A girl looking to escape her past in New York City only to end up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel.
When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she’s taken into police custody—supposedly for her own protection—she realizes something isn’t right, but it’s too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target—and she needs to escape before it’s too late.
With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you’re on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah Alderson quit her job in the nonprofit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali, where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb. She is the author of The Sound; Hunting Lila and its sequel, Losing Lila; and the paranormal trilogy Fated, Severed, and Shadowed.
Read an Excerpt
Out of Control
The policeman is looking at me, his head tilted to one side, a deep line etched between his eyebrows. He taps his pen in a slow staccato rhythm on the edge of the desk. “What were you doing on the roof ?” he asks.
I take a breath and try to unknot my cramping fingers, which are stuffed in the front pocket of the NYPD sweater I’m wearing. “I was just getting some air,” I say. I sound like an automaton; my voice is toneless, lost. “I couldn’t sleep.”
The policeman’s eyebrows rise. He scribbles something on his pad, then glances up, catching sight of someone or something behind me. He stands quickly, tossing his pen onto the paper-strewn desk. “I’m going to get a coffee,” he says, grabbing a mug from among the mess. “Can I get you anything?”
I shake my head and watch him walk away, scratching the back of his neck. He stops on the other side of the room to talk to another detective, wearing a jacket emblazoned with the word FORENSICS. They glance over at me as they talk. I turn away and stare at the wall. I know what they’re saying. They’re saying that I’m a lucky girl. That the fact that I’m alive is “a miracle.”
But if this is a miracle, then I don’t think I want to know what kind of god these people believe in. A shadow falls over me. I jerk around. The other detective, the one in the forensics jacket, stands in front of me. My eyes fall to the heavy-looking gun in the holster attached to his hip. I recognize it. It’s a Glock 19.
“Hi, Olivia, I’m Detective Owens. Do you mind?” he asks, indicating the empty chair beside me.
I shake my head and he pulls out the seat and sits down heavily, as though the weight of a thousand dead bodies is piled on his shoulders. His shirt is as heavily creased as his face. He rubs a hand over his eyes. He has saggy gray bags under them but, now he’s closer, I can see he’s not as old as I first thought: maybe thirty-five, with dark brown hair and a day’s worth of stubble.
“So, what I’d like for you to do,” he says in a heavy Brooklyn accent, “is to walk me through what happened this evening.”
I grit my teeth. I’ve already done this. I’ve been through it three times; once with the cop who answered the emergency call, and twice here at the station.
“Just one more time,” Detective Owens says apologetically, trying for a smile. “I know you’re tired, I know you’ve been through a lot, but we really need your help, Olivia. You’re the only witness. If there’s anything you remember—even if it seems like something trivial, we need to hear it. It might be the clue that helps us find the people who did this.” He pauses. “Because, if I can be honest with you, there’s not a whole lot to go on right now.”
I nod okay.
“So . . . you get out of bed. What time is it?” he asks.
I frown. “Around one, I think.”
“Can you be any more precise?”
I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to picture the room. There was a clock on the bedside table. I glanced at it when I turned the light out. It was just after midnight. I tossed and turned for at least an hour before I decided to give up on sleep, but I didn’t check the exact time.
I shake my head at the detective.
“Why’d you get up? Did you hear something? A noise in the house? Did something spook you?”
“No,” I say, still shaking my head. “I’ve not been sleeping very well. I have jet lag.”
“Lucky for you, huh?”
I don’t answer. I just fix him with a stare. He holds my gaze for a second and then looks away, down at the notebook cradled in his palm.
“So you get up. Then what?” the detective asks.
I close my eyes and try to remember . . .
* * *
I cross to the window. It’s sweltering hot, the night air torpid and thick as a quilt, threatening to storm. I’m wearing only a pair of pajama shorts and a thin camisole top—the same things I’m still wearing now beneath the oversized sweater they gave me at the police station. The house seems to be breathing. There’s a clock ticking downstairs by the front door, the hum of an air conditioner, the ticking tink of the plumbing, and the occasional sound of a car sweeping past on the street in front. Away in the distance a car alarm wails. My third-floor bedroom faces the back garden, a thin band of manicured green, walls stretching high on either side, trees blocking the view of neighboring brownstones. Beneath my window is a jutting ledge, just wide enough for a foothold.
I don’t think twice before I’m crouched in the window frame, my hands gripping the wooden sill, my bare feet slipping through and finding purchase on the crumbling brickwork. I take a deep breath, flattening my palms against the walls, feeling the familiar tightening in my belly, the rush that feels like stars shooting through my veins. I don’t look down at the ground four stories below. I look up, at the moon, a dishwater-dirty half circle shrouded behind a cloud, and feel every cell in my body spark to life.
* * *
“Keep going,” Detective Owens says. “What happens next?” he asks.
* * *
I edge slowly along the windowsill, carefully, toward a drainpipe screwed into the wall. When I reach it, I grasp it in both hands and then start shimmying up it, using the brackets as footholds. It’s not as high as some I’ve climbed—maybe ten feet before I reach the roof and scramble onto it, breathless, my legs trembling slightly. I stand, wiping off the dust and dirt from my hands on my shorts and then I balance on the very lip of the roof, my toes disappearing over the edge, feeling the first patter of rain dance on my bare arms. I stare at the tops of trees ink-stamped across the sky, at the water-stained clouds, and the thought whispers through my mind that I’m insane, that if I fell from this height I’d die for sure . . . but then the thought is swept away by a wave of pure adrenaline. I feel light as air, perfectly poised. There’s no way I could ever fall.
And then I hear the tinkle of glass breaking somewhere far below.
My arms whirl frantically as I fight to keep my balance. I tumble backward onto the roof and crouch down low, my hands white-knuckled as they grip the ledge. I squeeze my eyes shut and tell myself angrily that it’s just breaking glass, that I’m stupid and just overreacting, and I’m forcing myself to my feet ready to go and investigate when a thud comes from somewhere deep inside the house.
My stomach folds tight, all my instincts, everything I’ve ever learned from my father and from Felix coming into play: Steady your breathing, don’t succumb to panic, consider your options.
Maybe, I think to myself, Mrs. Goldman woke in the night and spilled a glass of water. Maybe one of them has fallen out of bed. They’re old. It’s possible. I’m jumping to conclusions that it’s something bad. I’m in New York, for God’s sake. It’s safe here. Safer, at any rate. I throw a leg over the ledge and reach for the drainpipe, readying myself to shimmy down so I can go and investigate, and just then I hear two muffled retorts. I freeze. I know that sound. I hear it in my dreams. I force my leg back over the wall and I cower behind the ledge up on the roof, wrapping my hands around my head, blocking my ears and shutting out the sounds that follow, until, what feels like hours later, a police siren shatters the night air.
Out of Control 4.6 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Blurb sounds good even though not particularly my usual genre. Not read anything by this Author before either so all new, a voyage of discovery awaits!
The cover depicts the young male/possible felon called Jay and Liva who is unfortunate enough to have witnessed a murder. I really like the byline bit on the cover as it sums up what Liva does in the book in a nutshell without giving too much away! Would the cover make me pick it up from a book shelf? Being totally honest the cover put me off initially.
So after reading just 7% here is my reaction: Wow talk about an action packed beginning! Witnessing a murder, then at the police station there's a shoot out and you're rescued by a possible murderer! The two main characters are Liva (Olivia) and Jay (Jaime) and yes they meet in an unlikely situation and if they had passed on a street they probably wouldn't have thought each other "friend" material. They do end up trusting each other with their lives. It soon becomes apparent that someone is trying to kidnap Liva, and after Liva helping Jay "escape" the bloodbath at the Police Station Jay feels he owes her. So initially its a sense of duty that keeps him hanging around Liva but as the book progresses they both develop much deeper stronger feelings for each other. The mystery in the book is Who is after Olivia (liva)? Is it something to do with her fathers job? Can Liva and Jaime (Jay) stay safe until they can meet up with Liva's father? Lots of drama,sneaking about and action, & suspense.
I can't go into more detail as I feel you should read the intricacies of the plot by reading the book for yourselves.
What more can I say I was kid of going "wow" "OMG" and sat on the edge of my seat for a lot of this book. Sarah Alderson writes in such away you feel like you are running along away from the danger along with Liva & Jay. You want them to escape, you feel their confusion as to who is chasing them.
One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Yoyo and Liva are in the club dancing. I of course also love, love, love the relationship between Liva and Jay. Even though they are from totally different backgrounds they pull together to survive.
You go through a lot of emotions in this book, from fearful, clenching your teeth, smiling, sighing etc. There is a point in the book when Liva's and Jay's "current problems" actually cross over. I can't say without giving a major spoiler . . but you'll so know when you get to that point in the book. I was so surprised it had honestly not crossed my mind. My realisation happened slowly at the same time and pace as Liva's in the book.
So Did I enjoy the book? I was slightly surprised that I loved it, as I wasn't so sure I would. Would I recommend the book? Yes, I'd go so far as to say I loved this and would put it alongside the Katie McGarry Pushing the Limits Series. I grew to love Jay as much as I did Isaiah form Katie McGarry's books. Would I read a Bk2, if there is/was one? Although the book comes to a conclusion, there could be more, I mean Liva & Jay were so impressive in the "Ferry Scene" maybe they could become trainee FBI Agents? . . .Would I read more titles by Sarah Alderson? I would definitely love to read more titles by Sarah Alderson.
More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. It was definitely one of those books that I could not put down.
More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read in a long time! Started reading in the early evening and when I looked up at the clock it was 4:00AM. In other words it was hard to set the book down. So glad I purchased this book it was a great read.
More than 1 year ago
I loved Sarah‘s Lila series, and a few of her other books. But, Out of Control was just not one of my favorite of her books. Sure I liked it enough, but then there were also some things that I didn’t like too.
I loved the concept of the book. But honestly, I needed a little more for me to really love the book. I felt like though the whole book they were just running. And then the bad guys would catch up to them and they would get out the situation just in time to run again.
And it does have a few twist and turns. That was nice because I didn’t see those happening.
And I liked the part about Liva former body guard. That was great. I also like the crazy banter between the characters. Like I said it had some things I liked and it also had somethings I didn’t.
I liked Liva at the beginning of the book, but at times I didn’t like the decisions she made.It was just certain things that she would do that made no since what so ever.
And Jay. I could not understand why he would do the things he done for his brother. Well, I do understand to some extent but still, he should have just told him no.
As for the secondary characters, they were okay. Nothing much to say about them.
As much as it pains me to say this, this is my least favorite Sarah book. My problem with it is pretty much the whole book. Mostly Liva and Jay. I really wish that we had got another chapter or two at the end. It ended so abruptly.
3 out of 5 stars!!!
More than 1 year ago
WOW this book will keep you on edge! Everything that happens is one thing after another and some you don't even see coming! Sarah Alderson did an amazing job with this book! Placing her on my all time fav authors! I really don't believe I would have been able to handle everything that Liva did! this is a book you don't want to pass up!
*received for an honest review*