Life or Death by Michael Robotham

Life or Death Book Cover Life or Death
Michael Robotham
Little Brown Books
March 10, 2015

Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released? Audie Palmer has spent ten years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money? On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him - the police, FBI, gangsters and other powerful figures - but Audie isn't running to save his own life. Instead, he's trying to save someone else's. Michael Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

This tense thriller, “Life or Death” by Michael Robotham, is an excellent thriller set mainly in Texas. You can feel the heat and the fear created by this author’s excellent and powerful writing which makes the tale feel authentic. The hook is “Why would a convict escape the day before they are to be released?” and it works very well. The pace is very good and kept me gripped making it very hard to put this down. I did enjoy the main characters a lot and found them gritty and believable. The story unfolded well for me gradually revealed aspects of the stories that were far from apparent in the early stages of the book.  In amongst the drama are some great pieces of humour from one or two of the main characters which as well as being credible made me smile. While Audie is an excellent character Moss and Desiree are very good foils.

If some aspects of the story stretch the credibility a little the quality of the writing is more than enough to compensate for that. I have read other books by Michael Robotham before and enjoyed them however I would suggest that “Life or Death” is, to me, his best work so far and I for one would love to read another written so capably. I’d happily recommend this thriller to anyone.

Disclosure – I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.