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Swerve
     

Swerve

4.4 20
by Vicki Pettersson
 

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The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose “skill at capturing emotion in lyrical passages sets her head and shoulders above her peers” (Publishers Weekly) dives head first into the world of psychological thrillers with “one twisted, horrifying ride [that] kept me up the night after I finished it”

Overview

The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose “skill at capturing emotion in lyrical passages sets her head and shoulders above her peers” (Publishers Weekly) dives head first into the world of psychological thrillers with “one twisted, horrifying ride [that] kept me up the night after I finished it” (Kim Harrison).

When Kristine Rush’s fiancé is abducted from a desolate rest stop en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, she is forced to choose: return home unharmed or plunge forward into the searing Mojave desert to find him…where a murderer lies in wait.

One road. One woman. One killer.

Speeding against the clock, and uncertain if danger lies ahead or behind, Kristine blazes an epic path through the gaudy flash of roadside casinos, abandoned highway stops, and a landscape rife with unimaginable horrors. Desperate to save her doomed husband-to-be, she must summon long forgotten resources to go head-to-head against an unpredictable killer. And she’d better hurry. Because she only has twenty-four hours…to make one hell of a trip.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/11/2015
In this overwrought thriller from Pettersson (Taken and two other para-noir titles in her Celestial Blues series), Kristine Rush, a surgical physician’s assistant, and her fiancé, ER surgeon Daniel Hawthorne, are driving from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, Calif., where they plan to spend their Fourth of July weekend at the ritzy estate of Kris’s venomous mother-in-law-to-be. While passing through the Mojave Desert, a spilled iced coffee causes Daniel to swerve to a stop off the highway. At a nearby rest area, Daniel disappears, apparently an abduction victim. Kris soon encounters the kidnapper, who calls himself Malthus and speaks in a robotic voice. Malthus threatens harm to Daniel unless Kris cooperates in such criminal acts as vehicular homicide, and she soon finds herself on a road trip to hell, with little chance of escape. Gradually revealed scraps of youthful trauma endured by both Kris and Daniel punctuate this unrelenting tale of horror, which offers no redemptive uplift as an antidote to all the gore. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (July)
The Washington Post
“An exercise in finely written, relentless, all-but-unbearable horror. . . . [Pettersson is] a connoisseur of the unspeakable.”
Kim Harrison
"Summed up in four words: one twisted, horrifying ride. Vicki Pettersson’s SWERVE kept me up the night after I finished it. Her writing always holds a gritty truth, but she pulls out all the stops in this new thriller set in the Mojave Desert, sending me on a dreadlocks-tight journey of Kristine Rush's past and present, proving that childhood scars never heal, but we can survive and find strength in them. I stand haunted at Pettersson's vision of what one person can endure in the name of love, the pain another can cause in the name of the same. Perfectly terrifying.”
Christopher Golden
“SWERVE is a relentless, brutal thriller with breakneck pacing and heartfelt characterization. Pettersson is a prizefighter, keeping the twists coming like punches to the head, but by the novel’s end, both author and reader emerge victorious.”
Taylor Stevens
“If you want a nonstop thrill ride, buckle up and hold on, because you’re about to get whiplash."
Richard Kadrey
“SWERVE is a rolling nightmare that speeds you down bloody highways and dizzying switchbacks. A road story as dangerous as a knife hidden in your boot.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476798578
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
07/07/2015
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,372,259
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the popular Signs of the Zodiac urban fantasy series and the “para-noir” Celestial Blues series. She lives in Las Vegas and Dallas.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Place of Birth:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Education:
B.A. in English, University of Las Vegas, 1994
Website:
http://www.vickipettersson.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Swerve 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hooked at page 1! This book is so intense! I was on the edge of my seat with every page, until the very last. Until today, Gone Girl was my favorite thriller novel. Swerve just stole that title. I look forward to reading more from this author. I would also like to add, this book was not full of repetitive phrases. I find that somewhat annoying, especially if the story isn't that great. But, even if this book did overuse some phrases, it would have been easy to overlook. This is a must read for any thrill reader. Incredible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fast paced from beginning to end. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swerve is a thriller that had my heart racing from start to finish. Some may find it a little gory at times but it adds to the emotion of the story. Definitely a great read!
Anonymous 4 days ago
I'm going to give this a 5 star. One of the best reads I've had in a long time. If you like suspence you'll really enloy this. A very good author.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Just what you want in a thriller. I have to admit that I had to put it down several times just so it didn't drag me deeper than I was ready to go. I had to wait to go there... until I was ready to handle it.
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Swerve starts with Kristine Rush, a nurse, and her fiancé driving along to get to his mother's house for the 4th of July. They stop at a rest stop and Kristine is attacked and when she comes to, she sees that her fiancé Daniel was kidnapped. It doesn't take long before his cell phone receives a text message and someone seems to want to play a twisted game. Kristine has to go on a timed treasure hunt in order to save her fiancé before the serial killer takes his next victim. She makes the first stop only for the villain to tell her to run someone over in the parking lot. The things he tells her to do continues to get worse as the novel progresses and if she wants to see Daniel alive she has to do them. Swerve was an addicting thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. While reading I wasn't sure what to expect next, and it really got twisted. The only thing I didn't fully enjoy was the villain was revealed near the middle of the book. The last half was great, don't get me wrong, but I feel like the villain could have been revealed a bit later and the readers would have been even more like what the heck. All in all, this was a solid read and kept me on my toes. If you're a fan of thrillers, I highly suggest this book.
Lynn-MI More than 1 year ago
This was a steadfast moving wholesome long read! In my view it would be a psychological serial killer read! The Killer really had serious problems and relished hurting so much that it really made you wonder about the World today! Was thought-provoking in how he managed to get people to assist him in accomplishing his mad deeds! Even though the story might have concluded in a couple different places – interesting how it just kept pounding ahead!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent switch in genre most exciting middle through end
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I didn’t suspect a slasher book could be this good. I always thought the slasher genre would be something best kept to TV and cinemas, but I was wrong. The book is spine-chilling, and it’s so fast-paced, poor Kristine keeps on stumbling from one dreary situation into another. Loved it. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Haziegaze More than 1 year ago
What a great thriller this is from start to finish but it most definitely isn’t for the faint hearted. It all starts out so innocently with a happy couple making a road trip for the 4th July celebrations but who knew a spilt coffee could be the start of a nightmare that goes from bad to worse. The story is told from the point of view of the main character, Kristine. Kristine is a single mum who has had a traumatic and difficult upbringing. Periods of Kristine’s life are dotted throughout the book and these provide an insight into her character and why she is a strong as she is and crikey, is she strong; she’s like an Amazonian! The trials and tribulations she is made to go through to rescue her fiancé, Daniel, within 24 hours are extreme and put her and those around her at great peril. The violence to which she is exposed to is severe and graphic so if you don’t like that sort of thing, I would steer clear. The book is written with great pace and with tension oozing from the pages, it makes for a gripping read. There are surprising twists which change the whole feel of the story which make it more than your usual ‘cat and mouse’ fare and yes, it may be a little implausible but it certainly is entertaining. How would I put this book into a genre …. absolutely no idea! It’s loads of genres mixed into one highly engaging and absorbing book which I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers, horrors, suspense and stories about survival in extreme circumstances but, as I said before, it’s not for the faint-hearted so if you don’t like blood and gore, don’t even go there. Thanks to the publisher, Gallery Books, via NetGalley for introducing me to another new author to look out for and for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.
Bev_Ash More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Kristine, her finance Daniel, and a very bad sicko named Malthus. At a reststop Kristine is knocked out and Daniel is stolen. She has 24 hours to rescue him. The rest of the book is about what she has to do to survive. The book is well written and the characters, both major and minor ones, are well developed. Most of the book is interesting and holds your attention. Although thrillers are my favorite genre and 90% of what I read, Swerve was a bit more graphic than I expected. I didn't like the violence against animals at all. I think that after awhile the violence took away from the plot. The only reason I finished the book was so I could give an honest review. I received this arc book free from NetGalley for an honest review.
A_Wondrous_Bookshelf More than 1 year ago
Wow! If I could give you a word of advice about this book is not to read it right before you go to bed. This is by far one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. The narrative is extremely gripping, the storyline is compelling, intricate and full of twists and turns. The characters are a psychological mess, but all these elements somehow work together and what you end up with is an extremely graphic, right out shocking, story. I wouldn’t recommend this book to the faint of heart, but if you like psychological thrillers with a pinch for the graphic and the macabre, you will definitely love this book.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review** Chris was a physician's assistant. Daniel was her fiance and he was a surgeon and she had a 9yr old daughter named Abby. Chris and Daniel stop at a deserted rest stop. Chris is attacked while changing her coffee-drenched clothes. When she comes to, Daniel is gone. She gets a text on Daniel's phone telling her to leave or Daniel dies. The attacker admits he's been stalking her for 10 months. The story started out good, but then the plot seemed very familiar. I was even able to figure out who the bad guy was. I finished the book, but really didn't enjoy it. The characters were ok, but I'd already seen the plot before.
DreBattles More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading this book I was not that interested. I thought the beginning was a little ridiculous and far-fetched. But, after reading further on, I gradually started to like the book. Before I knew it I was unable to put it down! The number one thing that interest me in this story is the main character, Kristine, back story. The author only gives the readers small glimpses into Kristine's past. The readers are aware that Kristine has had a very traumatic past. It is also very clear that Kristine's traumatic past somehow ties into the events that's taking place throughout the book. The villain, Malthus, has kidnapped Kristine's fiance , Daniel. Now, if Kristine ever want to see Daniel again, she must follow Malthus every instruction. Malthus makes Kristine do all kind of self destructive and humiliating tasks. I will admit it is very hard to sympathize with Kristine. She is just not that likeable as a character, which compliments Malthus theories about her and her lack of care and personality. The whole time I was reading the book, I just could not stop wondering what happened to this girl! It was a love-hate relationship between this book and me. At times I found it captivating and other times I found myself shaking my head in disbelief. I loved watching the character grow in develop throughout the book and with each horrendous task. This book was very interesting. I received an advance reader copy of this book thanks to Netgalley, in exchange for my honest and insightful review.
Bttrfly54 More than 1 year ago
I finished Swerve today by Vicki Petersson. What I absolutely love about her writing is how she uses the written word to drive you relentlessly through the story, making you think that the next chapter will be when she lets you breathe. It didn't take me long to realize she had no intention of letting me catch my breath. And that is when I began to smile. Why? Because I knew I was going to let her drive me through this story just the way she wanted...the first time. Then I was going to read it again at my pace. Savoring her use of language to paint the most graphic of pictures and emotions. I love the way she uses the word "swerve" within the body of the book, sparingly, but brilliantly causing my internal responses to that passage to shift something inside me. Let me say that I was already a fan of Ms. Pettersson. I loved her Signs of Zodiac Series and the Celestial Blues Series. This first foray of hers into the thriller genre has me salivating for more. An absolute must read for anyone who loves a good thriller. But let me warn you...it will forever make you pause on those long road trips when you pull into a rest stop along the long lonely highway...even, maybe especially, if you are not alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely AMAZING!!!!! Such the page turner that I finished it in a day because I couldn't put it down!! Very action packed and detailed, even the gory stuff is in such detail your mind is left with nothing to the imagination! If you're a fan of the thriller genre, I would HIGHLY recommend this book. This may have been Vicki's first venture into thriller land, but I hope it's not her last!
Ailishsmom More than 1 year ago
Years ago I read Dean Koontz's Intensity and it has always stayed with me. Swerve does exactly the same thing. It's a roller coaster ride of psychological terror and torment that doesn't stop. The pacing of the story slows only enough to allow you to briefly catch your breath before plunging you over the edge time after time. The twists are unexpected and unnerving. I kept trying to tell myself that Kristine had made a mistake or done something stupid to allow herself to be trapped in this hell. But the truth is, she didn't. She's strong and intelligent. I rooted for her and wanted to help her so desperately. The killer is one of the most disturbing characters I've come across. Every action he takes just reinforces this. No one is safe. This is Vicki Pettersson's first foray into thrillers, but it feels like she's been doing it for years.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
He was waiting for her, her childhood nemesis, in the restroom along the road as they made their way to Lake Arrowhead to celebrate the holiday. Inside the rest stop bathroom, her privacy was invaded as Coal Man was paying her a visit, she knew immediately it was him. Quickly returning to their car, she discovers her fiancé Daniel missing and immediately Kris knows that the instructions she was left, were presented to her by the Coal Man. It’s an Amazing Race with check off points where Kris must execute senseless acts to receive maps to her next destination. She only has a limited amount of time to get to her final destination and he’s watching her along the way. The frustration of being a “player” has Kris doing more than just following what is expected of her as she tries to get the upper hand in this game, for she has more at stake than just herself. Kris must also think of her daughter, who she hopes is safe from all of this madness. Oh, he was one twisted guy who loved to show Kris that he means business as he doesn’t threatened to do anything that he can’t follow through on. Not a novel for those who can’t handle blood and some missing body parts, as I loved the suspense and the twisted mind of this crazy madman as he leads Kris along on his little game. It’s not all senseless as he tells Kris the reason for this trek crisscrossing the countryside, but as the maps pile up and Kris discovers more about her mapmaker, he really needs to reconsider the reason he sent her on this trip. I loved every minute of this novel! It’s one of those books I wish I could erase from my memory and reread it again. The twists and the characters had me pulled inside the pages and I wanted nothing more than to get lost inside the pages and ride with Kris as she tried to crawl herself out of this nightmare that she was living. Kris was tangled in a web and she was trying to escape the grips of this madman who had her both internally and externally wrapped up. This story moved quickly and I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books.
bluekaren More than 1 year ago
Swerve was an uncomfortable thriller. I was on the edge of my seat not knowing what horror awaited me next. If you like physiological horror you should definitely give this a try. This story was really good. I am calling this an uncomfortable thriller because the protagonist didn’t do anything wrong, she had major wrong thrust upon her. The frustrating part was that I kept thinking I would have done the same thing, and probably suffered right along with her. Kristine and her fiance Daniel are on their way from their home in Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, CA for a get together with his family. It is 4th of July weekend and they could both use a break. He is a surgeon and she is physician’s assistant. When they stop at a rest stop, things go terribly wrong for Kristine. Daniel is taken and now the kidnapper is leading her to him. She just needs to loose her innocence, dignity, and possibly humanity before she is give the next clue. This chase exposes all of Kristine’s weakness and a dirty secret about her fiance. This story grabbed me right away. It just right into the action using only Kristine’s POV. After Daniel is taken the kidnapper uses her own phone to communicate with Kristine via Daniel’s phone. He leads her to a series of stops that all contain a map to the next location. All of this is leading up to the reveal of the kidnappers identity and why Kristine has to suffer. We don’t know much about the protagonist at the start. We do get snippets of her history is longish memories as things start getting really creepy. We start off in the dark and the author leads the reader further and further from sanity as Kristine starts to understand her tormentor’s motive. In case I was wondering if I suffer in my own life and every start to think “it’s not fair”, I need to read a book like this that reminds me that someone somewhere is suffering. I read this book in one day due to the fact that I could not find a safe stopping place. From about midway on, there is nothing safe about this book. The author describes the carnage in gory details leaving nothing to the imagination. If you are the kind of reader that likes to skip over the gross in order to get back to the story, you can’t with this. There is just too much carnage here for the squeamish. This story is a horror fans dream. I found just a few things that upset me about the story, mainly the ending which ties up all the loose ends just a little too neatly. This story worked well for me overall, though. I can still picture some of it too vividly to forget it. *I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. *
KatVickers More than 1 year ago
Vicki Pettersson’s Swerve is a chilling, tension filled trip through the dessert. I was up for 3 hours just trying to calm down after starting the book. I will never see road trips the same again. Kristine Rush must decide to leave her abducted fiancé, Daniel, in the hands of a sadistic killer, or follow the directions set by manipulative psycho. Pettersson takes you through a gritty and vivid journey where Kristine evokes her past to find the strength to survive 24 punishing hours to save Daniel. This one should be read with all the lights on.