Thank you Daco Auffenorde for the gifted copy of your book, Cover Your Tracks, in exchange for an honest review. #partner
Note: Since reading this book, I have read some reviews that point out that Cover Your Tracks is problematic. The book contains references to Native Americans as "Indians" and references "scalping" while also having animal mutilation in the plot. I admit that some of these points did not stand out to me until pointed out to me by another book reviewer. There is a line where one of the main characters says, "I scalped him dead." This stood out to me and I thought it seemed off, but not enough to stop reading and really question this choice of words. That is something I admit and own up to working on as I want to be a well rounded reviewer, as well as a decent human being. Part of my responsibility as a book reviewer and ally is to question and call out this type of behavior in books. It is beyond not necessary. Racist elements like this never add to the plot and are always confusing as to why an author would even include them. A plot and character development can continue without racism assumptions and references. This book has a slew of five star reviews on Goodreads (which I personally do not agree with) and with these racial biased comments, it creates a problematic book. Do not let high ratings put stars in your eyes. I did when I read this one and I wish I had went in with the veil removed. At times, I am speed reading to finish and this was a reminder to me to slow down and be thoughtful while reading so that I do not let things like this slide. This is a learning experience for me as a reader and book reviewer. The author did reach out to me and stated that the publisher will be removing all Native American references and slurs, which is a step in the right direction.
Margo Fletcher is 8 months pregnant and finds herself stranded from a train wreck in the blizzard riddled peaks of the Rockies. Her and Nick Eliot, former Army Ranger, are the only survivors of an avalanche that took the entire train out. Driven by the will to survive and protect her unborn child, Margo follows Nick in what she hopes will end in their rescue. Nick has secrets of his own and his taciturn, no nonsense style does not sit well with Margo. What is he hiding? Is Margo safer with or without Nick? Cover Your Tracks is a story of surviving not only nature, but the darkest depths of the human mind.
I always enjoy a suspenseful thriller with a strong, leading lady. Margo is fierce and will do anything to protect her baby. An ER doctor by trade, she is used to assessing situations and making quick decisions. Assess. React. Margo does just that when she decides to team up with Nick for survival.
I could tell from the beginning that something was up with Nick. He seemed too resourceful, too confident in his survival choices, that he seemed fishy. My radar was up. I will say, I could tell there was a reason Nick was there and why him and Margo found each other, but I did not predict why. There were some backstory tangents that were a bit tropey, but also added to the story. At times, Nick's backstory with the Army got a bit too descriptive than it needed to be, but I am chalking that up to the author wanting to drive home what his psyche had endured and lay foundation for when the reader discovers why Nick is in this situation.
The character development was lacking a bit, but this is a plot driven novel, so part of that is just my expectations as a reader (I love good character development.) Each chapter alternated from Margo and Nick's perspectives and flashed back to their former lives to shed some light on what brought them to the situation they are currently in. The plot was exciting and fast paced. I felt like Margo would make it out alive because she is so strong willed, but I wasn't sure how she would do it, which kept me turning the page. The last few chapters are jam packed with action. Gotta love a badass mother!