cover image The Lowlands

The Lowlands

Laurel Martin. Laurel Martin, $11.99 trade paper (310p) ISBN 978-1-77818-361-4

In Martin’s tense debut, the trouble begins for married couple Riley and Jake Marshall when they’re caught in a tornado in South Carolina while driving to visit Riley’s parents in Florida and a tire on their Mercedes is ruined beyond repair. Lacking a spare, they take refuge at a gas station and await roadside assistance. Things get worse when Zachary, the driver of the responding tow truck, pulls a knife on them, then drops them off in a swamp and steals their car. Unbeknownst to the Marshalls, Zachary is part of a car-theft ring specializing in luxury vehicles. When he and his two criminal associates learn that Riley’s parents, Rob and Wendy, are millionaires, the trio return to where the couple were dumped and take them captive. The kidnappers demand a ransom of $5 million, and Rob and Wendy scramble to get the money to them while desperately trying to locate and rescue their daughter and son-in-law. Martin’s shifts of perspectives among the victims, their abductors, and those trying to help them effectively heighten suspense. This is a cleverly plotted page-turner. (Self-published)