Member Reviews

Leave No Trace is a thrilling tale of domestic terror that threatens our National Parks. The characters cover the gamut of bravery, dedication, over-comers, tragic, evil, and endearing. Readers are treated to vicarious visits to several National Parks as well as facts presented at the beginning of each chapter. The overall story is strong; however, long titles and names sometimes drag the momentum down and make it difficult to follow. I found this book intriguing and look forward to reading more!

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Leave no Trace

I truly love a great thriller, I also love stories about national parks. I had great promise in this book especially because it kicked off with a bang. The initial story of events happening at the Statue of Liberty was exciting & the story seemed as though we were going to be fully surprised as it unfolded. However I hate to say that it felt messy. As the story unfolds adding in other National Parks it starts to feel rushed, chaotic, and hard to follow. The eventual discovery of new evidence connecting ex-military members to a plot to over throw the government was both believable & the part of the story you could see happening today.

Personally for me the story felt as though there were pieces missing, little to no depth in the characters except the job, the big highlight I loved were all the historical references in the story as well as how each chapter shared a fact about the National Park being discussed in the pages.

All that to say it wasn’t a favorite, I know others have loved it.

Shoutout to NetGalley, authors & publishers for the chance to review an ARC of this title. I attest the following review is my own unbiased work.

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This book is billed as a national park thriller and it succeeds in that endeavor. While the storyline is current and somewhat of a stretch, it is fast paced and engaging. One of the interesting things about this book is that each chapter opens with a one or two sentence fact about where that chapter takes place. Overall, I recommend this book for those who are interested in this genre of books.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Goodreads, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog.

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Excellent debut novel. A horrifying terrorist attack. The characters are fabulous and well suited to their professions. Especially loved Gina and Michael. I hope this is the beginning of a series. Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press for the invitation and the Authors for allowing me to read and review this book.

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I was hopeful that I would like this "National Parks thriller," but I did not like it very much. It should have been a tip off when I saw that the novel has three authors. You know what they say about too many chefs, and it goes the same with authors. The plot in the novel is so broad that it was hard to see how it came into being and where the money came from to fund it. The characters had little personality. So, other than not wanting to see National Parks defiled, there wasn't much in the novel for me.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.

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I like this book as I like anything history and thriller and when you combine them it’s a win for me . I loved the fast paced book it reminded a lot of Nevada Barrs books and it was a good read worth your time .

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The book starts off with a terrorist attack toppling the Statue of Liberty and killing or wounding hundreds in the process. Michael Walker, an agent with the National Park Service's Investigative Services Branch, is sent to Liberty Island to assist in the investigation. Walker is a former law enforcement park ranger, but an injury a few years ago cost him his left foot, which has been replaced with a state-of-the-art prosthetic. FBI Special Agent Gina Delgado, who is also a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, takes the lead on the investigation. She also has a specialized knowledge set which allows her to recognize something about the nature of the explosives that most other investigators would have missed.

Both Walker and Delgado expect that Walker's involvement in the investigation will be brief. However, that changes when Walker comes across a survivor who observed an anomaly and had the presence of mind to record it on his phone, providing the authorities with their first significant lead (but also placing the witnesses' life in jeopardy). More significantly, the next attempted terror attack is at Independence Hall, and then the Gateway Arch, both National Park Service properties. Walker's knowledge of those parks, and other National Park Service properties, will be critical in stopping a conspiracy that links various domestic extremist groups, the membership of which includes numerous current and former members of the military and law enforcement, as well as government officials, in a plot to overthrow the government and take back the nation. Delgado will also have a significant role to play, which will include utilizing her special skill set.

The conspiracy is led by two charismatic individuals -- former General Archibald Terrell (General Terror) and Ferris Hobbs (who has renamed himself Jeremiah after the biblical prophet). Unbeknownst to Walker, he and Jeremiah have a significant history, and Walker's involvement in the investigation and disruption of Jeremiah's plans will make things much more personal for Jeremiah.

Yet, while Walker, Delgado, and allies will save the day, the victory will likely prove temporary, as the book ends with the implication that other deadly plots are in the works. This is a positive, as the idea of a sequel is quite appealing.

Each chapter starts with a fact about the location where the events in the chapter take place -- Liberty Island, Independence Hall, Gateway Arch, Zion National Park, DC, etc. I thought that was a good addition. Some of the facts will be familiar to readers but many of the facts will probably be new unless you have a special interest in the particular location.

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Leave No Trace, which starts with a bang, literally, sadly does not continue the momentum to hold my interest. There's got to be some semblance of truth for me to remain engaged in a thriller, but on the plus side, there was originality in its style. At the head of the short, almost cinematic chapters, there was a snippet of historical fact concerning the National Landmark being threatened and exposed. Very interesting and made the progression of the plot viable.

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I was super engrossed in this one from the start! it gave me designated survivor vibes with the government conspiracy and race again time to stop it!

however, it got progressively slower and more boring as the plot continued. instead of intensity, the storyline was repetitive and predictable 🤷🏼‍♀️ and maybe that’s because I’ve read so many thriller books and watched so many spy movies…

BUT, other than gina (who was the backbone of this entire story), I would have liked to see more likable characters. I didn’t feel invested in them at all, and the ones that I felt a pull to (like danny) were quickly shoved to the side and never mentioned again.

this book could definitely have used some editing when it came to the details of the science and technology, making the dialogue seem more “telling” rather than “showing”

thank you to minotaur books for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! this one’s out in february!

rating: 2.5 stars
wine pairing: napa valley merlot

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The thriller version of a candy bar. Don’t miss this quick and satisfying read set in a variety of National Parks! Thanks to the authors and publisher for an advance review copy!

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Leave No Trace was a fast paced novel which provided history on the US National Park System while entertaining the reader with a fast paced thriller. I enjoyed the tidbits of information on the US Park setting for each chapter.

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A thriller from the first page to the very last. Keeps you riveted and totally engaged.
Michael Walker, a Special Agent from the National Parks Service and FBI agent Gina Delgado find themselves in charge of the investigation into a terrorist bombing of the Statue of Liberty.
Their trail takes them to other National Parks as they track down the group behind the attack and try to prevent another.
Fascinating, well-developed plot with characters that are so well defined you can see them standing right in front of you. The descriptions and background on the various parks that are part of the story is simply fascinating and so incredibly in tune with the story. that you easily absorb it in with the developing mystery as it unfolds.
Walker and Delgado make a great team and are supremely intriguing characters, each with their own not so picture perfect background.
Just an all around great thriller that has you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
Waiting now for the next story.
There has to be one, right??

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Wow - this mystery/thriller sucks you in and gives you a whirlwind ride. Domestic terrorism and fast paced action. Get ready!

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The Unthinkable Has Happened

The newly reconditioned Statue of Liberty has been attacked, blown off its pedestal during its reopening celebration by a powerful bomb. Hundreds of tourists are dead or injured. Michael Walker works as a Special Agent with the National Park Service in their Investigative Services Branch when he is called on to investigate the disaster. When he arrives he finds Gina Delgado, an FBI agent and explosive and demolition expert in charge. Michael is barred from attending the official FBI meeting so he roams the scene examining the damage in the aftermath of the attack. He finds Danny in a daze and while talking with him finds that Danny saw the culprits, has a picture of them on his phone, and now is in more danger than he realizes. After putting Danny under protection, he and Gina begin working together to find out how anyone was able to pierce formidable security that protected the statue during reconstruction.

Jeremiah, the leader of a domestic terrorism group, has vowed to take back the country from the bureaucracy running it. His plan involves attacks against famous national parks throughout the United States concentrating on special events held at each. Michael and Gina work to track down the group, covering different parts of the country but always in communication. Two different personalities, linked by a common event, work together but apart as they investigate future events. This is an excellent story with background information on many of our national treasures that lend additional intrigue to the plot to destroy the government as we know it.

I received an advance copy of Leave No Trace from NetGalley, this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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This sounded promising and I enjoy other National Park related books but this seemed a little too much. The premise of domestic terrorists is all-too-believable and Michael Walker and Gina Delgado are compelling protagonists. I enjoyed the Initial part which focused on NYC and the Statue of Liberty , and the suspense was building. The latter part of the book just felt rushed and scattered and I had difficult staying focused. This wasn't really my jam though I'd be willing to read another before making my final decision.

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My thanks to the publisher, authors, and NetGalley for the chance to review an ARC of this title. I attest the following review is my own unbiased work.

Wow! Leave No Trace is one of these books that grabs you from the opening paragraphs and doesn't let go until it reaches its climax. The story begins with a domestic terrorist attack that has toppled the Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor and killed over 200 innocent people. This attack brings the two central characters to New York to investigate the incident.

Michael Walker is a Special Agent for the National Park Service; Gina Delgado is an FBI agent initially charged with oversight of the crime scene. Walaker and Degaldo are reluctant at first to work together, but soon realize their individual expertise complements one another and their agencies. As clues start to emerge of what happened at the Statue of Liberty, another attach involving another landmark is uncovered.

From that point on the book moves at a frenetic pace. Discoveries eventually determine that a group of radical ex-military are working to overthrow the US government and take control of the country, but to do that an even greater terrorist attack is about to take place.

Walker and Delgado take different paths to prevent the attack as the action centers on Walker in the West and Delgado in the Midwest trying to save the country. It is a heart-thumping fast pace novel, and if it is the first in a series I'm already looking forward to the next one.

If you like mystery/thrillers you will enjoy this book. It is even more enjoyable if you are a fan of our great National Park system in the United States.

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National Park Thriller #1

In a shocking and brutal act of terrorism, the Statue of Liberty has been blown off of it’s pedestal. And with thousands of visitors on the island, there are dead and injured.

Michael Walker is a SA for the National Park Service and is rudely awakened by his boss to get there ASAP! What he finds is horror and chaos. The FBI has been tasked with leading the investigation and since Michael doesn’t have that security clearance, he can’t sit in. But he can look around.

Shocked when a young boy, obviously injured and confused tells him he has video of the attackers. With more threats coming in, time is precious.

Michael and Gina will have to work together to find out who these men are before more people die.

A new thriller based on the National Park Service? Oh, yes! This could very well be my new series!

Netgalley/ St. Martin's Press, February 27, 2024

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“Leave No Trace” is a fast-paced, high-stakes mystery/thriller about an attempt to overthrow the US government. Set in various national parks and other federal enclaves throughout the United States, it is the first volume of what promises to be an entertaining series.

A meticulously planned and executed explosion has just toppled the Statue of Liberty. Now, she lies on her side amidst thousands of dead or wounded visitors to Liberty Island.

Special Agent Michael Walker of the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) of the National Parks Service races to the scene, as does FBI Agent Gina Delgado. He’s a former park ranger who lost his foot and his wife (also a park ranger) in a shooting incident at Mount Rainier National Park. She’s an explosives and demolition expert trained by her father and then the United States Army.

Working separately at different sites across the country but always in contact, they soon discover that this is not an isolated incident and that a plot to destroy some of America’s most important monuments and symbols seems to be in motion. Little do they know that the stakes are much higher, or that soon they will be depending on young Lantry--a member of the Lakota Sioux Nation and restorer of motorcycles who seeks to emulate the bravery of his heroic uncle—in order to prevent the deaths of millions.

It’s a thrill ride that takes readers from Liberty Island to Independence Hall to the Gateway Arch to Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue to wilderness venues such as Zion and Wind Cave National Parks. The authors include a judicious amount of information about each site: enough to be interesting and informative but not so much as to bog the story down. And it’s a tale that places readers amid all sorts of dangers and disasters: explosions, avalanches, cave-ins, floods, shootings, near drownings, military assaults, and the like.

It should be noted that the antagonists in this story (whom readers will love to loathe) seek to overthrow the federal government. While the January 6th incident at the Capitol is referenced, and while at least one antagonist wants to “put America back on the right track,” the authors do not get into today’s politics.

To the contrary, “Leave No Trace” is pure escapist entertainment, with the added bonus of some interesting information about various sites important to our national heritage. It’s a tale of action and adventure that fans of authors like Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, or Nelson DeMille may find just as enjoyable.

My thanks to NetGalley, authors Jon Land and Jeff Ayers (writing as A.J. Landau) and publisher Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, for providing me with a complementary ARC. The foregoing is my independent opinion.

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I'll confess the National Park Service is not normally where I'd expect to find an action hero. More fool me. Leave No Trace introduces us to Special Agent Michael Walker and what an explosive introduction it proves to be. Making the book even better is the great Gina Delgado from the FBI who is paired with Walker to investigate a treacherous plot against the United States. In the world of 2023 the events of Leave No Trace could be ripped from the headlines. The action is fast and furious as the reader is transported to one national park after another. This is a terrific tale and one that rewards you with an exceptional end. Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, & NetGalley for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I quite enjoyed this fast-paced tale. I honestly didn't know the the National Park Service had such a wide-ranging investigative division. While it was hard for me to judge the plausibility of many of the plot lines, it was pretty easy to envision the scenarios presented.

I liked the two main characters, and envision future tales involving them. As I read this, my mind kept saying "This should be a movie."

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley, and my review is being given freely.

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