Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless

blood on the tracks

Official Thrillerfix Review by Jeff Carson

11 November 2017

What’s it about? A woman is brutally murdered in Denver, and the suspect is the victim’s fiancé—a hideously scarred war veteran known as the Burned Man. Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell works for the railroad police and is brought in to assist the Denver Major Crimes division’s investigation. She helps track down the suspect along the railroad, uncovering a conspiracy in the process that puts her in the sights of a vicious gang of rail riders.

What makes it special? First of all, Barbara Nickless is one of those writers that makes other writers want to quit. Her prose is gritty, she sets a scene well, and her dialogue is spot on. Her character, Sydney Rose Parnell suffers from PTSD, with memories of the war swimming around her all the time.

Her K-9 partner is just as skittish and mirrors her reactions, which puts a lot of pressure on Sydney to get her shit together when she’s unraveling. She has a lot of demons to fight, but she’s a capable investigator, and I love that Barbara Nickless reveals a whole new world that most of us haven’t thought about—the underground society of hobo rail riders. Not to mention it’s a riveting plot. There’s no wonder why it’s in the top 100 on Amazon.