Cover Image: Down Range

Down Range

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Garrett Kohl has spent the past few years travelling the world as an undercover DEA Agent. When Kohl is sent stateside assigned to protect the key witness to a massacre in Afghanistan, he takes his witness to the High Plains of Texas - and the home and family Kohl hasn't visited in years. Unknowingly, he's also heading into a war on the home front.

A drug cartel has infiltrated his home town to establish a stronghold there, corrupting many members of local law enforcement. Even local law enforcement can't be trusted. Trying to keep a low profile to protect his witness, Kohl tries to stay uninvolved - but eventually he's forced to become involved in a fight to take back his community.

Fortunately Garrett Kohl is better equipped than most for the job. Before becoming an elite undercover officer for the DEA, he was in the military, and spent the better part of his military career hunting terrorists. Although outnumbered and outgunned, Kohl has one home-field advantage - he knows the wild and forsaken Llano Estacado region of the Texas Panhandle far better than his adversaries. 

Filled with characters as tough as boot leather, and plenty of locales that will be immediately recognizable to anyone from the region, this is an action-packed contemporary western that I hope will become a series.
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Down Range marks Taylor Moore’s fantastic debut in the thrillerverse with superb action sequences and a warm center around a chaotic turn of events that kick off in Afghanistan where Garrett Kohl, a kickass DEA undercover agent, surveils a drug operation. Under orders to not interfere, he disobeys his directives to save the life of a young boy running away from the drug runners. Now tasked with taking care of the boy to use as a witness for the horrific massacre of his family, Kohl takes the boy to Texas to keep an eye on him. When the Kohl family reunion unearths a dangerous link between the cartel and Kohl’s brother, Garrett searches for answers before the situation escalates beyond control.
Taylor Moore gives a brilliant insight into the lifestyle in the mountainous regions of Texas with characters and backstories befitting the Texan style. Horses, windmills, vast properties for the locals; I felt myself right there in the wilderness with Taylor Moore’s vivid writing.
The action hits fast and hard with well-written action sequences that pump you full of adrenaline.  The weaponry is given its due details without overwhelming the casual reader with too much information.  The cinematic nature of the action sequences, especially the final big shootout involving helicopter chases and relentless shootouts in the chilly blizzard, are prime for big screen adaptation. 
Taylor Moore’s efforts towards creating a likable and multi-layered protagonist to anchor the story pays off handsomely. Garrett Kohl is most aptly described as a unique modern-day gunslinger with a gentle demeanor that makes you root for him in both physical and emotional encounters. His gradually developing bond with the young boy from Afghanistan is beautifully heartfelt, exuding positive vibes towards the readers and making Down Range more than an ordinary action thriller. 
With such an exciting debut, Taylor Moore has made it clear that there is a new sheriff in town and it’s clear he has big plans to make Garrett Kohl a household name.
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Down Range begins with a massacre in Afghanistan but quickly moves to the Texas Panhandle. Here Garrett Kohl returns to his family ranch where relationships are in great need of mending.  But this is no easy reunion since Garrett brings back his past history and a young boy that he needs to keep safe. The reader is quickly immersed into a spare land with a particular beauty. But there are problems: narcos, grudges, cartels, shady dealings, and corporate greed. These problems are fought out in spectacular fashion – guns, knives, bows and arrows, heavy armaments, horseback, fires, bad weather and heavy artillery. Whatever fight you want to see, the author has included it, multiple times – and it’s all great! The plot moves along quickly which is a good thing, because we need another book in this about to be series. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this title.
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Down Range by Taylor Moore is a superb book with an engrossing plot and well drawn characters. Well worth the read!
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This action packed thriller careens from Afghanistan to Texas, following undercover agent Garrett Kohl as he fights his way out of one dangerous situation and into another. He feels more in control lying on his belly on an Afghan mountain side, than he does facing his father and brother back in West Texas. But when his brother turns to him for help, he doesn't hesitate to use every trick he's ever learned undercover to save his family from a dangerous drug lord operating right there, nearly in his own backyard. Down Range will make a blockbuster movie!
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I'm an eclectic reader. I love a good murder mystery and thrillers and science fiction are a staple in my reading pile. What I don't usually read are government agency type books. I made an exception with this book because it sounded so interesting and the with the author's background as a former CIA intelligence agent, I knew it would be realistic. I'm glad I made the exception. Not only is the story riveting, the characters--both good guys and bad guys--were so well done I was drawn into this character-driven action thriller.

Garrett Kohl is an undercover DEA agent in Afghanistan when he witnesses a village being wiped out. He rescues the sole survivor, a ten-year old boy named Asadi and in doing so, he unwittingly becomes his protector as well. Needing the child to eventually testify against the killers, the CIA deems it best to keep him safe in the United States. Kohl steps up and offers to take him home to Texas with him. What better place for a person to disappear than in the wilds of the Texas Panhandle. No sooner have Garrett and Asadi arrived, than Garrett becomes involved in breaking up a drug smuggling ring stretching all the way to Mexico. The more he learns, the more he realizes that there is a target on his back and he needs to find a way to breakup the drug operation while still keeping Asadi safe.

This is an excellent action adventure book. It is well written and while it did drag a bit in the middle when there was a lot of male bonding going on, the last quarter kept me turning pages as the bullets flew.I highly recommend this book that brings a strong sense of place with great characters to root for and against.

Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow publishers for this ARC. The publication date is August 3, 2021.
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This starts in the Middle East and ends in the Texas panhandle. It involves the DEA, Military training, Family, and a whole bunch of Conflict.  It is a fast read, not putting it down until the end type of book.  It is also a great set up for more book adventures. I cannot wait for the next book!
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As someone who likes action books, I truly enjoyed this book.  A quick read, good characters and well written.  As an undercover DEA agent, Garrett  took the young  witness he had to protect back to what he thought was a safe place--Garrett's own family ranch.  The family ranch turned out to be not so safe, and Garrett had an additional crime to deal with.  In the process he began to reclaim his own roots, and his young witness helped him to repair the strained relations with his father.  A good read, with hints of additional  books featuring Garrett, and I look forward to it.

Ramona Thompson
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book to read.

The story starts in a massacre in Afghanistan, where an undercover special DEA  agent, prior Green Beret,, named Garrett Kohl, saves a boy, 10 years old named Asidi.  In the beginning, there is  a shootout  which is fast paced and you think this is how the story is going to be. But no!  Garrett is told to take the boy back to the states and hide him. Garrett appears to look like a drug lord with long hair and tattoos and specific dress.

The story is now in the Texas plains at his family home where no is father Butch lives. Butch takes care of Asidi, and teachers him horses and other duties on the farm.   The story develops into a family affair.  His brother Bridger, has two daughters  and a wife.  The story has a developing strong family bond. .  Bridger, a lawyer, is in trouble with a cartel which has taken over the town and kidnapped his daughters.

Garrett, uses all  his experience and paraphernalia, with the help of his Bro and friend and some town folks to go after the cartel.  The action you thought was in the beginning picks up half way through. The developing plot now has Garrett taking  the story thru to the exciting end.
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Down Range is the first book in the Garrett Kohl series by Taylor Moore, and I can’t wait for more. My heart was racing, and my emotions were fully engaged in this fast-paced, action, adventure story. I can’t wait for more.

We are taken from Afghanistan to Texas with several shoot ’em ups, military, law enforcement personnel, and insurgents. Garrett is in special ops and rescues a newly orphaned Afghan boy, Asadi, before he is killed like so many innocent women and children Garrett has seen it happen to. 

When Garrett gets permission from his superior to take Asadi back to the U.S. to keep him safe, he returns home to his Texas roots. We meet up with Garrett’s family, friends, and others still living in their poor town. After being gone from his hometown for three years, Garrett tries to settle in with Asadi. He also elicits his dad’s help settling down and finds unexpected support as he tries to get his brother, Bridger, out of trouble that he can’t extricate himself from, which puts his family in danger.

Mr. Moore writes an action-packed book full of twists and turns. Along with vibrant and vivid descriptions of the land, horses, homes, businesses, and fighting, Mr. Moore made me feel like I was right in the action every bit of the way. There were a lot of layers to the story and a depth to the characters. There are many unexpected events, but the good guys’ strength—no matter their age—shines through. What you see isn’t what you get! There is nice closure but enough hints that more is to come for Garrett. 

I’m looking forward to reading more of this series if Mr. Moore continues to write with such attention to detail—no matter how small. Every word and action counts.

I rated the book 4.5 stars but rounded to 5 stars on Goodreads and other sites.
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I needed a break from romance and chick lit and Down Range by Moore fit the bill.  I'm a fan of Stephen Hunter and Lee Child and Moore can now get added to the list.  Thank you to NetGalley for the advance ebook.
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I wasn't sure that I would like this book initially, but it grew on me as I read further. The action is underscored by a strong bond of family ties that is slowly revealed as the story progresses. There is plenty of action but also well-developed character development.
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Not at all what I'd expected so I kept skipping ahead, past the war zone parts (full of short, choppy sentences and violence), but just wasn't attracted to the story. Not sure why but I was expecting writing more along the lines of CJ Box or JA Jance, both writers of western law men/women. Just not the book for me so this one was a DNF.
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It took me about 25 pages before I got sucked into this exciting thriller featuring Garrett Kohl, a DEA agent who has been working undercover. During an assignment in Afghanistan, Garrett takes it upon himself to save a young boy and ends up taking him back to Texas since they are unable to find any family.
While he is on a special assignment in the area, Garrett enlists the help of his crusty father, Butch, in teaching the youngster the ways of ranching. Not difficult as the boy is thrilled with learning about horses and even the hard work involved on the ranch.
Garrett’s brother, a local lawyer, has found himself in trouble with the drug cartel operating in the area. When they kidnap his young daughters, the family teams up to save them.
This book offers lots of excitement, but also has its funny moments as well.
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Down Range is a really strong debut. Garrett Kohl is a former Green Beret turned DEA special agent. Long haired, heavily tattooed,  he blends in perfectly with any drug cartel.
   After rescuing a 10 year old boy from a mission turned massacre in Afghanistan,  Garrett is assigned to protect the child from political terrorists. 
   He returns home to the Texas panhandle to a past he'd rather have left behind. Garrett must deal with his crusty father and "golden boy" brother, whose gotten in too deep with the wrong people.
   Down Range takes its time developing characters, but once the bullets start to fly, it's no holds barred action to the finish.
   Taylor Moore has a great action hero in Garrett Kohl with likable supporting characters. This is a series I'd like to continue.
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Taylor Moore’s first published novel, Down Range, is a gritty and intense thriller that is sure to be one of the top debuts of 2021.  It’s well written, fast-paced and includes tons of action.  It also follows a tried and true formula – local kid leaves his small town, provides exemplary service to his country, returns home to find an evil influence has corrupted the town, then takes it upon himself to bring the fight to the bad guys to save his hometown.  The book also includes a gruff, emotionally stunted father, family drama, old scores in need of settling and the rekindling of an old flame.  Cliché?  Yes.  But does it work?  Absolutely!  That’s why it’s a tried and true formula.

Please don’t let anything from the prior paragraph give you the wrong idea that the book is somehow boring or derivative.  This book is fantastic!  Taylor Moore brings a fresh spin that sets this book apart from similar storylines.  Down Range takes you from the mountains of Afghanistan to the high planes of northwest Texas, following former Green Beret turned DEA special agent Garrett Kohl.  At first, his mission is to protect an innocent witness to a massacre of his tribe in the sandbox. But as the criminal enterprise in Garrett’s hometown reveals itself, he realizes he possesses a unique set of skills to unravel and put an end to the conspiracy.  Outgunned and outmanned, he must use his experience and every tool at his disposal to protect those closest to him and put an end to the evil elements corrupting the once idyllic community in rural Texas.

Down Range is going to be a big hit with thriller fans. It’s a contemporary, character-driven thriller with a down to earth middle America feel.  It’ll appeal to readers who crave detailed action sequences as well as those who prefer character and plot development.  I promise that once you pick it up, you’ll have a difficult time putting it down.  I have little doubt that this debut will catapult Taylor Moore and the Garrett Kohl series into must read status.
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Down Range has the pacing and intensity we’ve come to love in modern thrillers, combined with descriptive artistry and soul searching themes worthy of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy.

The story follows DEA Agent Garrett Kohl after an incident in the mountains of Afghanistan to his childhood home in northwest Texas. He’s come back to his roots in search of solitude and safety, but he finds the plains and mesas he left to be anything but free of danger. Where once wild animals and the elements were the greatest threat to the people there living in the area, a new type of predator has invaded and it will take every bit of Kohl’s training and grit to overcome it.

While the full tilt action scenes and gunfights are strategically placed, the unusual circumstances Garrett Kohl finds himself in propels the story forward with ease. It is anything but a simple “shoot ‘em up” storyline. Down Range includes well rounded characters and emotional touchpoints that even the most hardened of readers can relate to.

As I read through the pages, I found myself scribbling similar notes again and again. Words like.. nostalgia, longing, appreciation, and pride. These are not the usual emotional responses I have to reading modern thrillers. I found myself transported to my own childhood, my own familial relationships, and the feelings I have when returning home after being gone for so many years. It was a pleasant surprise to not only be entertained while reading, but to also have a deep connection to the characters and the setting.
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