From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Although Lisa Brackmann’s witty thriller “Getaway” (Soho, $25) is about a desperate housewife, Michelle, a widow burdened with overwhelming debt who decides a vacation in Puerto Vallarta is exactly what she needs to heal, “Eat, Pray, Love” it’s not. And thank goodness for that. In a moment of lust, Michelle invites a handsome expat, Daniel, back to her hotel room. During the night, the room is robbed, Daniel is assaulted and Michelle falls apart, thinking she’ll “let her hair go gray, her thighs get fat,” live on peanuts from the mini bar, and never leave her room. But she does leave, and things go from bad to really, really bad. Michelle narrates her story, describing it as “James Bond as told by Cosmo.” Exactly.


Brackmann follows up her debut, Rock Paper Tiger, an Amazon Best Book of 2010, with a sinister tale of a vacation gone bad. After Michelle Mason’s L.A. real estate husband dies suddenly and leaves her in the financial lurch, Michelle travels to Puerto Vallarta to unwind and take a break from her stateside woes. There she meets Daniel, a handsome private pilot who’s part of Puerto Vallarta’s thriving ex-pat community. Danny appears to be the perfect candidate for a vacation fling, until Michelle and Danny are attacked in her hotel room. When she tries to leave Mexico a few days later, she’s stopped by police, who conveniently find cocaine in her bag. Bailed out by Gary, a fellow American and a so-called friend of Danny’s, Michelle finds herself stuck in Mexico without a passport—and forced to spy on Danny as she’s drawn into a labyrinth of drug dealers and power struggles that crisscross borders. Puerto Vallarta provides a lush backdrop for Brackmann’s richly drawn ex-pat world, which is as eccentric as it is dangerous.


“Getaway, the second thriller from Lisa Brackmann, is the kind of book that Eric Ambler used to do so well, an ordinary person caught up in extraordinary events and forces way beyond his job description. Except that instead of spies and international intrigue, Michelle Mason is caught up in something she isn’t able to figure out at all. Is it police corruption, drug gangs, the CIA, or something even stranger?

…The ending fulfills several strands of the book without totally wrapping up others. It almost suggests the ending of the Tony Scott film, veering off into a half-fairy tale, half metafictional other world: Getaway’s ending is more believable than that of True Romance, but it’s open-ended and contains elements of wish-fulfillment in the same sort of way…. Altogether, Getaway, due from Soho Press in May, is an interesting and entertaining update on the damsel-in-distress story (from the damsel’s point of view) as well as the Ambler-esque spy thriller.