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Pushed Too Far: A Thriller (Val Ryker series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Voss Peterson , Blake Crouch
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Two years ago a woman was brutally murdered, her body burned until only ash and shattered bone remained. Police Sergeant Valerie Ryker solved that case, putting psychopath Dixon Hess in prison for life, and becoming the first female police chief of her tiny Wisconsin town.


Then the original murder victim turns up in a frozen lake, all in one piece and only recently dead, and Val must enter a race against time. In only forty-eight hours, Hess will be set free, and he wants payback. And Val, her town, and everyone she loves are at the top of his list.


But surviving Hess's vengeance is only part of her dilemma. For there's another killer in Lake Loyal. One who may be closer to Val than she knows...

Val will need all the help she can get, including a sexy firefighter, her dead sister's daughter, and a tough Chicago cop named Jack Daniels. Everyone has a breaking point, and Val has just reached hers.

From bestselling romantic suspense author Ann Voss Peterson comes a page-turning thriller of police procedure, passion, and revenge. Make sure you're holding your Kindle tightly with both hands.

"If you're a fan of Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, or Kathy Reichs, don't
even hesitate. Filled with nail-gnawing suspense, dark mystery, and even a
dash of sexy romance, PUSHED TOO FAR qualifies for Thriller of the Year." - J.A. Konrath, author of SHAKEN

"I finished Ann Voss Peterson's PUSHED TOO FAR in a machine-gun clatter of next-page clicks. It jumps out of the gate at full gallop and picks up speed from there. I couldn't go back to working on my own book till I'd finished hers."
- F. Paul Wilson, New York Times Bestselling Author

"This book is written by someone who understands the art and craft of
thriller writing. It's got three-dimensional characters, a mystery with lots
of twists and turns, an interesting setting, and the research always flows
smoothly into the story. It's not just about murder and revenge, it's also
about a woman police chief weighed down by problems in her job and in her
personal life. And I didn't see the final twist coming! All in all-a
great job by a writer to watch." - Rebecca York, New York Times Bestselling Author

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Dear Readers,

Sometimes the imagination can't be neatly contained. When I first wrote PUSHED TOO FAR, I envisioned it as a standalone novel. But as I neared its completion, the stories of Val, Lund, and Val's niece clamored at the back of my mind and refused to fade away.

These voices became more adamant when the book was published and reviews and fan mail poured in, a regular chorus asking for the continuation of Val's tale. Val and Lund popped up in the novel SPREE, part of the Codename: Chandler spy thriller series that I write with J.A. Konrath, but instead of silencing my desire to write more about them, it only served to turn up the volume.

As a result, I've given up and given in. I'm now working on the second book in the Val Ryker series, BURNED TOO HOT, and plan to follow it with DEAD TOO SOON. I'm also having the time of my life writing them.

So thanks to all the readers who have asked about the future of Val and Lund. Because of you, they will live through more tragedy, danger, fear, and passion, and I have a feeling they'll be better for it in the end.

Ann Voss Peterson

From the Inside Flap

As a reader, there is nothing I love more than the chill of a cold, atmospheric thriller. It's why I've seen the film FARGO and read Scott B. Smith's classic A SIMPLE PLAN more times than I care to admit. It's the icy claustrophobia of the small-town Midwest in the dead of winter, that when channeled right, makes for something special--the best crime fiction in the world.
This novel by Ann Voss Peterson, PUSHED TOO FAR, is that kind of special, and its heroine, Val Ryker, Chief of Police of tiny Lake Loyal, Wisconsin, is one for the ages. When the victim of a prior murder that rocked the village inexplicably turns up, the man incarcerated for her killing, an undisputed monster, is released from prison with a hell of a grudge, intent on holding Ryker and everything she loves to the fire.
PUSHED TO FAR is not only a first-rate thriller, not only a police-procedural written with absolute authority by a writer who knows her stuff, but most of all, most importantly, it's a portrait of Police Chief Ryker, a woman of extraordinary courage who is pushed beyond her breaking point.
Good thrillers put their characters through the wringer. Great ones rain down holy hell upon their heads--physically, emotionally, psychologically--and aren't satisfied until the reader is spent, exhilarated, terrified, and lavishly entertained.
This is a great thriller, and with it, Peterson has firmly established herself as a major league talent and a must-read writer.
-Blake Crouch, March 2012

Product Details

  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: AVP; 2 edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007V98EPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,518 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story April 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a bit hesitant to read this as I am not a fan of police procedurals, but it was highly recommended by someone I respect,and surprisingly, this book caught me up in the story immediately. I was immersed right away in the believable events that moved the story along at a pace where I wanted to devour it. The characters and their relationships are awesomely real. I was very impressed with Ms. Peterson's ability to twist and turn the story in a way that made the plot move in unexpected directions and at the same time not to appear intended. I especially liked Val as the chief of police and the human difficulties she faced while trying to balance her life, niece, and a surprise male attraction. I really enjoyed the way Ms. Peterson left the ending (no spoilers here). I read 3-4 novels a week, and I write very few reviews. This book deserves praise. All in all, this is an awesome read and I highly recommend it.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book May 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Pushed Too Far was a great book. It was fast-paced with realistic characters and a captivating plot. It didn't lag or get boring and I was always interested to see what happened next. The twist was a surprise to me, yet was believeable. I highly recommend this book.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Thriller -- Highly Recommended May 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Pushed Too Far focuses on Val Ryker, the first female police chief of a small Wisconsin town. As the book opens, Ryker is faced with a cop's nightmare: sudden strong evidence of wrongful conviction in the case that made her reputation. Ryker has to figure out what really happened in that two-year-old case and, even more importantly, what's going on right under her nose. Oh, and the guy she helped put behind bars? Maybe he's innocent, maybe he's not. But one thing's for sure: he's feeling mighty vengeful.

Ann Voss Peterson's new thriller is terrific: intricately yet tightly plotted, economically written, gritty and scary without being grotesque.

Setting is a big strength, here -- the small-town Wisconsin location is fully realized and convincing. Character development is also a strength. Ryker is likable and very human. She feels like a real person, as do the book's other central characters. I loved that about the book. The thriller is, in general, a pretty plot-driven genre, and Peterson gives us plenty of plot. But character gets equal weight in this novel. The results are wonderful. I read it in a single sitting.

Pushed Too Far has a striking, professional cover and is perfectly formatted. The prose is restrained and error-free. Indie publishing at its best: indistinguishable in quality from a traditionally published book, yet much more affordable. And total authorial control over the book's form seems to have allowed for innovation, too, with the table of contents, acknowledgments, and other "front matter" appearing at the end, a choice that maximizes Kindle sample length. Smart!

This unsolicited review is cross-posted from The Active Voice.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, quick read May 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I needed something light to read, and this book treated me well. I find all of the 5 star reviews confusing though - because it's good, but it's not great. It could have benefited from less plot, more character development, and more nuanced relationships between the characters. But the author has a good grasp of the mechanics of writing, and I was entertained. What more do you want for the price?
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Far Fetched August 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am among the few who didn't like the book. And I really wanted to like it, as it held a great deal of promise. But the plot made little sense (why things happened the way they did when they did made no sense). The characters were very flat, hard to like or relate to, and their actions and reactions made little sense. The main character, Val Ryker, police chief of a small Wisconsin town, doesn't act much like a police chief, and throughout the book seems overly preoccupied on how attractive one of the suspects is. Really?

And while there are very good plot twists and turns, the author gets carried away with piling peril on top of peril, making the plot more farcical and unbelievable than suspenseful.

I'd skip this one.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fight the tide with this one. August 14, 2012
By L.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most people seem to love this book, I cannot say the same. It is incredibly predictable, actually there was no mystery at all as to who the killer was, just who set him up....just to reveal that he is still a killer.....??
The characters have no depth whatsoever. There was nearly no description of their physical characters nor their personalities. This was purely dialogue. I believe thats what makes this book so short. I enjoy books where the author introduces the characters, their lives and how it plays into the story. This was incredibly one dimensional. I had no idea what they even looked like, just that they had dark hair. Ok, thats great.
I was pretty bored, there was nothing catching my attention, so it was difficult to keep reading. However, no matter how bad the book, I do my best to follow through so I don't feel like I'm wasting my money.
To true mystery/thriller enthusiasts, I don't recommend this book. It is incredibly light.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what are these reviewers smoking ???? May 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
until about two thirds of the way through i thought this was a decent read. and then it started to get stupid and fabricated and completely implausible . it was so bad that even with only 10% left i didn't bother finishing it ..... yup that bad. i'm not saying this to be insulting but i simply cannot understand the positive reviews. three stars is a stretch . five stars is inexplicable and does serious disservice to both amazon and other readers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars INTRIGUING READ...
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars High intensity page turner
This book is highlighted by very well developed characters, accurately depicted settings, and a superbly written text. The plot has more twists and turns than a mountain road. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Rickles
4.0 out of 5 stars Was good
do not like to analyze. the simplest reviews are the best, a painstaking explanation of whether and why I happened to enjoy something won't help anyone. I read to the end. Enough.
Published 1 month ago by davidcanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book that made me keep turning pages to see ...
An excellent book that made me keep turning pages to see what happened next! I can't wait for the next Val Ryker book.
Published 1 month ago by Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty easy read
the plot was good with lots of action and a surprise ending. nice interactions with the characters and a little real life type romance.
Published 1 month ago by Ledona Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson
Loved the book. Only it wasn't long enough. I, only, wish that they had gotten together sooner. I will read more of her books!
Published 2 months ago by Bonnie
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Hated this book it did not keep my interest in reading, sorry.
Published 2 months ago by Svara
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
This book was a good read. It held my interest to the end and the bad guys got what they deserved.
Published 2 months ago by Elaine Sherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 2 months ago by JCJ
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun read located in my home state
Fun read located in my home state. The story keeps you engrossed but not writing quality. Good entertainment for the plane or beach.
Published 2 months ago by Sara J. Smiley
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More About the Author

Ann Voss Peterson is the author of over thirty novels and has millions of books in print all over the globe. Winner of the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award, Ann is known for her adrenaline-fueled thrillers and romantic suspense novels, including the Codename: Chandler spy thrillers she writes with J.A. Konrath and her own thriller series featuring small town Wisconsin police chief Val Ryker.

A creative writing major in college, Ann worked all manner of jobs after graduation, ranging from grooming show horses to washing windows, and now she draws on her wide variety of life experiences to fill her fictional worlds with compelling energy and undeniable emotion.

She lives near Madison, Wisconsin with her family and their border collie.

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