John Kurtze Review of “Fight Dirty” by C. J. Lyons
Thomas & Mercer Octorber 7, 2014
“Fight Dirty” is an intense mystery thriller focusing on the events surrounding the death of 14 year old BreeAnna Greene on the day she was released from a private treatment facility for troubled teens.
C.J. Lyons brings two strong protagonists from earlier books, Nick Callahan, a therapist and Morgan Ames, a 15 year old who is the daughter of convicted serial killer. Lyons’ fans know Nick Callahan is FBI Supervisory Special Agent Lucy Guardino’s husband. Morgan is one of Nick’s clients. She is working hard to turn her life around and has promised Nick she won’t kill again as she is still dealing with issues having a father who is a serial killer. Nick’s therapy is helping Morgan but she still is a great manipulator and Nick knows Morgan is far from an angel. As Morgan’s therapist, Nick is the only person who is aware of what makes Morgan tick and things she fears.
In “Fight Dirty” readers meet Lyons’ two support protagonists Jenna Galloway and Andre Stone who were introduced in an earlier Guardino story. Jenna and Andre have recently started the Galloway and Stone Security Consultants firm. Lyons provides readers each character’s backstory. Lyons’ storyline introduces Nick, Morgan, Jenna, and her boyfriend Andre. As Jenna and Andre are asked by Mr. and Mrs. Greene to investigate the why and how of their 14 year old daughter BreeAnna’s death.
In Morgan’s efforts to move forward with her life, she tends to manipulate people to achieve her goals. She works her way into being part of Jenna and Andre’s firm. As they are dealing with the trust issues, it turns out their investigation has hit a roadblock and they need Morgan to go undercover and infiltrate ReNew, a treatment center for troubled teens. Morgan agrees to go undercover at the treatment center because she feels BreeAnna deserves justice.
It is amazing how fast events develop while Nick, Jenna, and Andre go to the Greene’s home, Mr. Greene talks Morgan into being admitted to ReNew without Jenna, Andre, or Nick’s knowledge. Only Nick knows Morgan’s biggest fear and going undercover might be very dangerous for her.
Lyons describes the dangers for children and in particular for Morgan. Readers see through Morgan’s eyes what the children were forced to undergo. Morgan found the real evils at ReNew. From the time Morgan was admitted to ReNew, we met one antagonist after another.
This thrilling, mystery and suspense story starts with Morgan’s quest to find justice for BreeAnna. Morgan was determined everyone know what happened to the children, regardless of what she – found the truth was important.
Lyons story helps readers see how friendship, trust, betrayal, and manipulation are all part of the solution of “Fight Dirty.” The pace this well-developed and well researched story never slows down. Morgan’s actions help many truths come to the surface. BreeAnna’s death was the catalyst forcing the investigation of circumstances. As if the readers were in the room with Morgan, “Fight Dirty,” delivers answers and solutions and a surprise ending for the readers. Lyons earns my 5 star ranking and I am looking forward to her next book in this new series featuring Nick Callahan and Morgan Ames.