Cover Image: Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

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First time author for me. This book was very interesting. I thought it was a little slow at the beginning but it sure picked up fast! I really liked this book. I never really liked espionage but this wasn't too bad.

Great story

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Leave No Trace by AJ Landau is the first book in the new series called National Parks Thriller. This is a twisted, suspenseful thriller about the destruction of national landmarks. The story opens with an explosion at the Statue of Liberty with hundreds of people killed.

The situation calls for a Joint Terrorism Task Force that is headed by Gina Delgado of the FBI. Special Agent Michael Walker of the Park Rangers Investigative Branch was also called in. He was quickly pushed to the side as someone who doesn’t have the right criteria to be playing with the big boys. Michael finds a huge clue with a young man who was recording an interesting boat in the water.

Suddenly the investigation turns bigger and with all sorts of interesting people and questions that are not easily answered. The story continues with Gina and Michael flying into Philadelphia and Independence Hall to save the day. Then they are whisked off to Saint Louis and the Gateway Arch.

Michael and Gina with the help of others try to track down and stop the situation from growing into an insurrection. With the government at risk, the situation gets more tense. Michael and Gina end up working from different sites trying to ascertain what is happening. Michael's ex father-in-law plays a big role in that with an interesting side story.

I enjoyed reading the novel. The first chapter didn’t grab me, but by the second chapter I was totally hooked. I will be looking for more novels in this series. I liked the main characters and how the story slowly revealed clues. I liked the book, Leave No Trace by AJ Landau and will be looking for more novels in this series.

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Breathtaking, scary but plausible, Leave No Trace starts with an act of terrorism that leaves the multitudes dead and the statue of Liberty toppled. It's just the start of a plot to take over America leaving millions dead in the process. But a young boy sees something and captures it on his cell phone, kicking off a search for the perpetrators that will cross the country. National Parks Service Special Agent Michael Walker comes out of retirement to help with the investigation, and FBI agent Gina Delgado takes the lead. Protecting the young boy is key and it's a race to find the perpetrators, protect the boy and keep the nefarious plan from succeeding. Absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat to the very last page!

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I was intrigued by the description of the book and ended up really enjoying the story. The snippets of information regarding the parks were interesting. The characters, including our hero with a disability, the FBI agent, the young witness, and the shadowy good guys were all great and kept the story moving and engaging. The tie-in with our hero’s past was another interesting facet. Lots of players and intrigue keep the story moving.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and A.J. Landaue for the eARC.

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Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau (pseudonym for authors Jon Land and Jeff Ayers) starts with an explosion that topples the Statue of Liberty and maintains a relentless pace. Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is awakened by his boss with the news and sent to New York as the agent-in-charge. However, upon arrival he quickly learns that Gina Delgado of the FBI will be overseeing the investigation. Due to Michael’s lack of a security clearance, he is barred from meetings of the Joint Task Force so he scours the grounds and finds a witness with key information on the attackers.

Michael and Gina are likeable characters and readers get to see their points of view as well as that of a key supporting character and two antagonists. The multi-angled view of the characters allows readers to see how each character connects to the story; adding depth and complexity that is effective.

The authors kept me rapidly turning the pages with gripping scenes, plenty of action and danger, a superb plot, and excellent writing. Along the way, readers also learn a bit about several national parks making this an educational as well as an exceptional thriller read. Despite the short chapters and switching scenes and characters, the flow worked well for me. A constant sense of urgency, a state of uneasiness, and lots of action combined with great characters and a well-written plot make this suspenseful novel a must read.

Overall, this is a gritty, intense, and chilling story with complex characters. It’s intense and dramatic and kept this reader rapidly turning the pages. This is the first book in the National Parks Thriller series and I can’t wait for the next one. I recommend it to those who like political, action, and military thrillers.

St. Martin’s Press and A. J. Landau (Jon Land and Jeff Ayers) provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for February 27, 2024.

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Leave No Trace: A National Parks Thriller by A. J. Landau follows a series of terrorist attacks at National Parks. It is a recommended thriller by Jon Land and Jeff Ayers, writing as A. J. Landau.

When an explosion takes place on Liberty Island and topples the Statue of Liberty, Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch is called by his boss and sent to New York. In spite of his lack of a security clearance, Walker ends up working with FBI Special Agent Gina Delgado. Delgado has been placed in charge of the investigation as the lead of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Walker does find a boy, Danny, who has crucial information about the attack and must be protected. It quickly becomes clear that more attacks are planned against other national cultural symbols by some radical domestic terrorist group.

The riveting start of this domestic terrorism thriller takes off at a breathless pace and will quickly grab your complete attention. The first part of the novel had all the qualities of a very highly recommended thriller. As the action continues, however, some of the initial momentum is lost when the investigation leave New York and expands to other national parks. The short chapters jumping between characters and action probably don't help as they add additional secondary characters and action. As I continued reading there would be chapters that grabbed my attention again, but they were followed by some that lessened the intensity of my interest. It was also a bit of a let down when the antagonists were identified too early in the narrative as well as the excessive personal commentary being inserted in the story.

One plus is that the opening of all the 98 chapters have an interesting fact about one of the various national parks across the country. These were all engaging diversions and represented one of the better parts of the whole novel. This is the first of a new series and I would definitely read the second book in the series based on the pluses in Leave No Trace. Thanks to Minotaur Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion. 3.5 rounded down

The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Edelweiss, and Amazon.

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Leave No Trace is the first book in the National Parks Thriller series.

Danny Logan is visiting the Statue of Liberty with his family. As they are waiting, Danny spots something odd in the water. He tries to get his dad's attention, but his dad is on his phone. He tells his dad he will be right back and to save a space for him and runs to the railing to take pictures of the vessel in the water. As he is taking pictures, he switches to filming the boat on the water. He notices that someone on the boat is filming him when an explosion launches Danny thru the air.

Michael Walker gets a phone call from his boss which awakens him. Angela Pierce calls and tells him to turn on the tv, doesn't matter which channel since they are all showing the same horrible story. The Statue of Liberty has been a part of a suspected terrorist attack. He needs to get to Dulles where a helicopter will be waiting to take him to the site.

FBI Special Agent Gina Delgado, in charge of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Michael Walker, of the National Park Service meet on the island where they each believe they are in charge until told otherwise. Both Gina and Michael will be pivotal in finding those responsible for the first of several attacks which will threaten the nation.

OMG this was an awesome, mesmerizing and gripping story. This starts off with a bang and keeps on going with an incredibly fast pace that doesn't relent until the last few pages. The characters are wonderful and the heroes of which that are quite a few are amazingly strong. The zealots are picture perfect in their pursuit of fixing what is wrong according to their view with the United States. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

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This is a very fast-paced, thrilling, exciting, intense, nail-biting story of domestic terrorists targeting the national parks. FBI Agent Gina Delgado and Park Service Special Agent Michael Walker are teamed up to work on the case. This story moves right along and kept me on the edge of my seat until I finished it. I loved the dynamics of the Delgado/Walker team and I hope there is a sequel to this book.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this awesome read.

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Imagine a domestic terrorist group targeting Americans at National Parks. Enter Michael Walker, Special Agent with the Park Service, who is an able bodied amputee and he's smart and very capable. He is willing to do whatever is needed to save lives. Also enter brilliant and resourceful FBI agent Gina Delgado who will stop at nothing to save VIPs and her country.

This is an exciting thriller. So much befalls these heros, but they give it their all, time and time again. And there are more than these two heros. Great story!

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator is wonderful.

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As a former National Park Service employee, I was intrigued by the description of this book but did not expect Lady Liberty to be toppled in the first chapter. Rather than focusing on the regular daily rangers, the author uses one of the many different law enforcement agents as one of the main characters. One thing that did annoy me is that the author says that maintenance employees of NPS wear blue uniforms, which isn't true. People in uniform have a variation of the same outfit which provides continuity. Either way, this was a very fast paced book that involves many units of the National Park Service (there are 428 units within the system, most not National Park parks). Either way, this will appeal to a lot of people who like fast paced thrillers that deal with conspiracy groups.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.

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This engrossing thriller opens with a bomb exploding and toppling the Statute of Liberty. Hundreds are dead and injured. Danny, a teen boy visiting with his family and obsessed with different types of boats, has captured a video on his cell phone of an out of commission National Park Service boat off Ellis Island with binoculars trained on the Statute pre-bombing.

Both Michael Walker, an investigator for the National Park Service, and New-York FBI Special Agent Gina Delgado descend on the scene in the immediate aftermath to investigate. As an eye-witness with the only strong clue as to the perpetrators, Danny has to be whisked to protective custody and remains in danger.

Michael and Gina team up together as multiple other National Parks across the country come under bomb threats and attack. The puzzle pieces start adding up to a cult-like right-wing insurgency, with both ex- and active military and law enforcement officers wanting to reassert white supremacy and topple the U.S. government. The ex-colonel who leads them and the lengths to which they’re willing to go are terrifying, and the weapons at their disposal massive. Given the current hostility between factions in our country, the scenario while extreme seems far too plausible.

Meanwhile, an Indian tribe has convened an environmental action group who’s tracking the movements of large trucks seeming to be carrying hazardous materials. One of their teen scouts gets captured by the insurgents, ratcheting the tension up even more.

As the action gears up and rapidly switches between national park disasters, the insurgents on the move, the loyalists in the U.S. government trying to protect the Presidency, I found myself up reading way past midnight to finish!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.

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Thank you to NetGalley and publisher Minotaur for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

You had me at Statue of Liberty toppled by terrorists. And at the outset, agent Michael Walker from the NPS and the FBI’s Gina Delgado realize there is more to the story. A young boy on an outing to the park with his family, is a witness to, and has a video of, a boat in the water, that could help them solve the crime….if they can just keep him alive and hidden.

This is a fast-paced, gripping tale that pulls you in and is particularly relevant given the sad state of terrorism activity in the world today. In particular, Gina Delgado is a very interesting character and her history and background with explosives makes her unique as a female character. I would read more with her as a primary.

Without revealing any more about the plot I can say it is a worthy read and I would recommend.

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This is the first book in a planned National Parks Thriller. It starts with plenty of shock and excitement. Explosives destroy the base of the Statue of Liberty and topple the statue. With the destruction, there is an unbearable tragedy. Hundreds of visitors to the site are killed, with more injured. Michael Walker, an investigator from the National Parks Service, is sent to New York as the agent in charge. There was a misfortune in a past crime that left him bereft, gained a formidable enemy, and now uses a prosthetic foot. FBI agent Gina Delgado from the Joint Terror Task Force was given the leading role. She was previously an explosives expert in Iraq. Michael learns he has been barred from the JTTF. Instead of Gina and Michael clashing over their respective roles, they form a team. While Michael was wandering around the horrific scene of the dead and injured, he found a boy, Danny, who was injured, deafened and stunned and was looking for his family (killed in the explosion). Michael discovers that Danny filmed a video of the domestic terrorists who caused the blast.

Danny's phone was broken, so it was sent to have its contents retrieved. It is learned that the terrorist group consists of ex-military who faked their deaths. They are led by a man calling himself Jebediah, a ruthless killer. They plan to destroy more American cultural symbols. They know about Danny's video, placing his life in danger. Michael aims to protect him from the terrorists. Michael and Gina are concerned about threats elsewhere in America, and the country is apprehensive about the next strike.

I regret that I failed to engage in the plot after it left the damage and victims in New York. The story did not hold the momentum for me. I struggled with the rest of the plot, although many readers were thrilled by the continuing storyline. I enjoyed Michael, Gina, and Danny. The secondary characters, along with their titles, made the story quite complicated. I appreciated the addition of a native environmental group. I enjoyed the inclusion of information about the National Parks and other locations preceding each chapter.

I would definitely read the next book in the series, hoping the story is more localized.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy of the book. The publication is set for February 27th.

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I actually like murder/mystery/thrillers, packed with all of the action, but this book wasn’t for me. I don’t know if it’s the shorter chapters and the pace of the book, or maybe because there is a terrorist on the loose and at times the terms become hard to understand?? I don’t know, maybe its all of it, but it was not for me, I enjoyed some parts but again it was not for me, I would recommend this book to everyone who is into action mystery books like this, the plot was amazing though.

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Leave No Trace
By A.J. Landau

Michael Walker is a member of the National Park Service Investigative Service Branch. After having lost his foot in an accident, he is no longer able to fulfill the duties of a Park Ranger; thus the alternative investigative position. Michael is the person called to the scene of a terrorist attack on Liberty Island that has claimed hundreds of lives.

Gina DelGado is an FBI ASAC (assistant special agent in charge) who is also detailed to the scene of the attack. Michael and Gina meet over a jurisdictional problem at the scene.

As both are investigating the crime scene, Michael meets a young survivor, Danny Logan, who has lost his whole family to the bombing. Danny, however, has managed to film damning evidence of the men involved on his phone and he gives it to Michael.

From this point on, the plot to actually bring down the government spirals seemingly unstoppable. Other attacks take place and the "good guys" must work fast to save the country.

The author manages to keep readers on the edge of their seats as the plot becomes more and more involved. By having Michael and Gina each facing separate crises and going back and forth between the two, Landau builds up the tension.

I really liked this book, especially the snippets of information the author provides at the beginning of each chapter about the various national parks. If you are looking for an entertaining read, try this one out.

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I enjoyed all the locations and think many people who are familiar with the parks will also. I didn't even realize that the Statue of Liberty was part of the system. I liked both the agents and the plot, and definitely the inclusion of Native Americans. Fast paced read

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A thriller mystery with a domestic terrorist aspect. The story starts out strong with the horrific bombing/explosion at the Statue of Liberty.
I did like the main characters, Gina and Michael.
Terrific story for fans of a story full of suspense, intrigue and action.
Thank you NetGalley, Bookouture and the authors for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest opinion. This is the first book I have read from A.J. Landau. I really enjoyed the this and found it so interesting with all the national parks. This had everything you want in a thriller, heart pounding, sitting on the edge of your seat thriller. This was very fast paced and enjoyable. Thank you!

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Leave No Trace A National Parks Thriller by AJ Landau

320 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Release Date: February 27, 2024

Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Terrorism

The statue of Liberty has been attacked. 15-year-old Danny Logan saw a park’s service boat coming towards the island just before the attack. He felt something wasn’t right, so he began filming the incident. Michael Walker, an investigator for the Parks Service sees Danny walking around in shock after the attack. Danny gives him his phone with the video on it. Now Danny needs protection since he is the only witness to the attack.

Ferris Hobbs renamed himself, Jeremiah, has vengeance on his mind. When he was a child, his family’s land was taken as a part of Mt. Rainier Park. He blames his father’s death on the Park Service. Now it appears other National Park sites are being attacked. It is up to Michael to stop Jeremiah and his followers from destroying the United States.

The book is fast paced, the characters are well developed, and it is written in the third person point of view. It is action paced and the author did a good job of moving from one character’s story to another. If you like action books, you may enjoy reading this one.

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Thank you Netgalley for the advance audiobook and reader copy of Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau in exchange for an honest review. I really liked this book, I kept switching between the audiobook and ebook and thought they were both great. The only complaint I had was the mispronounced Eads. My ancestor designed the Eads bridge and we pronounce our name phonetically, like leads but without the l. Other than that it was a great book with intrigue. I've already recommended it to others.

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