She Rides Shotgun
Eleven-year-old Polly is smart far beyond her years. But she's a loner. Her mother tells her she has 'gunfighter eyes', like the father she's never met. In prison, about to be released, Nate runs afoul of the powerful leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Marked for death on his release, Nate soon realizes that everyone he has ever loved is a target - including his daughter, Polly. Now, forced into hiding by the greenlight placed upon them, Nate finds himself having to teach his estranged daughter how to survive in a kill-or-be-killed world, all the while observed by Polly's teddy bear, who is soon the only outlet for the little girl's emotions. Soon the two of them find themselves on a non-stop struggle for survival, and along the way, discover the bonds that eluded them for so many years...

She Rides Shotgun Details

TitleShe Rides Shotgun
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 4th, 2017
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN1471158942
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime

She Rides Shotgun Review

  • Deanna
    June 3, 2017
    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...WOW!! I want to get more creative than that right now but.... Wow!I just finished this book and I am almost at a loss for words.What a ride. What a read.....Seriously.After reading the description of this book, I knew it was one I just had to read. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on a copy. I read it in two sittings. I was hooked from page one. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions that left me breathless, My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...WOW!! I want to get more creative than that right now but.... Wow!I just finished this book and I am almost at a loss for words.What a ride. What a read.....Seriously.After reading the description of this book, I knew it was one I just had to read. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on a copy. I read it in two sittings. I was hooked from page one. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions that left me breathless, and it's not a book I'll soon forget.As the book begins we learn about Penguin Bay Prison inmate, Crazy Craig Hollington. Crazy Craig is the president of the prison gang known as Aryan Steel. He sits in his cell but runs all of the "dirty white boys" in California. The lights are on 24 hours in Supermax. He's not allowed to be near other prisoners. They even bring the shower up to his stall instead of letting him out of his cell.But they say he's a God made of other men.He had men for a mouthHe had men for bloodHe had men for feetHe had men for eyesHe had men for hands "His will be done" In other words.....he's one scary MoFo!!!!He writes death warrants and they move on kites which are pieces of paper that move from cell to cell eventually to the outside.All signed with the motto: steel forever forever steelThe words were a VendettaThree condemned. A man. A woman. A childSpecific acts of bloodshed.But he doesn't have anything like a pen so how does he write it?With a thumbtack punching out the letters, dried urine painted onto envelopes invisible until held to a flame.How do they get out of the prison? A kiss......A whisperEventually made into wanted posters with pictures. Passed around and memorized.Polly's mother has always told her she has 'gunfighter eyes' like her father. The father she's never met. However when she leaves school one afternoon those same eyes are looking right at her before she is grabbed and thrown into a car.Someone has a hit out on newly released prisoner, Nate McClusky and his 11-year-old daughter Polly. That hit was originally for three people but they got to Polly's mom already, which is why Nate takes his daughter out of school that day. They are all each other has left.Marked for death.These people follow orders and would think nothing of killing an 11-year-old girl.One day Polly is a schoolgirl. The next she's on the run pulling off heists and learning how to do a stranglehold, how to take a punch, and finding out what a blue lightning tattoo means. Things no little girl should have to learn. But life is tough and sometimes you have to fight to survive.I loved the characters, flaws and all. But my favorite character isn't human, isn't an animal ....but a stuffed bear. The author describes Polly and how she interacts with her bear. A bear who I can clearly "see" covering his eyes, waving, doing push-ups, fist bumps, and even waving his farts away. Polly used her bear to explain what she couldn't. She used him to help her cope and it was very emotional and heart-warming.The story is told mostly from Nate and Polly's perspectives but interspersed with additional characters who help to tell the story.Nate feels things he never knew he could. He will do anything and everything in his power to keep Polly safe. They need someone to lift the greenlight on them.The rules of the street...chaos to their rules. Councils. Dirty cops on the take.She Rides Shotgun broke my heart. But I wouldn't have it any other way as the book was fantastic.Although there was violence and at times it was hard to take, I could not stop reading. This book will stay with you long after you read the last page. An addictive, edgy, and compelling read.Thank you Simon & Schuster and Jordan Harper for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • karen
    January 1, 2015
    NOW AVAILABLE!!!!He could have laughed at how fucked up life was. That soon as you found something to live for, you found something to die for too. But he guessed in the end it was a good trade.it's "take your daughter on the lam day"!this book is damn good. ridiculously good. i knew it would be - i loved his book of stories, Love and Other Wounds: Stories, and there are so few short story collections i like in their entirety that when i find one, i know i'm gonna have to read everything that au NOW AVAILABLE!!!!He could have laughed at how fucked up life was. That soon as you found something to live for, you found something to die for too. But he guessed in the end it was a good trade.it's "take your daughter on the lam day"!this book is damn good. ridiculously good. i knew it would be - i loved his book of stories, Love and Other Wounds: Stories, and there are so few short story collections i like in their entirety that when i find one, i know i'm gonna have to read everything that author ever writes. this dude is definitely in the same echelon as Cormac McCarthy, Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock when it comes to writing literary grit lit. some grit lit skimps on character in favor of action or relies too heavily on shock value, but harper has it all: sharp, economical prose, complex, memorable characters, and a plot that zips along with equal emphasis on the crime writing as the character development. there are even some references to events that occurred in Love and Other Wounds: Stories, which touch was so appreciated. (the fact that i remembered details of a book i read in 2014 means it was really, really good)it's about a man leaving prison after a five-year sentence who is anything but free: after pissing off the aryan steel gang inside, nate has a bounty his head, as well as on his ex-wife and their eleven-year-old daughter polly. when he finds his ex and her new husband have already been eliminated, his only goal is to protect polly, get her out of the gang's not inconsiderable reach, before going back for revenge. he barely knows polly, but during their road trip together, they develop a very unusual father-daughter bond, cemented in self-defense training and criminal masterminding, and after polly's intended drop-off point is compromised, nate takes her with him and they become a wonderfully steely team. polly is definitely well-equipped for this life, although the stuffed bear she carries everywhere and uses as an extension of her persona makes her appear younger or less mentally competent than she is. there are times when she reads much older than eleven, but i think the text justifies this, and it only makes her more of a badass. (view spoiler)[that pit bull scene will never be erased from my mind. bear was so brave, indeed! (hide spoiler)]She felt something strange, a thrumming in her muscles, a thrumming in her mind. It took her a second to find the word for what she felt. It was a word she hadn't gotten to use for herself in a long time. The word was power.nate, polly, and detective park are the main POV's, although others pop in now and again to provide context or texture to the unfolding plot. it's full of meth and torture and various shades of criminal behavior from both sides of the law, and it's just a whammy of a book, despite being so short.there's nothing i do not love about this book, but the two standouts in the category of "bestest things" are detective park (i would love to read more of his adventures in law and order), and the relationship-arc between nate and polly and all the unconventional lessons in parenting.Either you teach her how to take a punch or the world does.write faster, jordan harper!
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  • Richard
    January 20, 2017
    *This is still one of the best books I've read this year and it's NOW AVAILABLE! Read it!*She Rides Shotgun was one of my most anticipated releases for 2017, after reading author Jordan Harper's stellar collection of short stories in his debut, Love and Other Wounds, possibly one of the best collections I've read in a while, and becoming an instant fanboy. And damn if his first novel doesn't disappoint! Through a series of unfortunate events, no-good ex-con Nate McClusky lands a death sentence f *This is still one of the best books I've read this year and it's NOW AVAILABLE! Read it!*She Rides Shotgun was one of my most anticipated releases for 2017, after reading author Jordan Harper's stellar collection of short stories in his debut, Love and Other Wounds, possibly one of the best collections I've read in a while, and becoming an instant fanboy. And damn if his first novel doesn't disappoint! Through a series of unfortunate events, no-good ex-con Nate McClusky lands a death sentence from the white power gang Aryan Steel right before his release. Now a target is not only on his head but also on his ex-wife and his young daughter Polly. After Aryan Steel murders his ex and her new husband, Nate manages to grab Polly just in time, essentially kidnapping her and sparking a desperate trip through Southern California, trying to stay one step ahead of the Steel and the Law, as Nate tries to make up for his mistakes and save the last good thing in his life, all while Polly is forced to grow up faster than she could have ever expected.This novel really solidified why I enjoy Harper's writing so much. He not only has an effortless way with words and prose, but he's also an accomplished television screenwriter, which probably helped him hone his skills in the way he economically and efficiently details character and themes, with almost no wasted time. And his character work here is great, with the star being young Polly. It's always a real tightrope walk when it comes to writing a child's POV, but I thought that Harper nails it and avoids making her feel too adult, allowing her to exist as a child, but at the same time doesn't treat the character with kid gloves. The way her relationship with her father grows and blossoms is another tricky maneuver that Harper scores. It could have easily felt forced and inappropriate, especially with all the violence and death, but he makes it all believable. It's all in the little details. The fact that he does all of this in under 300 pages is another success. And I'm not really sure how Harper was able to get me to care so much about the safety of a nameless teddy bear, but for that feat alone this book deserves a bunch of love!Even aside from all of that, the novel moves at an action-packed pace, with scenes that'll have you gripping your copy tight. I believe that Harper is one of the brightest rising stars in the crime fiction world and here's hoping that this novel shows up in this year's best lists with heaps of award talk.*This novel will be released in June and I received an Advanced Review Copy from Ecco through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Brooke
    June 28, 2017
    3.5 starsWhile this started out strong, the last quarter of the book felt bogged down with trying to tie together loose stings. (There were a couple side characters that I didn't see the need for creating their own POV, other than trying to add more substance to the story, but sometimes less is more.) I was hoping this would stay a father-daughter road trip novel, & it did to an extent, until attempting to wrap everything up. Regardless, this is still a strong debut from a promising author & 3.5 starsWhile this started out strong, the last quarter of the book felt bogged down with trying to tie together loose stings. (There were a couple side characters that I didn't see the need for creating their own POV, other than trying to add more substance to the story, but sometimes less is more.) I was hoping this would stay a father-daughter road trip novel, & it did to an extent, until attempting to wrap everything up. Regardless, this is still a strong debut from a promising author & I would read more from Harper.Prison gang Aryan Steel wants to destroy Nate McClusky- & take away everything from his life. This includes his ex-wife, Avis & eleven-year-old daughter, Polly. After getting out of prison, Nate goes to his family, only to find out it's too late for Avis. So now it's just Polly, the two of them on the run. Polly is a fascinating MC. A shy bookworm who carries a bear with her everywhere she goes, Polly has no choice other than to be immersed into Nate's world, find out the truth about her father. Nate must show Polly how to fight, how to make it in the brutal world. Come to find out, she's a lot tougher than she lets on. Similar to her father, she's got gunfighter eyes, too.With a captivating prose, Harper pens a gripping tale of the true means of survival, with a couple twists along the way. Although the last bit felt cluttered & rushed, I did appreciate the open ending. None of the characters were one-dimensional, which was nice. 257 pages felt too short; some more details (more insight on Polly for example, because she is really the soul of the book) & this would have been a contender for 4/5* range. SHE RIDES SHOTGUN is a recommended novel & Jordan Harper is an author to keep your eye on.Note: there is a brief scene of (arguably necessary under circumstance) animal cruelty involving a dog.
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  • Greg
    February 15, 2017
    She looked at the gun. She looked at the girl. Her anger ebbed away. The fear too.“Tell me what you want to know,” she said.“Everything,” the man said. The girl didn’t say a think. She had a teddy bear in her arms and murder in her eyes.”I think that would have been an awesome first line for a book (not this one maybe, unless the story was was told with some flashbacks (or flashbacks for the main narrative, because there are some uses of flashbacks here). So I’ll just borrow the line, and preten She looked at the gun. She looked at the girl. Her anger ebbed away. The fear too.“Tell me what you want to know,” she said.“Everything,” the man said. The girl didn’t say a think. She had a teddy bear in her arms and murder in her eyes.”I think that would have been an awesome first line for a book (not this one maybe, unless the story was was told with some flashbacks (or flashbacks for the main narrative, because there are some uses of flashbacks here). So I’ll just borrow the line, and pretend my review starts on the next line…She had a teddy bear in her arms and murder in her eyes.Aw shit, this book was a lot of fun. Brief plot synopsis? A dude in prison is about to be released and he has some words with another dude in prison. First dude ends up killing the second dude. Second dude’s brother is head honcho of the white power criminal element. First dude gets out of jail, but not before the word goes out for all the white power boys and girls to go kill the first dude, his ex-wife and his little girl. The first dude finds his little girl and her teddy bear. They go on the run from the evil nazi shitheads and start to fight back. I think that is a good paraphrasing of what the copy from the ARC that Karen so nicely leant to me.I feel like I used to have smart things to say about books, now I just have things to say like, ‘wow this was fun and violent!’ (but well written, too. There were quite a few times that I was struck by some line he had come up with that was just about perfect in capturing a whole lot of shit in just a few words, almost like a Carver at times, but you know a Carver with skinheads, meth, eyes being gouged out and people being tortured, instead of just say Carver’s world of middle aged white folks, alcohol, dreams being left to die and people being tortured by their dreary existences). The little girl is an amazing badass character. Unfortunately, she is outshone in the novel by the stuffed bear (who isn’t real, but is true). Criminal dad (or first dude in my synopsis) is a weird sort of non-entity. He’s there on almost every page, and there are even chapters given to his internal perspective, but even with that bit of insight into him he still is kind of not fully present in the story. That makes almost no sense, but as I’m thinking about it he is kind of half-developed in the way that his 12 year-old daughter would probably ‘know’ him. But I think it works. That makes no sense, can you see I’m way out of practice writing these things?I guess that would be my big criticism. There are things that could have been flushed out better (view spoiler)[A big one being the shoot out in Slabtown, near the end of the book. I’m not exactly sure how Nate (the father, first dude) could have caused the carnage he did. The reader isn’t told. How did a truck full of white power soldiers get killed by a guy with a handgun and a sawed off shotgun? Not exactly sure, but I’ll buy it, because the rest of the final showdown is great… rear naked choke on a vicious dog? Awesome! (hide spoiler)], but that is also just me being a bit greedy because I kind of wanted their outlaw antics to go on longer. One thing I was wondering about when reading this is if Nick McClusky was in anyway based on UFC fighter Nick Diaz. Both Nicks are from around Stockton, California. Both have older brothers named Nate, of whom both older brothers had also been MMA fighters at some point in their lives. In my head the whole story was taking place with a tattooed version of Nick Diaz, riding around with The Professional era Natalie Portman, and Karen’s stuffed bunny, Bunny (my brain turned a stuffed bear into a rabbit, what?).This review pretty much said nothing, I wrote something though. And if you like to be entertained, and you think skinheads, violence and meth can make a good book you might want to get a hold of this when it comes out in June.
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  • Sandra
    March 1, 2017
    review to come
  • Pat
    June 24, 2017
    5 stars!I found this book to be one of those hidden little gems that do not get a lot of advertising - no comparison to Gone Girl or anything else. That's because this is a unique storyline and it was great!Polly is an 11 year old girl who is kinda of a geek. She is shy, insecure and still carries a teddy bear in her backpack to school. As she comes out of school one day, her Dad is waiting for her. What is unusual is her dad is in prison and she was not expecting him at all. She was expecting t 5 stars!I found this book to be one of those hidden little gems that do not get a lot of advertising - no comparison to Gone Girl or anything else. That's because this is a unique storyline and it was great!Polly is an 11 year old girl who is kinda of a geek. She is shy, insecure and still carries a teddy bear in her backpack to school. As she comes out of school one day, her Dad is waiting for her. What is unusual is her dad is in prison and she was not expecting him at all. She was expecting to walk home to her mother and step-dad. So, Polly is unsure what to do when her father insists she come with him. For an unknown reason, Polly goes willingly. Her father, Nate, has been paroled from prison but has a threat posted against him and his family by the Aryan Steel prison gang. He is there trying to protect Polly and his ex-wife but Aryan Steel is a gang on a mission.This book moves along very quickly and was one that I found I did not want to put down. Polly, Nate and the bear (yes, he is a main character) become their own unusual "gang":. And the end saying in the book is "the bear is not real but he is true". Read this! It is that good!
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  • Benoit Lelièvre
    February 7, 2017
    I've been fostering unhealthy expectations for Jordan Harper's debut novel since his short story collection LOVE & OTHERS WOUNDS exploded to my face in 2015 and I'm happy to announce it lives up to my expectations. SHE RIDES SHOTGUN won't be available for purchase until June 6, but pre-order now and pump yourself up for the next five months, you won't be disappointed.This novel is about something very dear to my heart: survival. People who are possessed by such a burning will to live against I've been fostering unhealthy expectations for Jordan Harper's debut novel since his short story collection LOVE & OTHERS WOUNDS exploded to my face in 2015 and I'm happy to announce it lives up to my expectations. SHE RIDES SHOTGUN won't be available for purchase until June 6, but pre-order now and pump yourself up for the next five months, you won't be disappointed.This novel is about something very dear to my heart: survival. People who are possessed by such a burning will to live against all odds, they're willing to accept becoming someone else. Don't get me wrong, SHE RIDES SHOTGUN is violent, graphic and bleak, but it's inhabited by a poetry and a life-affirming vision that brought every element of it to a perfect balance.Perhaps the best thing about this novel is that it still shows room for growth. Jordan Harper is one hell of a stylish, but he's merely finding his footing as a storyteller. SHE RIDES SHOTGUN is but a stolen peek into Jordan Harper's world.
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  • Gina *loves sunshine*
    June 25, 2017
    When I'm not reading my usual Romance or thriller - I love to find me a good book about something cool like - skinheads in prison!!!!! Talk about unique. Credit recommendations go out to my GR friend Deanna, what a great find this was girl!!! I believe this is the author's first novel and 5 star kudos for an action packed, heart pumping, heart warming story!!You can't help but fall in love with this cast of characters. Nate...fresh out of prison - who doesn't love a bad boy who teaches his daugh When I'm not reading my usual Romance or thriller - I love to find me a good book about something cool like - skinheads in prison!!!!! Talk about unique. Credit recommendations go out to my GR friend Deanna, what a great find this was girl!!! I believe this is the author's first novel and 5 star kudos for an action packed, heart pumping, heart warming story!!You can't help but fall in love with this cast of characters. Nate...fresh out of prison - who doesn't love a bad boy who teaches his daughter how to put on a mean chokehold!?!?! And Polly, you will eat her up to pieces - so funny and so smart!!! Charlotte, the cops - clean and dirty, Crazy Craig, and of course the beloved teddy bear!! Follow them along, through the cities of California, as they dodge the "green light" yep that would be their death order! I haven't read a debut in a long time that I will root for more than this book - I hope it really takes off!!!! put this on your TBR for a FUN, fast read!
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  • LJ
    June 8, 2017
    First Sentence: His skin told his history in tattoos and knife scars.Nate McClusky is about to be released from prison. Rather than act as a soldier for the Aryan Steel, he ends up killing a high-ranking member and having a warrant to greenlight his murder, as well as that of his ex-wife, her new husband, and his 11-year-old daughter Polly. He is too late to save the first two, but he is determined to do everything possible to save Polly even if it means putting her in extreme danger.Polly is on First Sentence: His skin told his history in tattoos and knife scars.Nate McClusky is about to be released from prison. Rather than act as a soldier for the Aryan Steel, he ends up killing a high-ranking member and having a warrant to greenlight his murder, as well as that of his ex-wife, her new husband, and his 11-year-old daughter Polly. He is too late to save the first two, but he is determined to do everything possible to save Polly even if it means putting her in extreme danger.Polly is one of those characters one can’t help but like from the very beginning. Everything about her is unique and special—“She moved the bear with practiced hands so he stood on her lap and looked around. She had practiced with him for hours and hours so he moved with a liquid sort of grace, like a true and living thing.”… “Poly read about this pearl planet with a storm inside it and the thought burped full-formed out of Polly’s brain: I’m from Venus. That was the way Poly felt, that outside she was quiet and calm, but inside her acid winds roared. She’d never known why she’d been that way, so quiet on the outside but inside so scream loud, but now she knew. I’m from Venus.”Nate, too, is unusual. Rooting for the anti-hero, the ex-con, isn’t a position in which one usually finds oneself. Yet here, one does. He knows who, and what, he is. He has a true awareness of self, and a focused determination. Detective Park is equally rare; a cop who is willing to change his focus and is committed to the case even after everyone else has lost interest—“The media has lost interest the second week. A starlet found floating facedown in a Hollywood Hills home had grabbed the spotlight. The media was a living organism, and it ate beautiful dead things.”With each character, especially Polly, one can’t help but feel a bit of sorrow and regret, no matter what happens. Harper takes one into a world you know exists, but not in detail. He shows you the details so one will never be able to quite forget them—“That soon as you found something to live for, you found something to die for too. But he guessed in the end it was a good trade.”There are simple statements of truth—“Some things get replaced, she thought, and some things never will.”—and bits of information; i.e., how felons communicate with the outside, and bullet wounds. These are things, thankfully, outside most people’s lives, but are part of reality.Harper has such a fine writer’s voice. He conveys both actions and emotions in simple sentences—“Park hit the apartment complex at speed. … He left the car in the fire zone, fuck-you-I’m-a-cop style. He double-timed the stairs to Carla’s apartment. Bam bam bam on the door, fuck-you-I’m-a-cop style.” Harper doesn’t rely on cliché tricks or even on plot twists. Instead, there are small surprises that alter the trajectory just slightly. There is violence and brutality, but it is never gratuitous nor is it overly graphic, yet one does feel the sense of it.“She Rode Shotgun” is not an emotionally easy or comfortable book to read. One is acutely aware of the “what if’s” associated with each character, especially Polly. It is, however, an exceptional book with remarkable characters.SHE RIDES SHOTGUN (Susp-Polly/Nate McClusky-California-Contemp) - Ex Harper, Jordan – 1st book ECCO – June, 2017
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  • Eric
    June 19, 2017
    She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper is a first time novel by a promising novelist and a novel quickly gaining attention from reviewers. Nate McClusky is a violent criminal who runs afoul of a white supremacist group called Aryan Steel. For reasons quickly explained in the novel (and to reveal this is not a spoiler), the leader of the Aryan Steel has placed an order to have Nate, his daughter Polly and Polly's mother killed for Nate's "transgression."The novel deals with Nate's attempts to keep ev She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper is a first time novel by a promising novelist and a novel quickly gaining attention from reviewers. Nate McClusky is a violent criminal who runs afoul of a white supremacist group called Aryan Steel. For reasons quickly explained in the novel (and to reveal this is not a spoiler), the leader of the Aryan Steel has placed an order to have Nate, his daughter Polly and Polly's mother killed for Nate's "transgression."The novel deals with Nate's attempts to keep everyone safe while encountering a variety of a whole host of despicable characters, while being unable to enlist the help of the police. Harper introduces real nasty characters that do not seem one dimensional and sets up the plot and side plots very well. Harper deals with these side plots in ways that the reader will not need to suspend belief for the plots to be successful. To describe how some of the side plots work would require spoilers.Be forewarned, the novel is violent, but not in a gratuitous or exploitive way. The described violence is to be expected with the subject matter and environment that exist within the novel. Highly recommended to those that enjoy the novels of writers like Don Winslow.
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  • Andy Weston
    June 17, 2017
    This was a frustrating read as it started with so much promise but failed to deliver. After release from prison Nate McClusky is on a hit list due to his previous crime. Not only him, but his wife and 11 year old daughter, Polly. Father and daughter get on the move and there is hope for a while of a noir - road trip hybrid novel. It soon loses its way though and gets bogged down with drug rivalries and characters that are not memorable. I just checked a few review sites and don't think it's had This was a frustrating read as it started with so much promise but failed to deliver. After release from prison Nate McClusky is on a hit list due to his previous crime. Not only him, but his wife and 11 year old daughter, Polly. Father and daughter get on the move and there is hope for a while of a noir - road trip hybrid novel. It soon loses its way though and gets bogged down with drug rivalries and characters that are not memorable. I just checked a few review sites and don't think it's had a bad review yet. This certainly isnt a 4 or 5 star book. Great US crime noir books are hard to live up to, and I don't think this comes close.
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  • Max III
    January 29, 2017
    fucking amazing.
  • Keith Rosson
    June 16, 2017
    Call it 4.5. Scorching. Bullet-fast debut novel that reinforces the idea that I can never read enough fiction about white supremacists getting their asses handed to them. Some of the cadence at times leans a little heavy towards Ellroy, and there's a few moments later on in the book that stretched this reader's sense of suspended disbelief, but all in all this is a fantastic, propulsive, sharp-as-hell crime novel that is heartily recommended. There were vast swaths of pages I read over again sim Call it 4.5. Scorching. Bullet-fast debut novel that reinforces the idea that I can never read enough fiction about white supremacists getting their asses handed to them. Some of the cadence at times leans a little heavy towards Ellroy, and there's a few moments later on in the book that stretched this reader's sense of suspended disbelief, but all in all this is a fantastic, propulsive, sharp-as-hell crime novel that is heartily recommended. There were vast swaths of pages I read over again simply for the muscular, acrobatic quality of the sentences themselves. Harper writes like a monster here.
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  • Andrea
    May 22, 2017
    I looked forward to reading this for a long time and I was lucky enough to score an ARC from a friend. SHE RIDES SHOTGUN lived up to--hell, it exceeded--all my expectations. This is grit-lit at its very finest.
  • Nadine
    June 29, 2017
    Wow, this is one propulsive read! I read the last 50 or so pages while riding a stationary bike and I rode 60 minutes at a setting I could normally only do for 15. What an adrenaline shot! If it works the same way on audio, I recommend this book to anyone training for a triathlon! The book jacket says the author has written for TV, and that background has served him well here - the book seems so cinematic, it’s halfway to a script already. Everything about this book felt like it was done just ri Wow, this is one propulsive read! I read the last 50 or so pages while riding a stationary bike and I rode 60 minutes at a setting I could normally only do for 15. What an adrenaline shot! If it works the same way on audio, I recommend this book to anyone training for a triathlon! The book jacket says the author has written for TV, and that background has served him well here - the book seems so cinematic, it’s halfway to a script already. Everything about this book felt like it was done just right - the characters seemed simultaneously real and larger than life, the plot was 98% believable (a high score for a crime story), and the writing was near pitch perfect. And then to top it all off, the bear. The bear was genius. What got me to read this book was the jacket burb from Megan Abbott comparing Polly McClusky to Mattie Ross from True Grit. She got that right - although while Polly has Mattie's toughness, she's got a disturbing wildness all her own.
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  • Alison
    June 8, 2017
    Been awhile since I've read one so propulsive, and at the same time it's such a sad book (in a good way). Also, has the kind of sneaky, delicious character development that, upon finishing the book, makes you feel like you just parted ways with the only people who ever really understood you in this world. I loved the recurring theme of the darkness that lives in all of us--that thrumming thing that leans towards badness and destruction and survival.
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  • Jon Sheppard
    June 15, 2017
    This is a great piece of hardboiled noir-ish crime fiction, the story of Nate, an outlaw father, and Polly, his daughter, on the run and trying to stay alive in a Southern California full of people who want them dead. Nate hasn't always been the best father, having spent most of Polly's life behind bars, but they're together now and he's going to do whatever he has to do to keep her safe. Polly is not your usual 11-year-old girl, and adapts better than you might expect to her new life. And for a This is a great piece of hardboiled noir-ish crime fiction, the story of Nate, an outlaw father, and Polly, his daughter, on the run and trying to stay alive in a Southern California full of people who want them dead. Nate hasn't always been the best father, having spent most of Polly's life behind bars, but they're together now and he's going to do whatever he has to do to keep her safe. Polly is not your usual 11-year-old girl, and adapts better than you might expect to her new life. And for all his failings, Nate is her Dad and she's not going to leave him, even if that might be the smart (and safe) move. She Rides Shotgun is a great piece of writing. Read it.
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  • Martha
    June 15, 2017
    This is so goddamn good. Weird and dark and bloody; singular and moving and surprisingly special. Whatever the summary makes you think it is, it's far more than that, in both impact and complexity. And it's a first novel, too. Good god.
  • Jane
    June 10, 2017
    A dream of a book. Or a nightmare - either way, this is first-rate writing. Polly McClusky is the spiritual heir to Charles Portis's Mattie Ross; strong, furious, determined. Interesting to compare this book with Hannah Tinti's latest, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, also about a criminal and his daughter on the run. Tinti is good - Harper is fecking brilliant. Now waiting impatiently for the HBO movie.
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  • Mary
    April 6, 2017
    She Rides Shotgun, byJordan Harper, May 2017 Nate McClusky’s good news is that he is getting out of prison early. The bad news is that Nate has killed an Aryan Steel inmate in self-defense, and the word has gone out that he, his wife, and 11 year old daughter Polly are marked for death. Nate’s first instinct is to find his daughter and snatch her from school. From that moment on the reader is taken on a wild ride as Nate tries to save his family. And oh, what a ride it is! Eleven year old Polly She Rides Shotgun, byJordan Harper, May 2017 Nate McClusky’s good news is that he is getting out of prison early. The bad news is that Nate has killed an Aryan Steel inmate in self-defense, and the word has gone out that he, his wife, and 11 year old daughter Polly are marked for death. Nate’s first instinct is to find his daughter and snatch her from school. From that moment on the reader is taken on a wild ride as Nate tries to save his family. And oh, what a ride it is! Eleven year old Polly is the most charismatic protagonist to hit the pages this year. She Rides Shotgun is a dark, violent, edgy novel, which will hook readers instantly. Harper’s writing is action-packed grit-lit with fully developed captivating characters. Not to be missed for fans of gritty crime-fiction. Highly recommended. (mv)
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  • Ron S
    January 27, 2017
    A fast moving thriller about an ex-con and his 11 year old daughter set in a SoCal rife with gangs and meth-heads. Polly MClusky is an awkward, intelligent introvert that knows the teddy bear she carries around isn’t real but talks to and through it anyway. She reminds me of Nomi from Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness, or one of Heather O’Neill’s street urchins, but crossed with Lisbeth Salander. Author Jordan Harper creates a believable character in this unconventional coming of age story, e A fast moving thriller about an ex-con and his 11 year old daughter set in a SoCal rife with gangs and meth-heads. Polly MClusky is an awkward, intelligent introvert that knows the teddy bear she carries around isn’t real but talks to and through it anyway. She reminds me of Nomi from Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness, or one of Heather O’Neill’s street urchins, but crossed with Lisbeth Salander. Author Jordan Harper creates a believable character in this unconventional coming of age story, elevated by a quiet style and piquant observations slipped in like a punch you never saw coming.
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  • David Bridges
    June 14, 2017
    A great novel of hardcore crank slangin’ southern Cali white boy noir mixed with a sincere father/daughter coming of age story. There is plenty of action and great tension building in the writing. Harper’s prose is very precise and to the point, the narrative is linear, but the story still feels robust and complete. This is my first time reading Harper and he has seized by attention with this book.Polly McClusky is a great character as is her teddy bear, who adds a level of quirkiness and warmth A great novel of hardcore crank slangin’ southern Cali white boy noir mixed with a sincere father/daughter coming of age story. There is plenty of action and great tension building in the writing. Harper’s prose is very precise and to the point, the narrative is linear, but the story still feels robust and complete. This is my first time reading Harper and he has seized by attention with this book.Polly McClusky is a great character as is her teddy bear, who adds a level of quirkiness and warmth to the story. Polly is an 11-year-old girl who is picked up by her previously imprisoned father, Nate McClusky, at school. He has been locked up for robbery and through a legal loophole is being released early. Unfortunately, before Nate can be released he crosses path with a high-level member of an incredibly dangerous white boy drug cartel. The particular gang, “Aryan Steel”, that has put the hit out on Nate McClusky and his family have a wide reach and are very dangerous. Nate and Polly conclude that running is futile and decide to take this gang head on.She Rides Shotgun is a magnificent tale of family and love vs the nihilism of the world. I did listen to the audio version of this book. The narrator performed it well. While listening to this book I was consistently reminded of two of my favorite movies, both Ghost Dog and American History X. I would also recommend this book to fans of gritty pulpy yet heartfelt noir that fans of Richard Lange or Geroge Pelecanos would enjoy. I really look forward to reading more of Harper’s work. I have a copy of short stories by the author in my library that I have yet to check out. Great book.
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  • Janet Martin
    May 22, 2017
    Dark and hard story of the love of a father for his child. While Nate McClusky has made many mistakes in his life, his loyalty to his family is not one of them. Self defense is no protection for a prison murder and when thugs bent on revenge murder his ex-wife and threaten his daughter, Nate goes all out to both prepare and protect his 11 yr old child. Not an easy book, but a compelling story, well-plotted and action filled.
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  • Carol
    June 27, 2017
    What a ride! Loved this novel.
  • Amy
    February 27, 2017
    3.5/4 starsGritty, honest, raw, & authentic...I can't wait to read & discuss this with a book club. This father/daughter joyride/crime spree/quest for vengeance held me captivated from beginning to end.My only complaint is that I wanted more... a more in depth exploration of the characters, their emotions & their relationships but I do understand that given the fast pace of the story there may not have been time to do so within the story's timeline. With that being said, it's a minor 3.5/4 starsGritty, honest, raw, & authentic...I can't wait to read & discuss this with a book club. This father/daughter joyride/crime spree/quest for vengeance held me captivated from beginning to end.My only complaint is that I wanted more... a more in depth exploration of the characters, their emotions & their relationships but I do understand that given the fast pace of the story there may not have been time to do so within the story's timeline. With that being said, it's a minor complaint since I did really enjoy reading this book & once I started I didn't want to put it down.Thank you Harper Collins for providing me with a free copy of this book via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kim Layman
    June 25, 2017
    Nate just got out jail after five years for armed robbery. The day before his release, the leader of a gang put out the order to kill Nate, his ex-wife, and their daughter, eleven year old Polly. Nate finds Polly and the two of them set out first to hide from their pursuers, and then to attack them.This is a fast paced thriller; I read it in one sitting. (Dinner was a little late that night!) The narrative is told mainly by Polly and Nate, with some chapters featuring the thoughts of other minor Nate just got out jail after five years for armed robbery. The day before his release, the leader of a gang put out the order to kill Nate, his ex-wife, and their daughter, eleven year old Polly. Nate finds Polly and the two of them set out first to hide from their pursuers, and then to attack them.This is a fast paced thriller; I read it in one sitting. (Dinner was a little late that night!) The narrative is told mainly by Polly and Nate, with some chapters featuring the thoughts of other minor characters. Nate goes from not knowing his daughter at all, and feeling just a general sense of obligation towards her, to loving her and being willing to put his life on the line to save hers. Although this is a plot driven book, I thought the characters were well developed and likable. The ending, which could have gone many different ways, was completely satisfying to me.
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  • Teresa
    February 22, 2017
    This book. THIS. BOOK.I don't even know where to begin other than to say that I loved it....loved, loved, loved it. I couldn't put it down after I started it. It was a thrilling, gritty read about running for your life, a take down of a nationwide gang but above all I found this book to be about the relationship between a father and his daughter; who when they meet are virtually strangers, each alone in their own way, that find each other and begin to learn you don't have to just rely on yoursel This book. THIS. BOOK.I don't even know where to begin other than to say that I loved it....loved, loved, loved it. I couldn't put it down after I started it. It was a thrilling, gritty read about running for your life, a take down of a nationwide gang but above all I found this book to be about the relationship between a father and his daughter; who when they meet are virtually strangers, each alone in their own way, that find each other and begin to learn you don't have to just rely on yourself. Jordan Harper has a new fan in this reader and I can't wait to recommend this book to those in my life and that come into the store I work in....such a great read.Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC!
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  • Laurie
    May 16, 2017
    Open the door and hop on in for the ride of a lifetime. Polly and her dad Nate will explain everything as we travel along the open road. But be on the lookout for gunfights and shadows lurking in the night. It has become their way of life.Eleven is much too young to learn the reality of prison hierarchy and the long tentacles of murderous gangs. But that is just what Polly must face if she is to survive in a kill-or-be-killed world. She has her best friend bear with her for comfort and companion Open the door and hop on in for the ride of a lifetime. Polly and her dad Nate will explain everything as we travel along the open road. But be on the lookout for gunfights and shadows lurking in the night. It has become their way of life.Eleven is much too young to learn the reality of prison hierarchy and the long tentacles of murderous gangs. But that is just what Polly must face if she is to survive in a kill-or-be-killed world. She has her best friend bear with her for comfort and companionship, but her father thinks she is a little nutty to treat a stuffed animal like he is alive. Polly’s father Nate has just been released from prison after five years. A run in with the fierce leader of the Aryan Brotherhood has set in motion a greenlight being placed on the lives of Polly, his ex-wife and himself. Nate’s sole mission is to keep Polly safe and alive until he finds a way to get the greenlight lifted. But Nate doesn’t anticipate the strength and fight that is in his daughter or the love that begins to bloom in his heart for this little girl. The escalation of the bond between father and daughter will leave you gasping. There is no greater love than that of a parent and this is a perfect example. On the other hand, I question how a parent can put his child in such danger even though he is trying to protect her. At times I was rooting for the Nate and Polly team; while at others I was cringing at the situations they were in. A great read and a well written book by Jordan Harper.My rating is 4 stars out of 5. She Rides Shotgun is a 2017 Simon & Schuster Publication. Thank you to Nancy at Bestsellerworld for a copy of the book for an honest review.
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  • Matthew Galloway
    June 25, 2017
    Brutal, gritty, and impossible to put down, but with a surprising amount of heart.Harper did an excellent job of characterization and melded action and emotion seamlessly. And that bear! Who knew that a teddy bear could be integral to an adult novel about gangs and murder? But Harper did it and it fits perfectly, without being gimmicky in the slightest. That bear and Polly truly steal the show, as we watch her grow and see her relationship with her father deepen. You know, while she learn to fig Brutal, gritty, and impossible to put down, but with a surprising amount of heart.Harper did an excellent job of characterization and melded action and emotion seamlessly. And that bear! Who knew that a teddy bear could be integral to an adult novel about gangs and murder? But Harper did it and it fits perfectly, without being gimmicky in the slightest. That bear and Polly truly steal the show, as we watch her grow and see her relationship with her father deepen. You know, while she learn to fight dirty, do chokeholds, and fire guns. Nate is equally interesting, learning to care about her and the strange ways his life prepared him for that.
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