Thursday, February 27, 2020

Book Review: 'No Way Out' by Tower Lowe

No Way Out by Tower Lowe

A superb new suspense novel!

New Mexico author Tower Lowe (aka Donna Tower Pecherer) is published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and is the author of mystery novellas and 10 full-length novels featuring Cinnamon and Burro – each novel named for a different city in New Mexico where Tower finds mysteries that both keep the reader in suspense while completely entertaining them/us! She lives in New Mexico and that contributes to the verismo effects of this new novel. As she has stated in her bio, Tower Lowe was a real person and Donna Tower Pecherer was named for her. Tower suffered from epilepsy, and died as a result of burns suffered during an epileptic seizure. So she has our attention even before we start the story!

Tower opens her story with a stunning Prologue in we meet our new heroine of this series – Molly Donovan – in a terrifying, kidnapped situation: ‘She woke up, and it was dark, but not the same darkness as before. Her vision made out shapes, a countertop, a spindle back chair, a red Formica table, a door. The door gave her hoe. She struggled into a sitting position with her right arm. Dark swirls curled to the floor. Grabbing onto one of the chairs, she dragged herself out of dizziness until her back was against the seat of the spindled chair. Her affected hand was gritty from touching the floor. Breathing in slowly, she made out more of the room…Very little light entered the room because the windows were bricked up…a crack at the bottom of the front door allowed a slender ray of light to seep through…She surveyed the room for her possessions, but found nothing – no purse, no keys, and no cell phone…’ And it is with this manner of intensity that the mystery unfolds - hypnotizing the reader.

The obvious strength of this new suspense thriller is solid: ‘If anything happens to me… That phrase from Gloria’s email haunts Molly as she bounces around half-conscious in a dark space. Later, she opens her eyes in a small house with all the windows bricked shut and the door boarded from the outside. Her kidnapper has taken her keys, her cell phone, and her purse. Molly scrambles through the house, looking for any sign of life, any hope of escape, but the house is abandoned and she sees no way out. The kidnapping of former fraud investigator Molly Donovan follows Gloria’s murder, an event witnessed by Molly and PI Miguel Alvarez. Gloria’s mysterious email throws the two investigators together in a frantic search for the perp. A stranger traps Molly inside the abandoned house while an old friend sucks Miguel into his troubled past. Molly trusts Miguel until a series of notes incriminates him and leaves Molly on her own to investigate a sex cult, missing money, and jaded love.’ The major character, Molly Donovan, is a very strong female character that we will grow to know through this fine new series.

Tower Lowe is in peak form both as a story weaver and a first class writer. Few can capture the essence of the past with the style Tower displays. This series begs to be cinematic. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.