She Rides Shotgun: Book summary and reviews of She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

She Rides Shotgun

by Jordan Harper

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper X
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    272 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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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Book Awards

  • award image Edgar Awards, 2018

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. From its bravura prologue to its immensely satisfying ending, this first novel comes out with guns blazing and shoots the chambers dry. It's both a dark, original take on the chase novel and a strangely touching portrait of a father-daughter relationship framed in barbed wire." - Booklist

"Starred Review. The characters' loyalty, love, and struggle for redemption grip the reader and don't let go." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Expert pacing and well-developed characters lift this above the thriller pack." - Publishers Weekly

"In Polly McClusky, the eleven-year-old girl at the heart of his darkly irresistible debut novel She Rides Shotgun, Jordan Harper gives us a hero for our times. With shades of Mattie Ross but an intelligence and fervor all her own, she is unforgettable." - Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me

"Confident, brutal, but always human, Jordan Harper's She Rides Shotgun is a violent parable of family and sacrifice. The best debut novel that I've read this year." - Johnny Shaw, Anthony Award-winning author of Big Maria

"She Rides Shotgun has more kicks than any crime fiction out there, sure, but it's also got a heart that'll keep you up nights, slapping your head and pacing. Don't try to tell me this is a debut novel; I won't hear anything but Jordan Harper's a master." - Benjamin Whitmer, author of Cry Father

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Author Information

Jordan Harper

Jordan Harper was born and educated in Missouri. He has been a music journalist, film critic, and TV writer. He lives in Los Angeles.

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