She Rides Shotgun: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Edgar Award Winner, Best Debut Novel, 2018
A propulsive, gritty novel about a girl marked for death who must fight and steal to stay alive, learning from the most frightening man she knows - her father.
Eleven-year-old Polly McClusky is shy, too old for the teddy bear she carries with her everywhere, when she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, Nate, fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car. He takes her from the front of her school into a world of robbery, violence, and the constant threat of death. And he does it to save her life.
Nate made dangerous enemies in prison - a gang called Aryan Steel has put out a bounty on his head, counting on its members on the outside to finish him off. They've already murdered his ex-wife, Polly's mother. And Polly is their next target.
Nate and Polly's lives soon become a series of narrow misses, of evading the bad guys and the police, of sleepless nights in motels. Out on the lam, Polly is forced to grow up early: With barely any time to mourn her mother, she must learn how to take a punch and pull off a drug-house heist. She finds herself transforming from a shy little girl into a true fighter. Nate, in turn, learns what it's like to love fiercely and unconditionally - a love he's never quite felt before. But can their powerful bond transcend the dangerous existence he's carved out for them? Will they ever be able to live an honest life, free of fear?
She Rides Shotgun is a gripping and emotionally wrenching novel that upends even our most long-held expectations about heroes, villains, and victims. Nate takes Polly to save her life, but in the end it may very well be Polly who saves him.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 14 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 06, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #102,039 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,441 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#4,430 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#26,672 in Literary Fiction (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2019
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“She Rides Shotgun” is a book that makes you feel things you shouldn’t as it goes against the grain and makes your heart beat wildly against your chest. I fell in love with eleven year-old Polly McClusky in the first few seconds of this novel and I have a feeling you will too.
As soon as Polly McClusky walks out of school, she knows that something is wrong. Her father, Nate McClusky is waiting for her. Her father, who has been in jail for most of her life. She wants to run, just take off, but seeing him, she knows that something terrible has happened. She is right. Nate is there to protect her because the Aryan Steel gang, (Nate’s enemies) have murdered Polly’s mother and her boyfriend and both Nate and Polly are on their hit list. It’s a really bad situation. Seeing him, Polly is anxious, nervous and completely rattled. Her only comfort is her stuffed bear - who happens to have a personality all his own.
At first, Nate knows that the only thing he can do is run. Hide, protect his daughter. And then he comes up with a plan. Strike back against the Aryans and hit hard. Then Polly, with her gunfighter eyes, decides that she wants to help and she becomes his protege. It’s wild, terrifying and completely fascinating. Though Polly and her dad face the most unspeakable danger, somehow Polly finds bravery, strength and her sense of self.
In the wickedest of ways, the readers are drawn into to this father/daughter relationship, one that is completely unorthodox, one we know we shouldn’t approve of and yet it’s like simpatico - we the readers fall in love - with Nate and Polly, her bear and the journey Jordan Harper takes us on. The effect it had one me was profound. Heartfelt. Lovely. It’s hard to believe this novel is Jordan Harper’s debut. As much as I loved the character of Polly, I loved the bear even more (yes, its true, I fell in love with a teddy bear (hard to believe, I know)). Jordan Harper’s use of the bear to make us feel what Polly was feeling and to bring humor into the story was utterly brilliant.
“She Rides Shotgun” book is definitely one of my favorite books of 2018. I hope it will become a favorite of yours as well! I read this with Brenda and loved the experience of reading it with her.. our discussions about Polly, Nate and the bear. Sigh. What can I say? I just loved that bear.
Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 2.18.18.
Nate McCluskey is being released from prison. When an Aryan Steel gang member tells him that he’s going to be working for them the moment he gets outside, Nate demurs. With extreme prejudice. A contract is placed on him, his ex-wife and his 11 year-old daughter, Polly. The wife and her new husband are found murdered. Nate is a suspect, but he’s innocent. He’s also on the lam with Polly. Nate figures that the only way to lift the contract is to hit Aryan Steel where it hurts, in the pocketbook. He and Polly hit their drops, their caches and their banks. His only problem: how to place and enforce a contract on the head honcho of the organization, a nasty bit of imprisoned business named Crazy Craig Hollington.
I won’t spoil the ending, but it involves a meth lab kingdom in the desert, presided over by a vicious, twisted cop named Houser. Houser has a sadistic deputy named Jimmy, a meth cooker who wears nothing but a plastic apron and a dog that is hungry for flesh of any kind. They plan to protect their kingdom, “Slabtown” (an abandoned military base), at any cost.
Jordan Harper is the most real of deals and he has jumped to the top of the heap with a single novel. Thousands of people are now waiting for his next installment and hoping that it will be comparable in urgency and maturity to SHE RIDES SHOTGUN. We want more Polly and we want more of her stuffed bear. He isn’t real but he’s as true as true can be.
Don’t miss this one. Five stars, each one more than deserved.
Punctiation and sentence structure take a back seat to stream of consciousness and the natural rhythms of thought and speech. I'm reminded of Cormac McCarthy in that regard.
The writing style was striking, but the story was just as remarkable. An ex-con, Nate, leaves the big house with a death sentence from a white power gang--a sentence that extends to his ex wife and his young daughter. He isn't close with either of them, having been locked up for years. The ex is re-married and the daughter never really knew him. He isn't able to save the ex-wife, but he and his daughter go on the lam together, hunted both by the law and by the criminal gangs.
The rest is an intricately woven tale with so many concurrent themes. We see Nate and Polly's relationship grow from nothing to absolute trust and love. We see Nate deal with his past, including his criminal older brother, now deceased, who was both the angel and the devil on his shoulder. We see a hardened criminal morph from selfish motivations to selfless sacrifice.
Along the way we're treated to a glorious tour of Southern California's seedy underbelly. Though some of the places and people are fictionalized, residents of the region will appreciate these nods to the places and types of people we know.
I loved this book and look forward to reading more from Jordan Harper.
Top reviews from other countries
They start taking down Aryan businesses and banks, a cop enters the chase; there`s action, violence. And then...
Fortunately the book can be read in 4 or 5 hours, because once a reader starts it is almost impossible to stop until the end. Lee Child praised the book in Esquire, it won the Edgar for best first novel.
Hard to find a better recommendation.