Ready or Not

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
296 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Ready or Not is a chilling contemporary tale by AB Plum, described by the author as ‘A Twisted Psychological Thriller’. Written for mature audiences, the heroine of our tale is highly successful cyber sleuth Karen Sullivan, who makes short work of searching for dirt on both employers and employees for a pretty penny. She occasionally brushes the line of the law for the sake of her ailing father who is eighty-seven and requires assisted living. At thirty-seven, life is not what she’d hoped, but when a terrifying phone call recounts the awful traumas of her childhood, Karen’s life is thrown into turmoil. With the looming threat of harming those she loves, Karen must figure out who is terrorizing her before her very life is taken away.

I rocketed through this book at a breakneck pace just to find out what happens next, and I have to say author AB Plum does not disappoint with the twists and turns of Karen’s terrifying tale. There are certainly trigger warnings to be made regarding rape and sexual abuse, because the trauma that the creepy caller puts Karen through is realistically written and sometimes heart-wrenching to read, but if you can stand the nature of the topic then the thriller and the unravelling of the plot are well worth the journey. Plum writes with conviction and real humanity, unveiling both the best and worst of us as human beings. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Ready or Not to brave readers searching for a truly terrifying thriller.

Francine Zane

In Ready or Not by A.B. Plum, Karen receives an obscene phone call right before the holidays. No big deal, right? Only the obscene call is followed up by others that are distinctly more threatening in nature. When childhood secrets come to light, Karen realizes just how dangerous this stranger really is. From page one, Ready or Not by A.B. Plum takes the reader on a non-stop, suspense-filled journey. Plum creates a unique supporting cast that aids Karen through her moments of terror. From her eighty-seven-year-old father to the less-than-patient nurses and the jaded cop who finally convinces her to confide in him, the characters feel as real as Karen’s paranoia. The villain is a very sick individual who uses flirtation as a weapon as skillfully as a sharpshooter uses a gun.

The pace is professional, and the psychological twists that lead to a satisfying conclusion deserve two thumbs up. As a former resident of Kansas City, I could easily picture the setting. Ready or Not is a great reminder that no matter how ideal a person’s life may appear on the outside, deep-seated fears and regret may shadow them for a lifetime. Read Ready or Not late at night at your own risk. If you are like me, you will get lost in the plot and swear you will read just one more page long after your scheduled bedtime. And when you do close your eyes, your imagination will fill the shadows with unseen dangers. Plum is just that good at creating a story that stays with you long after you finish reading the last page.

Grant Leishman

Thirty-seven-year-old Karen Sullivan is a woman with a childhood secret. Raped by a teenage neighbour when she was just twelve, Karen never speaks to anyone about her experiences. Self-employed, she skirts the law, working as a corporate hacker who can find out anything about anyone just by their digital footprint. In Ready or Not by AB Plum, Karen and her only true friend, RJ, are volunteers for the Kansas City Rape Crisis Hotline. In the middle of one of the biggest snowstorms to strike Kansas City in years, Karen is left alone in the Hotline building when she receives calls from a “perv” called Seth, along with photographs from long ago, showing her, her teenage rapist and her parents happily smiling for the camera. When RJ is brutally raped and murdered, it seems the past has come back to haunt Karen, but how can that be? Karen’s father had told her many years ago that her rapist, Eddie, died not long after her rape… but did he? What follows is a hunt for RJ’s attacker in tandem with a grizzled and careworn lieutenant from the Kansas City Police Department, who wants to catch this attacker just as much as Karen does.

Ready or Not is a fast-moving and taut suspense thriller that keeps readers guessing and on the edge of their seats right from the get-go. Author AB Plum’s style is harsh and frantic, drawing the reader along at breakneck speed. The two principal characters of Karen and Wiley are both drawn as extreme caricatures of the roles they perform and, as such, they work together and mesh perfectly. The abrasiveness and walls of defence Karen has built around herself over the years are slowly whittled away by the lieutenant’s persistence and equal amount of gruffness. This story works because of the author’s ability to mesh these two characters who, in many ways, are extremely similar. The twists and turns of the narrative are clever and artfully done, with the bad guys and their extreme narcissism, misogyny and evil splendidly filling out the story. This is an excellent read and one I would highly recommend to fans of the genre. It’s probably not for the squeamish but if you like suspenseful murder/mysteries, this one will be right up your alley.