The Ascent

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Pub Date 02 Jan 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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When a high security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are going to have to team up if they’re going to escape in this "jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely gripping" (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author) debut USA Today bestselling thriller from Adam Plantinga, whose first nonfiction book Lee Child praised as “truly excellent.”

Kurt Argento, an ex-Detroit street cop who can’t let injustice go—and who has the fighting skills to back up his idealism.

If he sees a young girl being dragged into an alley, he's going to rescue her and cause some damage. 

When he does just that in a small corrupt Missouri town, he’s brutally beaten and thrown into a maximum-security prison.

Julie Wakefield, a grad student who happens to be the governor's daughter, is about to take a tour of the prison. But when a malfunction in the security system releases a horde of prisoners, a fierce struggle for survival ensues.  

Argento must help a small band of staff and civilians, including Julie and her two state trooper handlers, make their way from the bottom floor to the roof to safety. 

All that stands in their way are six floors of the most dangerous convicts in Missouri.  

When a high security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are going to have to team up if they’re going to escape in this "jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely...

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ISBN 9781538739877
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Featured Reviews

This is an action packed book from beginning to end. The Author is a shoe in for accuracy, literary
Intelligence and creative license in ways possible only because he’s a member of a large, urban
Police Department. I’m willing to bet he had a blast penning this story, and I hope he’s working on
a sequel with retired Officer Argento, which would be awesome! He would need time to recover from the
near death injuries sustained while he tried to save innocent lives (and his own somewhat compromised
life) and heal from the ultimate heartbreak and of equal importance, getting his beloved Hudson back.
His dog, Hudson, was nearly a goner, or so we thought, but in the end, there is a little bit of good in
a fallen from grace character.
I started reading the book with a critical eye but it was clear that the Author is spot on and well researched, making this a book that will entertain working cops along with fiction lovers.
I highly recommend it to folks who enjoy the Gregg Hurwitz Orphan X series. My thanks to Grand Central
Publishing and NetGalley for a download copy of the book for review purposes.

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I'm still reeling after finishing Adam Plantinga's first thriller, The Ascent. A seasoned sergeant in the San Francisco PD, Plantinga has impressed readers with his outstanding non-fiction classics, 400 Things Cops Know and Police Craft, and now he has revealed a masterful storytelling skill with a book that is unrelentingly propulsive, shocking, and full of graphic violence. More importantly, he has created an iconic character, Kurt Argento, that you can't help rooting for, even as you wonder how such a person can exist.

Kurt has recently resigned from the police after the tragic death of his wife and the inappropriately uninhibited behavior that followed. He's someone who can't resist stepping in when someone is in jeopardy, and he has the mad skills to back it up. That's what lands him in jail during a road trip with his beloved dog after he stops a thug from molesting a young girl at a fair. And he has the bad luck to arrive at a maximum-security state prison in Missouri when a technology glitch opens up many of the inmates' doors unexpectedly, soon leading to riots. But the governor's daughter--taking a tour to fulfill a requirement of her master's program--and two accompanying state troopers, the prison nurse and chaplain, and other prison employees are glad to have Argento on their side. Almost the entire story takes place at the prison over a few hours, and it is unbelievably suspenseful, disturbing, and enthralling.

Those of faint heart and/or weak stomach may want to skip this one. It is FAR outside of my usual literary fare, but I couldn't look away. Sometimes I felt the violence was just too much, but I so admire the author's insightful descriptions, self-assured writing style, and adept combination of both personal experience and research, together with the creativity that makes this an unforgettable read.

My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.

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What an exhilarating and devastatingly gritty action-packed adventure from start to finish. Not only does the baton-swinging bone-crushing action keep you hooked in, but the small moments of deeply satisfying emotional connections formed between characters and readers in the midst of the chaos cements The Ascent as one of the most engaging books to look out for in 2024.

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A recently retired Detroit Police officer lands in prison himself after an altercation with the police in Missouri. At the same time, the Governor's daughter is touring the prison for her studies when the computer system goes haywire, trapping everyone inside while unlocking random cells and doors throughout the entire prison. They find themselves grouped together with other guards and a nurse to find a way out, putting themselves in harms way and finding out just how depraved people can truly be.

When I started this, it was solely for the purpose of needing a palate cleanser from my usual reads. I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. It was intense, heartfelt, disturbing, action packed and downright scary at times. The main character was so highly likeable and brutal at the same time. I honestly would absolutely love to see this turned into a movie with Jason Statham in the leading role. This author has tremendous talent and is not afraid to shock you. I highly, highly recommend this to my fellow readers. Five Stars.

Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for this ARC.

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Adam Plantinga does a great job in creating a great thriller, it had that suspenseful read that didn’t let go until the end. I enjoyed getting to follow Kurt in this novel and thought he was well written.

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Holy crap! This needs to be a movie. I mean…there are things in this book that they would probably NEVER show on the screen (canoe scene anyone???), but this would make a seriously intense film!

The author is in law enforcement – and he’s clearly one of those cops who sees the good, bad and ugly that exists beneath the shield. He doesn’t pull any punches on the bad cops and the good ones are, for various reasons, more than a bit damaged by things seen and done. He makes them feel very real.

Some of the characters in the book are iconic – oddly, one of my favorites wasn’t a very good person. He was highly damaged and such a sad person.

The book is exciting from the first page to the last and I really hope the author gives us more books in the future!

Get your popcorn (though at times you may lose your appetite) and get ready to simply not come up for air with this one!

• ARC via Publisher

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