and the Peter Ash series by Nick Petrie. Each protagonist is similar in that each is very intelligent and has a ‘particular set of skills,’ yet is broken in some way. Each has some overreaching problem they need to overcome. IQ is looking for his brother’s killer, Orphan X is fighting against the dark government organization that made him, and Ash is dealing with the aftermath of his time spent in Afghanistan. Beyond their pain, they find ways to help others.

Peter Ash is a veteran who is suffering from PTSD. His symptoms of panic are exacerbated when he is indoors. This leads him to a life of construction work and hiking/working in the outdoors. The first novel introduces the character and his gift of getting out of rough situations. The second book brings in a love interest. And the third book, Light It Up, sets up a challenge for him to work through his mental health issues…

Over the summer, Ash meets a man named Hank while working on a trail crew. They form a close relationship and when the season is over Hank asks him to help with a problem. His daughter’s security company in Denver works with cannabis companies to protect their money transfers. Unfortunately, they have lost some drivers. The men collected the funds form the cash-only businesses and vanished. Ash joins a crew and on one of his first jobs, they are ambushed. Even with Ash’s experience, multiple men lose their lives. Is it a simple robbery or are they out for more? Ash teams up with some old friends to try to find out who is behind these robberies and murders.

With any of these types of thrillers, I can expect to have to suspend my disbelief a bit. To accept coincidences and go along for the ride. I found myself having to do this a little more than usual wih this one. Yes, Ash’s plans are well thought out, and Petrie’s combat details are stunning, but there was a nagging undercurrent of too many easy connections. I could give examples, but I don’t want to give anything away. Let’s just sat that there are a couple chance meetings that are  a bit unrealistic.  I have an ARC of the next book and will read it in the next couple months.  I’m hoping the twists in that one aren’t as slick as this one, because I like the characters and the overall direction of this series.

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