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The Wild One: A Peter Ash Novel


The Wild One: A Peter Ash Novel

Titling this installment of the Peter Ash series THE WILD ONE certainly constitutes truth in advertising. Setting Peter up as a fish out of water --- and a wounded fish at that --- in Iceland manifests itself as a stroke of genius on Nick Petrie’s part. While the book is complete in itself, with a satisfying if not neatly wrapped conclusion, readers will be echoing the famous question posed repeatedly by DCI John Luther: “What now?”

We are getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start at the beginning for the folks who are just joining us. Peter Ash is a U.S. Marine veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars whose experiences have left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, manifested by, among other things, head-buzzing when under stress and claustrophobia. It isn’t a good combination even under the best of circumstances, which is why Peter is content to live quietly in his girlfriend’s home in Washington State and occasionally rehab buildings.

"Petrie’s physically and emotionally flawed hero is at his tenacious best in THE WILD ONE, the ending of which sets up the possibility for a change of direction for the series on several fronts."

So it is only with the greatest reluctance that Peter consents, at the request of a government acquaintance, to even talk with a distraught woman named Catherine Price. The fact that she is extremely wealthy has nothing to do with it. Her sorrowful demeanor is the hook, and the story she tells sinks it. She says that her daughter, Sarah, was murdered by Sarah’s husband, Erik. Erik proceeded to leave the country with their son, Oskar, and go back to his native Iceland. Catherine wants Peter to locate Oskar, her only grandson. It is a fool’s errand, for sure, particularly when the errand involves a claustrophobic person spending hours on a commercial plane. For reasons that even he has difficulty articulating, Peter accepts the job.

Things get hinky almost from the moment that Peter sets boots on the ground. It is immediately made clear to him that the United States does not want him in Iceland, and, through a reluctant Icelandic law enforcement officer, he is ordered to fly out of the country within a couple of days. That order, of course, is one that Peter is inclined to disobey. The problem is that Erik’s family and a revolving group of Reykjavik citizens don’t want him there either, and as a result, he’s getting bounced around in a locale and climate that he finds to be extremely inhospitable. Worse, it appears that both Erik and Oskar are dead.

Peter is determined to pursue the truth wherever it might lead him. His biggest problem is figuring out who he can and should trust, which at least in some instances are mutually exclusive sets. He eventually gets to the truth, which is bittersweet and complex. In that way, it has much in common with the book’s enigmatic conclusion, which, while resolving much, leaves Peter hanging.

Petrie’s physically and emotionally flawed hero is at his tenacious best in THE WILD ONE, the ending of which sets up the possibility for a change of direction for the series on several fronts. This latest installment should go a long way toward getting Peter and Petrie the audience that both have earned and deserve.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 17, 2020

The Wild One: A Peter Ash Novel
by Nick Petrie

  • Publication Date: May 26, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0525535462
  • ISBN-13: 9780525535461