My grateful thanks to Daco S. Auffenorde for sending me a copy of her thriller Cover Your Tracks in return for an honest review. I’m delighted to share that review today.
Published by Keylight Books on 20th October 2020, Cover Your Tracks is available for purchase here.
Cover Your Tracks
Margo Fletcher, eight months pregnant, is traveling by train from Chicago to Spokane, her childhood home. While passing through an isolated portion of the Rockies in blizzard conditions, the train unexpectedly brakes. Up ahead, deadly snow from a massive avalanche plummets down the mountain. Despite the conductor’s order for the passengers to stay seated, former Army Ranger Nick Eliot insists that survival depends on moving to the back of the train. Only Margo believes him. They take refuge in the last train car, which Nick heroically uncouples in time to avoid the avalanche. The rest of the train is hurled down the mountainside and is soon lost forever in a blanket of snow. Margo and Nick, the sole survivors, are stranded in the snowstorm without food, water, or heat. Rescuers might not arrive for days.
When the weather turns violent again, the pair must flee the shelter of the passenger car and run for their lives into the wilderness. They must fend off the deadly cold as well as predatory wild animals foraging for food. Eventually, Nick leads Margo to shelter in a watchtower atop a mountain. There, we learn that both Margo and Nick have secrets that have brought them together and threaten to destroy them.
Cover Your Tracks is a chilling story of love and hate, the devastating power of nature, and the will to survive.
My Review of Cover Your Tracks
Margo’s train ride is about to get terrifying.
Cover Your Tracks is an absolute cracker of a book and I really enjoyed it.
Its short snappy chapters simply refuse to allow the reader to turn away. Each chapter ends with such an effective hook that I had to read on until I had consumed Cover Your Tracks in under twenty-four hours. The plot never lets up. Even in its quiet moments that balance the action, there’s pace and engagement so that I was entranced by the writing. I thought the narrative structure was excellent and deftly plotted, with a claustrophobic intensity created by the weather conditions, the isolation of Margo and Nick, and the gradual feeding in of their past experiences to uncover how they had arrived at this point in their lives. Add in the fact that there are, in effect, just two characters in the present of the narrative, and it feels menacing and creepy. I read with an increasing and well-founded unease.
Alongside this atmosphere of threat and danger that makes Cover Your Tracks a brilliantly thrilling read, is an almost poetic beauty in the writing. Daco S. Auffenorde uses the senses so effectively in her descriptions of the snow, the animals, the cold, the fear, that she transports the reader to the heart of the action with Nick and Margo.
Both Margo and Nick are vividly drawn people, with a particular success by Daco S. Auffenorde in conveying their emotional and psychological personas. The fact they are both able to resort to violence, to become almost primordial in their actions when threatened, and in the extreme conditions they find themselves in, illustrates perfectly how basic human instinct can be. In fact, the quality of this exploration is a very unnerving aspect of the book and one of the themes I found so fascinating.
Equally mesmerising are the other subjects in Cover Your Tracks. Parenthood, family and relationships, PTSD, violence, mental health, loyalty and survival all swirl like the blizzardous snow of the story, so that although Cover Your Tracks is an incredibly entertaining read, it’s a thought provoking one too.
I found Cover Your Tracks visceral, thrilling and exciting. I really recommend it.
About Daco S. Auffenorde
Born at the Naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and raised in Huntsville, Alabama–also known as Rocket City for its role in building the rocket that took astronauts into space–Daco holds a B.A. and M.A.S. from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Alabama Writers’ Forum, Authors Guild, and Alabama State Bar.