The Drifter (Peter Ash Series #1)

The Drifter (Peter Ash Series #1)

by Nick Petrie


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The first explosive thriller featuring Peter Ash, a veteran who finds that the demons of war aren’t easily left behind...

“Lots of characters get compared to my own Jack Reacher, but Petrie’s Peter Ash is the real deal.”—Lee Child

Peter Ash came home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only one souvenir: what he calls his “white static,” the buzzing claustrophobia due to post-traumatic stress that has driven him to spend a year roaming in nature, sleeping under the stars.

But when a friend from the Marines commits suicide, Ash returns to civilization to help the man’s widow with some home repairs. Under her dilapidated porch, he finds more than he bargained for: the largest, ugliest, meanest dog he’s ever encountered...and a Samsonite suitcase stuffed with cash and explosives.

As Ash begins to investigate this unexpected discovery, he finds himself at the center of a plot that is far larger than he could have imagined...and it may lead straight back to the world he thought he’d left for good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399174568
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/12/2016
Series: Peter Ash Series , #1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nicholas Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington, won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and his story “At the Laundromat” won the 2006 Short Story Contest in the The Seattle Review, a national literary journal. A husband and father, he runs a home-inspection business in Milwaukee. The Drifter is his first novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "The Drifter"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Nick Petrie.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. What is the significance of the title?

2. In the first chapter, Peter Ash reflects with guilt on the ostensible suicide of his friend Jimmy, believing it was somehow his fault. Why does Peter feel this way? What does this suggest about Peter’s character and about his relationship with Jimmy?

3. Many of the characters in the novel suffer from war injuries that are “not visible to the eye.” Which characters are impacted in this way? How does each character learn to cope (or not) with his unique symptoms?

4. What do you think of the character Lewis? Did your opinion of him change over the course of the novel?

5. The dog, Mingus, is a character unto himself. What does he bring to the story?

6. The lives of returning veterans are a central concern of the novel. What does the story illustrate about the problems veterans face as they integrate back into civilian life? How do the different characters exemplify these issues?

7. In addition to the struggles faced by veterans, the novel also touches on the strain placed on the families of active military and veterans. What difficulties did Dinah and her sons face as a military family?

8. Several of the characters seem to fall into a moral gray area, neither heroic nor exactly villains. How did the author create these subtleties? Which characters did you find sympathetic despite their actions, and why?

9. How did the Milwaukee setting shape the story?

10. Did you anticipate the twist involving Lipsky and Skinner? What clues pointed to this ending? 

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The Drifter 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
According to the quotation by W. C. Fields, you should never work with kids and animals, probably something to do with the uncontrollable nature of both...and that they steal the limelight almost every time. That Peter Ash, former Marine Lt. who served both in Iraq and Afghanistan, manages to keep the reader's attention with 2 kids and a butt ugly dog sharing the pages shows you what a great addition he is to action suspense. Peter didn't bring much back from the war other than memories of his men, dead and alive, and a case of PTSD induced claustrophobia that manifests as"white noise" in his head when he's inside too long. That internal static has kept him moving around since he got home and was one of the reasons he didn't check in with one of his old friends. When he hears of his suicide, he makes it a point to help out the widow and 2 sons of his old friend by doing some repairs to her home. When he finds an old suitcase full of money and C4 - and a vagrant eating dog - under the porch he's repairing, he begins to wonder what his buddy's own form of PTSD got him into. His investigation leads him to another former soldier with ties to his buddy and whose own questionable activities still don't take away from his personal sense of honor. The team up is believable and a pretty dangerous duo going up against some people who are angry enough at the government to plan the unthinkable...and maybe some other veterans who lost their way on the way home. Fighting over there to protect the kids and animals you left back home can take a terrible toll, and some people never completely make it back. Nick Petrie has added an awesome new character to the action suspense genre. Peter doesn't look much like the over the top action heroes of film, but that makes him all the more believable and much more quietly dangerous. I actually read the sequel, Burning Bright, first so it was nice to see how Lewis and he met. I can't help but hope there are a lot more adventures - and healing - left for both of them in more books to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although not as fast paced as a Vince Flynn or Clancy, this book was very good in developing the story slowly. I loved that it was realistic and relevant to current time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter Ash has the right mixture of toughness and humility. He is loyal to his friends and doesn't shy away from doing the right thing even if he has to crack a few skulls along the way. I enjoyed the way Lewis and Middle developed . But I must admit Mingus stole the show.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent first novel. I'd love to see Peter and Lewis as the next Spenser and Hawk, Mingus included of course.
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Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
Awesome Read. I was a First Read Winner of this book, and boy what a thrilling read. It had me at the edge of my seat especially toward the end and I could not wait to find out how it would all end. I liked the complex and scarred characters and I hope that there will be many more books with Peter Ash as our hero, it had plenty of action and suspense, and it also shed some much needed light onto PTSD. I can't wait to see what will come next, Nicholas Petrie has a new fan in me, very entertaining read for sure.
Duells More than 1 year ago
This book tackles a issue that all currently face or are dealing with. PTSD is real and this bill takes it head on! You feel after reading this work that you have a bit of a understanding of what veterans go through Its a page turner!
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one a lot. I love a good mystery with a lot of action and The Drifter definitely qualifies on both counts. This book has that something extra that I am always looking for in a book. The characters in this book really make it come alive. I found that the time I spent reading this book went very quickly because I was so engrossed in the story. This was exactly the kind of book that I love to read. Peter is veteran and is finding adjustment to civilian life to be a challenge. He is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which seems to manifest as extreme claustrophobia anytime he finds himself indoors. When he finds out about the death of his Marine friend, he comes to help out his wife in any way he can. He starts out by doing a few home repairs but he soon finds something under the porch that changes everything. I thought that the best thing about this book was the characters without a doubt. Peter's character was written in a way that showed both his strengths and his weaknesses. I had a lot of respect for Peter during the course of this story. After everything he has been through, he is still fights for what is right. Dinah has also been through a lot in dealing with her husband's death after his return from serving overseas. She is kind, responsible, and tough when she needed to be. Lewis really grew on me as the story progressed and I absolutely loved him by the end of the book. Mingus was an awesome character. This dog brought a lot more to the story than I could have ever guessed. I really enjoyed the way that this book was written. It started out with a lot of excitement and even a bit of humor and it never dragged. The story unfolded bit by bit with the mystery slowly unraveling. I couldn't make any kind of guess as to where everything was going until it happened. There was a lot of action and the book kept a rather high level of excitement with excellent pacing. I liked the fact that we saw quick glimpses from the point of view of the bad guys in the story but not enough to give any of the plot away. I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. I am actually quite surprised to learn that this book is Nicholas Petrie's debut novel. I am looking forward to reading future works from this very talented author. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group - Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago