Nothing is as it seems in this terrific noir tale that channels Richard Stark’s stories. Emily (not her real name) is involved in a scheme involving donated money (not really donated) and a very bad guy named Gary.
—Carole E. Barrowman, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
This might be the best “drug” book since Robert Stone’s brilliant “Dog Soldiers” or native Rhode Islander Don Winslow’s superb “Cartel” series. Brackmann’s mastery of the material rivals either of those and “Go-Between” establishes her as a force to be reckoned with in the crime genre.
—Jon Land, Providence-Journal
The edgy plot never lets up, touching on the war on drugs, for-profit prisons, and nefarious nonprofits.
A tale of secret identities, for-profit prisons and the all-too-real war on drugs, this modern thriller is a great addition to any suspense lover’s bookshelf.
–Brit+Co, 13 Must-Reads for July
Brackmann goes beyond the simple and harmful morality tales of good cops and evil criminals. She investigates the very nature of crime. She explores who really profits from it. And she does all this in a kick-a** thriller that’s nearly impossible to put down. —Arizona Daily Sun
Brackmann takes the noir formula – things start out badly for a hapless hero and keep getting worse – and gives it a feminist reboot. Michelle/Emily is a character who is put in an impossible situation with nothing but her intelligence, survival instincts, and a moral compass to show her the way. With her as a guide, accompanied by a cast of well-drawn characters, it’s a fun, smart, and fascinating trip.
—Barbara Fister, Reviewing The Evidence
Dark, quirky, moderately violent, and a page-turner for its intrigue and smart twists, GO-BETWEEN captures the nightmare of every person who’s ever done something “a little bit against the law” — and is waiting for the penalty stage of capture and punishment. Scary stuff, and a compelling read as a modern thriller with bite! (From Soho Crime, of course …) Beth Kanell, Kingdom Books
“Go-Between isn’t just the kind of book you can’t put down until you finish—it’s the kind of book you don’t want to let go of once you’re done: The characters draw you in, the plot hurtles you along, and every sentence crackles with wit. With Go-Between Lisa Brackmann proves, once again, that she’s one of the best in the business.”
—Elizabeth Little, award-winning author of Dear Daughter
“Lisa Brackmann’s Go-Between pits the supporters of legalized marijuana and sentencing reform against the shadowy forces of the multi-billion dollar private prison industry, and with a deft sleight of hand, she transforms powerful social insight into a nerve-zapping luge run of lies, murder, dirty politics, drug smuggling, love, betrayal and black ops run amok.”
—Craig Faustus Buck, author of Go Down Hard
“A terrifying political thriller with a powerful message. Brackmann’s characters, from cynical Michelle to villainous Gary to damaged Caitlin, are layered and relatable. A compelling read and a thought-provoking story about the dangers of a broken system.”
—Mette Ivie Harrison, author of The Bishop’s Wife
I can’t dole out enough praise for Lisa Brackmann: she not only writes page-turning thrillers as well as anybody in the business, but her stories invariably spin off the populist strain I have dubbed “red noir,” a type of hard-boiled fiction that focuses on the real criminals in our society: crooked politicians and police, corrupt governmental agencies and the huge corporations that pull the strings to get with they want, without regard to what the public needs.
Go-Between, Lisa’s latest, is up to its throat in the rats that infest modern American society and the rest of the post-industrial world. It is absolutely gripping and deserves a spot on the bookshelf right next to Hammett’s The Glass Key and Red Harvest, two of the most noteworthy entries in this subgenera…Michelle Mason is a marvelous heroine.–Pulp Hack Confessions
…I’ve also been waiting for a sequel to her Getaway, set in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Getaway is a pure noir thriller about an innocent abroad, a widow whose husband turns out to have been a crook, and whose getaway to a resort town leads her into a breathless getaway of a different kind.
The sequel has finally arrived: Go-between, and I hesitate to say anything at all about the plot because the twists and turns start immediately and carry on until the final pages. Most of the book is set in Houston, and Texas is an appropriate setting in many ways, not least because some classic noir (including some of Jim Thompson’s stories) has happened in Texas (the fictional as well as the actual state).
Go-between features a range of topics and backdrops, from a northern California riddled with marijuana dealings of legal and illegal sorts, airplanes (also a factor in Getaway), for-profit prisons and state-run ones, nonprofits that may or may not be sinister fronts for corporate greed, and the failure of wealth and privilege to protect against the encroachment of violence and misery. Brackmann sets up a series of threatening situations from the beginning of the book, and the plot unravels from there as the heroine attempts to salvage something of her life.–International Noir Fiction
Here’s Emily, young and pretty and successful. She owns a bistro north of San Francisco. Her boyfriend is a volunteer firefighter. But seven pages into the story, she nearly breaks his head when he surprises her. When a street crazy threatens, she goes at once into a stance that telegraphs the message, “I’m not looking for trouble, but I’m ready.” She’s a former spook, and the plot fires up when her creepy old boss blackmails her into a “babysitting job.” She’s to assist a wealthy Houston woman who heads a foundation supporting harsh penalties for drug offenders, and gradually Emily understands she’s to let her boss know if the woman softens her stance. A trainload of money is being made in for-profit prisons, and Emily must help them keep it coming. The narrative that follows is most interested in the relationship between the two women, so readers should know that scenes do not build to thriller-style crises. That’s saved for the ending, when we do learn what Emily can do when she is looking for trouble. Subtle but satisfying.